Department of State Lands, Chapter 141
Rule Caption: Limiting Use of Motorized Vehicles in the Chetco River Owned by the State of Oregon
Adm. Order No.: DSL 2-2013
Filed with Sec. of State: 8-12-2013
Certified to be Effective: 9-1-13
Notice Publication Date: 12-1-2012
Rules Adopted: 141-088-0055
Subject: This rulemaking will amend the Department’s public recreational use rules relative to state-owned submerged and submersible land in the Chetco River. On October 20, 2011, the Department received a petition for rulemaking from the Chetco River Watershed Council, pursuant to ORS 183.390 and OAR 137-001-0070. The petition sought adoption of a rule limiting use of motorized vehicles in the wetted channel of the Chetco River, subject to certain exceptions. The petition asserted that use of motorized vehicles within the wetted river channel “poses a significant risk of harm and damage to the natural resource of the land and to the public.” The Department recommended to the State Land Board that it grant the petition and authorize the Department to initiate rulemaking to impose additional restrictions on the public recreational use of state-owned land on the Chetco River as part of the Department’s rules on “Public Recreational Use of State-Owned Property” found in Oregon Administrative Rules at OAR 141-088. The State Land Board approved this request at the December 13, 2011 meeting.
The Chetco River Watershed Council petition proposed a rule that provided:
All state-owned land that is under the jurisdiction of the Department that is between the line of ordinary high water and the line of ordinary low water on the Chetco River, and all state-owned land that is managed by the Department that is also in the vicinity of, or that comprises the Chetco River, is subject to the following prohibition:
(1) The driving in, across, or through the wetted channel of the river by motorized vehicles for recreational purposes is prohibited.
Excepted from the closure are government-owned vehicles on official business, motor or non-motorized boats, vehicles used in the launching of boats, public and private utility vehicles performing company business, and vehicles operating in activities under permit, vehicles involved in rescue or emergency activities, and permitted vehicles engaged in repair of fences and placement of bank protection material.
Although the Department supports the adoption of a rule that limits use of motorized vehicles in the wetted channel of the Chetco River, subject to certain exceptions, the Department has identified a number of deficiencies in the form of the rule proposed by the Chetco River Watershed Council. First, although the proposed rule prohibits certain uses within the “wetted channel” of the Chetco River, the term “wetted channel” is not defined. Second, the proposed rule fails to identify with specificity the geographic limits of the state’s ownership of the Chetco River and improperly includes “all state-owned land that is managed by the Department that is also in the vicinity of, or that comprises the Chetco River.” Finally, the form of the proposed rule is inconsistent with the form of similar rules in Division 88 that limit recreational use in other state-owned waterways.
The Department convened a rule advisory committee (RAC) on October 30, 2012. The RAC included a number of stakeholders, including the petitioners of the rule. The RAC recommended rule language that clarified the focus of the rule on the main channel, or stem of the river, as opposed to small side channels that may need to be crossed in order to access gravel bars.
In order to correct these deficiencies, and meet the recommendations of the RAC, the Department is proposing adoption of an alternative rule that will accomplish the objectives sought by the Chetco River Watershed Council petition for rulemaking.
Rules Coordinator: Tiana Teeters—(503) 986-5239
Restrictions on Use of Motorized Vehicles in the State-Owned Bed and Banks of the Chetco River
(1) All state-owned land that is under the jurisdiction of the Department that is below the line of ordinary high water on the Chetco River from the Highway 101 Bridge to River Mile 11 (about one mile upstream from the mouth of Elk Creek) is closed to any and all use by motor vehicles within the wetted channel of the main stem of the river. Excepted from the closure are Government-owned vehicles on official business, motor or non-motorized boats, vehicles used the in the launching or the retrieving of boats, vehicles operating under an authorization issued by the Department, public and private utility vehicles performing company business, vehicles involved in rescue or emergency activities, and vehicles engaged in repair of fences and placement of bank protection material.
(2) For the purposes of this rule, “wetted channel of the main stem” means state-owned submerged and/or submersible land of the primary segment of the river that is inundated by the waterway at the time of use.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 183, 273 & 274
Stats. Implemented: ORS 273 & 274
Hist.: DSL 2-2013, f. 8-12-13, cert. ef. 9-1-13
State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310