COUNTY GIVES LAND TO FEDERAL AGENCY

December 19, 2000 11:00 pm

GOLD BEACH Curry County donated land for a bridge to the Bureau of Land Management Monday, and also started proceedings to vacate an abandoned county road to the same agency.

Karla Bird, of the BLM, thanked the county commissioners. She explained the land was needed for use as an exclusive easement for public and BLM access to the New River Area of Critical Environmental Concern at the Floras Lake outlet.

Birds letter to the commissioners said, Curry Countys action is an example of the strong partnership between governments that create better public opportunities. Thank you for your offer to donate.

Bird said the BLM has the money to build a wooden bridge across the lake outlet this summer. It will be left open to the public.

Commissioner Lloyd Olds said it would be safer than wading the stream. Bird said the water is not deep in the summer, but is cold.

Birds presentation was on the agenda to be heard Monday, but Olds asked if the commissioners could approve the land donation during the meeting, since theyd been working on it for a year.

County Counsel Jerry Herbage told them they could, and it was unanimously approved.

The commissioners took only preliminary action on the BLMs request to vacate a county road. They authorized County Roadmaster Dan Crumley to investigate the request and write a report.

If the request is eventually approved, the county will vacate a portion of the 1917 County Road from the Langlois Cheese Factory up Floras Creek to the Coos and Curry county line.

The road is accessible from Coos County, but has been abandoned by Curry County for at least 20 years.

Bird submitted a petition for the vacation signed by more than 60 percent of the owners of land abutting the county road.

A landowner maintains a locked gate on the county line, so the road is not open to the public. It has been maintained by timber companies, residents and the BLM.

Crumley said the road is not driveable, and no longer exists on some parts of the route.

He said it is not needed by the county, and that the vacation would reduce potential maintenance liability for the county.

Bird said the vacation is needed by the BLM, because it will allow the bureau to leave the White Rock Creek bridge in place.

She said the temporary bridge was put in several years ago, but since it is on county property, it will have to be removed unless the property is vacated.

The portable bridge was installed during a 1988 timber sale.

The BLM cannot make capital expenditures on county roads, and must remove the bridge.

When neighbors objected to the bridges removal, the road vacation was worked out over the past two years as a possible solution.