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Agriculture producer sought for Nestucca Bay Refuge The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking an agricultural producer for a Cooperative Agriculture Agreement at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The producer will have use of up to 61.5 acres of lowland pasture land on the refuge for a period of three years as a cooperator with the Service. The Nestucca Bay Refuge was established in 1991, in part, to protect and enhance habitat for wintering geese. Managed refuge pastures receive sustained waterfowl use from fall through spring and provide quality forage, which improves waterfowl health and survival. Between 6,000 to 11,000 Canada geese of six subspecies, including 18 percent of the world’s population of the dusky Canada goose (a Federal species of special concern) winter in the Nestucca Valley. The refuge’s goal is to minimize depredation on private pasturelands by maximizing waterfowl use on refuge lands. Refuge pasture management is based on recognition of the importance of short grass habitats to geese and a commitment to habitat protection for the mutual benefit of wildlife and the local dairy industry. The Cooperator will operate under a Cooperative Agricultural Agreement and will be responsible for managing 61.5 acres of lowland pastures on the Refuge. The cooperator will be required to manage the grasslands and harvest the forage produced by grazing, mowing, haying, and green chopping annually between April 15 to Oct. 31. The cooperator will be selected through an open and competitive process where applications will be scored and ranked by a panel including representatives from the Service, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Oregon State University Agricultural Extension staff. To apply, complete FWS Form 3-1383-C and supplemental application questions. The application form, maps of the proposed cooperative agriculture area, supplemental application instructions and questions, criteria, and examples of a Cooperative Agriculture Agreement can be downloaded at www.fws.gov/refuge/nestucca_ bay. Hard copies can be requested by contacting Kelly Moroney, project leader, at 541-867-4550 or kelly_moroney@fws.gov. Applicants can send completed proposals to Kelly Moroney, 2127 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365 or kelly_moroney@fws.gov. Proposal envelopes must be received in the refuge office by Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. All proposals will be opened on Dec. 4. The individual with the highest-ranked proposal will be notified within three weeks of their selection. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on USFWS, visit www. fws.gov.

ODA considering selling Pacific City State Airport By TIM HIRSCH of the Sun

lished the agenda for the Oct. 19 meeting. In that agenda, it was noted that there would Oregon Departbe an executive sesment of Aviation is sion to “deliberate real considering selling property transactions Pacific City State Airport and to consider written to a private buyer who advice from attorney” as would be required to well as a public session continue operating the vote scheduled for an property as an airport, item labeled “Airport albeit a private one. Photo courtesy of Jonna Forbes Real Estate Transaction.” Following an execu- OREGON DEPARTMENT OF AVIATION is considering However, the Pacific City tive session in which the selling Pacific City State Airport to a private buyer, who airport was not specifiODA board discussed would then run it as a private airport. cally mentioned in the the matter, the ODA she said. “The airport’s seven acres agenda. board voted on Oct. of land was given by the Sid Fisher “We should have identified the 19 to proceed with the process of family for an airport in the 1920s. airport (in the agenda),” admitted pursuing a possible sale. It was the site of fly-ins and fish Swecker. “That’s our mistake — “We have been talking about fry’s. In 1953, it was dedicated as we’re not trying to hide anything. the legality of (selling it),” ODA the Pacific City State Airport. The (Moving forward) we’ll be a lot director of aviation Mitch Swecker airport has served the people of more careful and make sure the told the Sun. “We got an appraisal South Tillamook County since the public’s a lot more involved. We’re and had an aviation board meetfirst historical airplanes began to trying to be as transparent as we ing and voted to proceed with the use the field. There has been some can about this. We own 28 airports process. We still need to go through discussion of the state discontinuso maybe we didn’t do as good a (the Division of) State Lands to be ing the ownership of the airport job as we could have with business sure we’re doing everything by the and putting it in private use. No dealings with this one airport. We’ll book (before a final sale can be apindividual could afford the liability go back to the drawing board and proved).” associated with private ownership make sure we’re as transparent as If sold, the transfer would have we can be.” a reversionary clause in it, meaning and the airport would probably cease to exist. To that end, he said that bethat if the new owner tried to sell it, “The airport serves not just the tween now and ODA’s next meetthe property would come back to recreational pilots but the Coast ing in January, that ODA will try to us, Swecker said. Guard for rescue work and Life schedule a public meeting in an “We would not allow it to not Flight on a regular basis. It is an effort to include stakeholders in the be an airport,” he said. “That would attraction for new home buyers. discussion. He added that at the be part of the deal.” The weekends bring many pilots January board meeting that ODA However, there has been some who enjoy a walk to the beach and “will probably have a discussion objection from local stakeholders a meal in our restaurants. (on the proposed sale) and invited including Robyn Holdman, a Sis“It would be a great loss to not the public and potential buyer.” ters, Oregon resident, who together have the Pacific City Airport as part Swecker said the move to poswith her husband owns a second of our community. The airport is an sibly sell the airport dates back four home in Pacific City and regularly asset not a liability.” to five years, when ODA became flies in to the Pacific City airport. In light of this opposition, concerned with a lot of develop“My concern is that the stakeSwecker said ODA will likely slow ment that was encroaching on the holders of the airport — whether airport. that be neighbors or local business- down the process. He said that before proceeding, “We talked about that if we es or pilots — haven’t been includhe’d like to “get a little more buy-in keep getting this type of encroached in the discussion of the future (from the community and) talk to ment, we might not be able to keep of the airport,” she told the Sun. “I different stakeholders in the airport it safe and open,” he said. really believe the Oregon Departso they understand that what we’re As a result of this, Swecker said ment of Aviation hasn’t done its due doing is with the purpose (of keepODA has done some checking over diligence to engage the public and ing) the airport open and available the last year and has begun converwe need to have a reset.” to the public.” sations with a local landowner and Holdman said that what she’d “We only have the best interpilot who has interest in buying the like to see is for ODA to invite est of the airport in our minds,” airport and running it as a private public input so people can come Swecker said. “We have no intenairport. up with creative ideas and work tion of closing the airport. We’re For more information about together to address any concerns looking for a way to keep it open the Pacific City State Airport, inwith the airport. cluding links to the State Aviation Local historian Sally Rissel, too, and available to the public.” Some of the objection has Board and upcoming meetings, is concerned with the possible sale. come from what Swecker described visit oregon.gov/aviation/Pages/ “It is unique to have an airport as an oversight when ODA pubPacific-City.aspx. in the center of our small town,”

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Page 4 • Pacific City SUN • November 10, 2017

Foc us e d,Li i s aRahkonen

Pacific City Sun, November 10, 2017  

The Pacific City Sun features news, events, profiles and more on the Oregon Coast communities of Pacific City, Cloverdale, Hebo, Beaver and...

Pacific City Sun, November 10, 2017  

The Pacific City Sun features news, events, profiles and more on the Oregon Coast communities of Pacific City, Cloverdale, Hebo, Beaver and...