State Considers Closing Beach To Camping

The Department of State Lands (DSL) is proposing a five-year moratorium on overnight camping on a parcel of state-owned land along the Willamette River. The parcel is located at the on the West bank of the Willamette River at approximately river mile 13.75 (1S1E10 Tax lot 300) and is currently leased to ZRZ Realty Co. (Zidell) for a waterway remediation project.

In 2011, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) ordered Zidell to complete remedial action at this location for historic soil contamination. In 2012, the company installed a sediment cap to reduce contaminant mobility and planted vegetation on the riverbank to stabilize the cap. Zidell must monitor the planted vegetation through 2037, as required under a National Marine Fisheries Service biological opinion.

In recent years, Zidell has seen a marked increase in transient activity on the leased site where camping and fires have resulted in the destruction of the planted vegetation. This damage jeopardizes the integrity of the sediment cap and the broader remediation efforts. The company has asked DSL to close the property to overnight camping.

The DSL director has authority to impose restrictions on and close state-owned land if it is determined that the action is necessary to facilitate or protect a remedial action pursuant to a DEQ order (OAR 141-088).

The closure would be limited to the state-owned land above the line of ordinary low water, and does not include the submersible land (under water) of the leasehold. Day use would be permitted on the site, and the five-year term will provide Zidell and DSL adequate time to assess the outcomes of the closure.

Starting May 3, 2018, DSL is conducting a 30-day public comment period on the proposed closure, ending June 1, 2018.

Interested parties should submit comments about the proposed closure to:

Justin Russell

Department of State Lands

775 Summer St. NE

Salem, OR 97301-1279

503-986-5219 (Salem)  

Comments must be received by the June 1 deadline.


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