By AP • 

'Low-key' state park planned on Oregon coast

Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation photoView looking north from an existing path on the Beltz property.
Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation photoOverhead view of the entire property purchased by the state parks department.

SALEM — A new, “low-key” state park is in the works along the north Oregon Coast.

The state Parks and Recreation Commission has agreed to buy 357 acres of wetlands and beachfront near Pacific City, the Salem Statesman Journal reports.

It's described as a “nature-based” park along an estuary that's one of the few places along the coast that's seen little development.

“The type of park we envision is very low key,” said parks spokesman Chris Havel. “It would be a place where you could hike through wetlands lush in wildlife and plant life and end up on the beach.”

He said the sale could be completed by the end of August, but the area will be opened carefully, and not right away.

“This is a natural area, and we will work on trails and restoration but will not add major facilities or other intense development,” he said.

The commission met Wednesday in Klamath Falls and agreed on the purchase.

The sale price will be the appraisal price, plus 10 percent, but no more than $1.8 million.

The land is owned by the Portland nonprofit Ecotrust, which bought it from private owners with the intention of reselling it to the state.

“It takes months for a state agency to approve a purchase because there are a number of steps we have to go through,” Havel said. “The problem is that often we have a seller who doesn't want to wait. In this case, Ecotrust was able to step in and buy the property right away — allowing us to get all our ducks in a row — so we could get approval.”

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

Rotwang

Just what we need: more government-owned land. I'd be happier to see a private group run the place.

Hambone

Government-owned land? Right now, it's owned by a non-profit group, and when it's sold to the Parks and Rec Dept it will be publicly-owned. So everyone can use and enjoy it. If it is wetlands and beachfront, there isn't much a private group could do with it anyway. The Parks and Rec people do a great job managing our parks, let them do their job for all our benefit!

Shasta

If you dont agree with the government owning the land thats fine. Don't visit. There are plenty of people out there that will appreciate the opportunity to visit this unique property. Without public ownership, a limited amount of people can enjoy it.

Furthermore, government ownership will lock-in and preserve the natural state of the property. And tourism will only help the small coastal communities in Oregon. People will come. Good move!

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