You can't own a beach. A beach should be for anybody, anytime, any part of the beach. From the road to the water. According to No. 390.610 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, it's the Law.
The USDA Forest Service, as of April 1997, is part of the Recreation Fee Demonstration Project of the Siuslaw National Forest. They started charging admission to their facilities on the above date.
The Surfrider Foundation believes these fees to be unfair restriction of access for people of limited economic means. Oregon's beaches are a public treasure, having been either gifted to State Parks, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or purchased with tax dollars. The protection of these lands was vested in the USDA Forest Service, State Parks, and Bureau of Land Management with he intent that they be available for public use. The fact that state government is now experiencing a fiscal crisis is no excuse for eliminating free public access to one of Oregon's most valuable assets.
Charging access fees at best is poorly related to services provided at specific locations. An example is the South Jetty in Florence, Oregon, which is Army Corp of Engineers property. Access is being restricted. The once-county road, now under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, is the only access road to this surfing, windsurfing, fishing, and hiking area. No services exist at the popular South Jetty Beach.
Surfrider will attempt to block imposition of unfair user fees wherever they result in denial of beach access to persons of limited economic means. Surfrider is committed to the notion that public beaches are for the enjoyment of the public, not just wealthy individuals.
It is outrageous that to enjoy our public treasures as an Oregon taxpayer we should now have to purchase: the Oregon State Park annual pass, the Siuslaw National Forest annual pass, the Willamette national Forest annual pass, the Lane County Park annual pass, and the Yaquina Head annual pass(?). Where will it end? How many different passes must be purchased to enjoy our public beaches?
We recommend that all interested state and government agencies re-evaluate their fee policies, so that Oregon residents of limited economic means can enjoy Oregon's natural treasures.
Oregon Chapter, Surfrider Foundation
Scott Sherwood, Chairman