Please check back here for answers to questions about planning for the Beltz Property.
Where is the Beltz Property located?
The Beltz Property is located on the north Oregon coast between Cape Lookout State Park and Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area (Pacific City), in Sand Lake estuary. This is one of Oregon’s least developed estuaries, including approximately 1,250 acres of open water, tidal flat, emergent marsh, and forested wetlands. A dominant feature within the estuary is Whalen Island, primarily owned and managed by OPRD as the Clay Meyers State Natural Area. At the north end of Sand Lake is Sand Lake Nature Preserve, owned by North Coast Land Conservancy in partnership with OPRD. The submersible land within the lakes is owned by Department of State Lands.
At the south end of Sand Lake is the 357-acre land known to locals as Beltz Farm. Approximately 244 acres lies west of Sand Lake Road, fronting the ocean and the Sand Lake estuary. This portion of the property consists of approximately 87 acres of marine and freshwater marsh and 157 acres of dunes and uplands. An unmaintained artificial dike that separates the freshwater marshland from the marine estuary runs east/west through the northern third of this. The remaining 113 acres of the property lying east of Sand Lake Road is predominately pasture and forest land.
On June 25, 2014, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission voted to offer to purchase the Beltz property in Tillamook County from the nonprofit that owned it. Beltz contains ocean beaches, wetlands, and forests. The property was acquired from a private owner by the nonprofit Ecotrust for $1.8 million in May 2014, and the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission has authorized the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to purchase it from Ecotrust for up to $1.8 million using Oregon Lottery funds dedicated to state park acquisitions by the Oregon Legislative Assembly. Our purchase of the property became final in September 2014.
Additional background information about this property can be found here: http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/pages/commission-beltz.aspx
What kind of recreation will be offered at this state park?
Because of its beauty, natural features, and location, the property has been of interest to the state park system for decades. The property will be kept in a natural state, focusing on trail recreation and natural resource improvement projects. It isn’t open yet; we need to figure out parking and trail use so the area can serve visitors and protect the resource while being a good neighbor to the nearby Tierra del Mar community.
Why are you creating a Master Plan?
A master plan is needed to fully address future recreational use and resource management as this property becomes a state park. In the planning process, OPRD will take a comprehensive look at current information on natural and cultural resource conditions and management needs related to the park, outdoor recreation trends in the region, areas within the parks that are suitable for recreational development and use, possible affects of park uses on local public facilities services and neighboring land uses, and related ideas and concerns identified through public input.
Assessments of the parks’ natural and cultural resources are scheduled for completion by late summer 2015. Once these assessments are completed for the rest of the park property, OPRD will take the next step in mapping opportunity areas, identifying areas that are suited for potential recreational development and resource management activities. The map of opportunity areas, supported by the resource assessments, will provide a basis for discussing options for future development and management of the parks in upcoming public meetings.
How Can I Get Involved?
In the park planning process, OPRD holds meetings followed by written comment opportunities to ask for public input on park-related issues, goals, use and development concepts and management strategies. Two types of meetings will be held in each public involvement phase: 1) Meetings for the general public and owners of properties adjacent to the park are being invited to attend neighborhood meetings at a local venue to share their issues and ideas about the parks and their relationship to the neighborhood. 2) Meetings for the planning stakeholder committee (see below) will also be held at a local venue. The meetings scheduled will be updated on this page.
How are the Advisory Committee Meetings Different than Public Meetings?
The stakeholder committee will be made up of representatives of interest groups and agencies that have direct interest in the park. In general, the criteria used to select Committee members are:
1) The represented group has a significant stake in the outcome, or the representative has professional expertise of particular value to the planning process; 2) The group representative will represent his/her group’s interests ahead of personal interests, and coordinate comments with and convey information to his/her group; 3) The representative is willing to work toward consensus and seek solutions that address multiple interests; 4) The representative is available to attend the meetings; 5) Duplication of membership is generally avoided in representation of an interest, agency or expertise (although members may identify a backup representative to participate in their absence).
The following interest groups and agencies have been asked to participate through committee representation:
- City of Tillamook
- Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
- Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
- Native Fish Society
- Nestucca School District
- Nestucca Valley Community Alliance
- Nestucca, Neskowin & Sand Lake Watersheds Council
- North Coast Land Conservancy
- Oregon Coast Alliance
- Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
- Oregon Dept. of Transportation
- Oregon Recreation Trail Advisory Committee
- Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition
- Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
- Pacific City-Nestucca Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Pacific City-Woods Citizens Advisory Committee
- Project Leader National Wildlife Refuge Complex
- Siuslaw National Forest (USFS)
- The Nature Conservancy
- Tierra del Mar Neighborhood Association
- Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce
- Tillamook County Board of Commissioners
- Tillamook County Department of Community Development
- Tillamook County Department of Public Works
- Tillamook County Parks Advisory Committee
- Tillamook County Parks Department
- Tillamook Estuaries Partnership
- Tillamook High School
- U.S. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
Where Can I Review The Draft Plan?
OPRD’s planning web site. As materials produced during the planning process become available, including the draft plan, any addendums to the draft, the final plan, newsletters, etc., they may be reviewed at the planning website at http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PLANS/Pages/Beltz-Property.aspx or directly on this page beltzplan.com
OPRD offices. When available, the plan can also be viewed at the OPRD headquarters office in Salem, and at the Cape Lookout State Park office near Tillamook.