The Commercialization of the Molalla River: Molalla’s track record stinks!

I went to the BLM upper Molalla River Corridor open house to enter one comment in BIG LETTERS:

“Don’t further the COMMERCIALIZATION OF THE MOLALLA RIVER for the “benefit” of the City of Molalla’s greedy merchants!”

I wrote that after hearing the noxious idea that came out of the River Alliance meeting – the idea driven by the city’s “Exploit the River for $$$$$’s” campaign that is pushing to put signs up at 205 and I5 to direct tourists to the poor little already overworked Molalla River.

“I don’t have a stake in the future because I don’t live here” Atkins is drooling over the highway sign idea in a Pioneer interview. I wonder if Atkins even knows what “CONSERVATION  AND  SUSTAINABLE USE” means? I sure doubt it!

Shame on the sell out Alliance that has allowed the city’s interest in tourist invasion to pollute what should have been a campaign to protect and promote CONSERVATION on the Molalla River. As it is, that co-opting falls to the lowest common denominator (and the lowest is always the Molalla way, greed over principles) that will turn the upper Molalla into an overworked tourist trap so Molalla merchants can hawk cheap food and beer to hapless tourists.

Overpriced “Molalla River Corridor”tee shirts and caps anyone? How about a greasy “River burger”? TEAM probably has the kiosk ready to go! What desolation row downtown storefront will get the nod? Maybe Atkins can fork over some urban renewal funds to start the silk screening and buy a vat of fry oil for the “Glen Avon” fries.

When I grabbed my Pioneer this week, a great letter from Mike Hall immediately caught my eye (quote):

“I thought Russell Bassett’s Molalla River recreation area was quite informative.

I just wonder when we will be hearing about new plans for the lower stretches: land grabs, effluent discharges, accidental discharges and the like. It is true; a lot can happen in five years.” (end quote).

Bravo for that great irony, Mr. Hall!  Except, apparently, Mr. Hall missed the years of plannin’ hearins’ that outline the new “plans” that would have serious negative impacts on the lower stretches: the ridiculous and unsustainable “need” to grow onto 2,400 acres in the future. That “need” would mean a “need” to dump more sewage effluent into the river and a “need” to suck more drinking and yard irrigation water out of the already over taxed river.

Molalla provided no water conservation policy in the Ground Hog Day”plans”. Conservation attached to anything is an anathema to Molalla.  Molalla has no street tree policy, no understanding that promoting natives for landscaping would conserve water.  Molalla thinks it is cute to hang water hog flower baskets for “beauty” but the reality is that hanging baskets are the most water wasteful “beauty” on earth. There is no “beauty” in waste.

The City of Molalla has shown zero understanding that water is a finite resource – yet via Goal 5, the Natural Resource Goal, the State and County will confront Molalla’s oversight. The sad little Molalla River is only seen by the city as something to exploit – for watering worthless lawns, as a waste dump for city sewage, and as “something” that can be sold to trolled in tourists who might buy some beer and pretzels as they pound the already overtaxed rural roads and hog recreational opportunities that local people used to use for free.

And now the Alliance is catering to that ugly Atkins vision of exploiting the Hell out of what should have been allowed to flow along in quiet beauty as a local treasure. Enjoy fighting your way up the tiny road with the RV’s following signs from 205 and I5. I hope you can afford the fees as you struggle to find a place in the crowds on the Molalla River in the years to come.

At least a few people won’t be competing for “fun” on the upper Molalla – the good old boys/TEAM and Atkins will be holed up in their ugly decaying “downtown” cackling about how many $$$$$$$$$$ they can rake in off the tourists heading out to the already overworked river.  But, hey, what’s new about that – with the good old boys/TEAM/city “leaders” it is always all about exploiting resources and people for $$$$$$$$$$$ and never about sustainability or doing the right thing just because it is the right thing to do.

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