UPDATE: The House ultimately passed the bill by just one vote and Governor Kulongoski signed the Metolius Protection Act, HB 3298, into law on July 15!
The Oregon House is scheduled to vote on HB 3298 Tuesday, June 16. This bill would protect Central Oregon’s Metolius River basin as an ‘Area of Critical State Concern’ and prohibit damaging development in the Metolius basin. It passed the Oregon Senate 16-12 on Friday, June 12 but the House vote is too close to call.
This bill would prevent the development of two destination resorts that currently pose a significant threat to the Metolius and its surrounding forests and wildlife. These sprawling resorts would include hundreds of new houses and condominiums that would threaten the groundwater supplies that feed the Metolius River as it mysteriously gushes from the ground at the base of Black Butte, and they would negatively impact world-class fish and wildlife habitat in the Metolius Basin.
The vote on HB 3298 is TOO CLOSE TO CALL. Your call or letter to your state Representative could be the deciding factor! Rather than send a form email (which you can do by clicking here if you are short on time), we want to stress the importance of sending a personal email to your State Representative or making calls in support of HB 3298 to your State Representative’s office. Such personal letters and calls from constituents carry much greater weight than form letters. We’ve provided a link where you can send a personal note or letter and a sample letter below.
Please take action TODAY!
Click here to write a quick personal note, or a long letter, in support of HB 3298. (Please forward a copy of your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here’s a sample letter. Remember, form letters are less effective than a letter written in your own words. Please take a minute to personalize your e-mail message to your state Representative.
Dear [State Legislator],
I am writing to urge you to support HB 3298 to protect Oregon’s Metolius River.
HB 3298 will protect the unparalleled qualities of the Metolius River Basin once and for all in the face of growing development pressures and threats. One of the biggest threats to the unique qualities of the Metolius River will be new groundwater withdrawals necessary to supply extensive new resorts and housing developments proposed for the area.
These proposed developments would not only cause a detrimental impact to limited ground water, and potentially the flows of the Metolius River itself, but also negatively impact important wildlife habitat, and cause problems for local fire protection districts charged with protecting lives and property when inevitable wildfires return to the area.
Again, please support HB 3298 and protect the Metolius Basin.