Opposes Okanogan River Land Acquisition
OC3 opposes Central Washington
University’s Okanogan River Riparian and
Upland Fish and Wildlife Habitat Acquistion,
BPA Project 29035 sponsored by Stewardship
Partners (SP) for the following reasons:
The appraisal conducted by SP was based
on conservation ‘public use’ value. It has
no basis in reality and does not represent
fair market value.
Further the sellers have agreed to a
15% reduction in sale price that will apply to
a 15% match.
Using this inflated appraisal would be
a blatant misuse of BPA ratepayer dollars.
There is conflicting information
regarding property taxes.
The BPA proposal states the sellers
will pay taxes; while project proponents say
the University will do so.
In either case, the use of public funds
- either taxpayer or ratepayer dollars - to
support the local tax base is unsustainable.
Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) remain
stagnant and do not offset the production
potential of the land.
PILT payments do not contribute to
local levies for vital community services and
further increase the property tax burdens for
the remaining private landowners.
The supposed economic benefits to the
county are questionable, since the research
station would be self-contained providing
meals and housing for staff and students.
The true economic boon is to the
University itself, as a long-term ‘tap’
into future ratepayer/taxpayer funding
sources, while the research station will
provide a ‘draw’ for students who pay
Okanogan County land-base is already
80% government owned.
The project would ‘protect’ 6.2
miles of river frontage - the last completely
natural and roadless area along the 80 miles
of the Okanogan River south from Oroville to
the confluence with the Columbia River.
However, many view this proposed
acquistion of 1,671 acres as another assault
on the last remaining 20% of privately owned
OC3 believes the citizens of Okanogan
County and the University would be better
served to establish their research station on
the extensive land-base already held by state
and federal agencies and already supported by
Excerpt from draft letter to Central
Washington University; Northwest Power
Planning Council, Bonneville Power
Administration etc; July 2002
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