Senate Bill 401, introduced by Alan Bates of Ashland, designates an additional 30 Oregon river segment as wild and scenic giving control of those areas to the state division of parks.
Senator Herman Baertschiger, representing district two, which encompasses most of Josephine County, was asked about the bill during a telephone interview from Salem, “Most of those happen to be in Josephine County. We’re talking about the Rogue River, the Illinois Valley river system, Briggs Creek, Sucker Creek, Graves Creek, Rough and Ready Creek. There’s just a whole lot of them. We got about 70 percent of them in our own county.”
The wild and scenic designation carries a quarter mile easement on either side of the river which would impact private property owners, restricting what could be done in that easement to the point of having the state dictate what color a building facing the river could be painted, and in some instances could instruct owners to screen their property from the river.
It is not yet clear the disposition of the bill which now remains in committee.
None of the 30 river segments lies within Senator Bate’s district.