The early ’90s were the worst waters years at Howard Prairie Resort that we have ever seen. 2015 is shaping up to be very similar.
graph updated 7.15.2015
On September 4, 2008 Dave Lewis, a good friend of Howard Prairie Resort, was murdered, his home not far from the resort set on fire with him in it. The case is still open and is getting some renewed attention.
Looks like 2014 is shaping up to be a tough water year for Howard Prairie Resort. The marina is pretty much sitting in the mud right now and it is hard to say how much more water will come into the reservoir given the lack of snow in the mountains surrounding it, but it is safe to say that it won’t be much, maybe another foot or two at most, maybe none.
Unless it is a really rainy spring, I doubt the docks will be usable, or at least most of them…that is, of course, unless the county decides to move the docks out into deeper water like was done in low water years prior to them taking over operations. You may want to contact the Jackson County Parks Office to see what their plans are: (541) 774-8183.
The launching ramp should be usable until at least into July for most power boats under 20 feet and sailboats with retractable centerboards.
The April edition of the the Rogue Yacht Clubs newsletter has a story with a couple of recent photos. Download it here. And while you’re at it, pop over to the Club’s website and consider joining- http://www.rogueyachtclub.org/.
For you boaters, you may want to check out Lake of the Woods. As a Southern Oregon lake rather than a reservoir used to collect water for irrigation, it is full.
The latest report from the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service shows snowpacks were at 36 percent for the Rogue Basin, and 33 percent for the Klamath Basin. Read the whole story here on KATU.com.
The lake levels are currently very low, drought conditions persist in Southern Oregon and the drought forecast issued by the National Weather Service for winter/spring 2014 is not looking good (see the forecast here). It is hard to imagine that the lake levels won’t be similar to those experienced during the drought years in the 1990’s.
It is unclear, should it be necessary, whether or not Jackson County will move the docks into deeper water and build emergency launching ramps. I make special note of this because I know all of you knew that during low water years the resort did everything it could to keep the docks and ramps working, but now that Jackson County Parks is operating Howard Prairie Resort it is not known what will happen since to do so is expensive and labor intensive. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
Several of you have asked me about the article Howard Prairie turns profit for county in the Medford Mail Tribune and if the numbers presented by the County are real. My answer, “I don’t know.” What I do know is that it seems pretty strange to me that distributed State RV license fees and State Marine Board funds are considered “revenue.”
Revenue is income received through normal business activities. The $195,000 received from the State of Oregon wouldn’t qualify as revenue. Those funds are allocated to the Counties based on number of camp sites and on having a boat ramp and as such are not part of normal business practices. Here is some more information on the distribution of recreation vehicle license fee revenues from the State of Oregon to counties.
From the numbers provided to the Mail Tribune by the County, it is more accurate to say that Howard Prairie Resort turned a profit for Jackson County of around $43,000, a far cry from the $164,000 the County calculated they would make when they took control of the resort last spring (see mid-way down this article), and less than they likely would have made had they continued to work with a private concessionaire (see again this article; granted, based on 2012 numbers).
Things are pretty rough around the edges at the resort, but they’ll get there I think, it’ll just take time…