Public land versus the interests of a private company: it’s not a new debate when looking at the Thornburgh development.
This past Saturday, Eagle Crest residents toured a spot of land on Clines Butte owned by the state that could potentially turn into apart of the proposed resort destination.
“I think this is a matter of public concern,” said Robert Sharpe an Eagle Crest homeowner.
Anger around Thornburgh brewed since its announcement in 2005, but the new area for development surfaced quite recently.
The 160 acres of public land frequently used for its trails and wildlife habitats are a part of a 400-acre plot of land.
“My wife and I walk up there 3, 4, 5 times a weekend and we see the huge number of hikers and mountain bikers who use this piece of land,” Sharpe said.
That plot, named 5300 lot, is between Eagle Crest and the proposed Thornburgh development, bumping up against each areas’ borders.
There’s currently a proposal from the owners of the Thornburgh development, Central Land and Cattle Company LLC, to buy the state-owned land and develop it, most likely making those popular trails inaccessible to the public.
“So really I want to keep that land open for public consumption,” Sharpe said.
80 other Eagle Crest homeowners that joined the tour on Saturday agree.
In a statement from the Oregon Department of State Lands, they said the purchase is not confirmed and that…
“The Department of State Lands received an application from Central Land and Cattle Company, LLC to purchase 400 acres of school land. We are currently going through the process of due diligence that is outlined in rule. During due diligence we collect information about the land to help inform a sale decision. This includes notifying potentially interested parties and posting on our website about the potential sale, so that the public is aware and has the opportunity to provide comment on the potential sale.”
We reached out to the state today for further comments, and they did not answer our calls.
“What’s next? Well personally I will be logging my comments with the state land board,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe will also be reaching out to public officials and encouraging others to take action to prevent the development purchase.
A public hearing is expected to occur regarding the proposed land purchase on March 10th.