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Brian Booth State Park plan enters next phase

Posted: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013


By Rockne Roll South Lincoln County News SEAL ROCK – After two years of work and months of public input, the master planning process for the newly named Brian Booth State Park is moving forward to the next phase. Brian Booth State Park was officially formed in January when Ona Beach State Park and Beaver Creek State Natural Area were combined and renamed after the first chair of the state parks commission. But planning for the two areas has been ongoing since early in 2011, and later this summer, state park planners will roll out their revised plan for public comment before potentially presenting it to the commission for final approval end the end of the year. Nothing is set in stone as of yet. As Chris Havel from the Communications and Research Division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department explained, the draft concept out now is sort of a “wish list.” “This sort of sets the universe of possibilities,” he said. “The next step is, ‘when can we start on some of this stuff?’ That almost all comes down to budgeting and public demand.” Among those possible items are viewing blinds, a boardwalk and a series of hiking trails through the Beaver Creek area. “People are always looking for more trails, that’s the feedback we’ve been getting,” said J.R. Collier, manager for the South Beach Unit of Oregon State Parks. Collier said the final draft could include as much as 20 miles of new hiking trails over the 800-acre site. Those trails would be a combination of hiking only, hiking/biking trails, and equestrian paths. “A lot of this property already has roads on it,” Collier added, “and we’ll be utilizing the existing roads for a lot of that.” There will also be some campground development, but not like a lot of other campgrounds in the area, which cater to large motor homes and other RVs. “We’re looking to do a little more small scale,” Collier said. “It’s not going to be a full service RV campground, we’re talking about a fairly small development.” The development will likely be less than 100 campsites, and also include an equestrian camping area. “Yurt camping is an option,” Collier also mentioned, “but that’s all funding dependant.” The proposed amenities are designed to preserve the natural setting of Beaver Creek, which Collier said had been a concern during the initial input process. “There’s always concerns because of the Beaver Creek State Natural Area, that we’re retaining that as a good habitat, a safe habitat for wildlife,” Collier said. “‘This is a new park that’s really going to try to capture the natural experience and give people a chance to get more in touch with nature.” After taking in comments from stakeholders and the public at large throughout the winter and early spring, the state parks department is refining the current model into something closer to what Havel called a “final draft,” which should be ready for public comment by mid to late summer. If the input is favorable, Havel said, the plan would be submitted to the commission for approval. Once approved, it only becomes final and written into state rules once it is approved by the county as part of its land use practices. If approved later this year, that process will have totaled nearly three years. “That’s not uncommon for a collection of properties of this scope,” Havel said. “Sometimes, a really small, simple park, you can get through planning in about a year, but for these larger ones, it takes a little longer.”
SEAL ROCK – After two years of work and months of public input, the master planning process for the newly named Brian Booth State Park is moving forward to the next phase.

Brian Booth State Park was officially formed in January when Ona Beach State Park and Beaver Creek State Natural Area were combined and renamed after the first chair of the state parks commission. But planning for the two areas has been ongoing since early in 2011, and later this summer, state park planners will roll out their revised plan for public comment before potentially presenting it to the commission for final approval end the end of the year.

Nothing is set in stone as of yet. As Chris Havel from the Communications and Research Division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department explained, the draft concept out now is sort of a “wish list.”

“This sort of sets the universe of possibilities,” he said. “The next step is, ‘when can we start on some of this stuff?’ That almost all comes down to budgeting and public demand.”

Among those possible items are viewing blinds, a boardwalk and a series of hiking trails through the Beaver Creek area.

For the complete article see the 05-08-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-08-2013 paper.







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