Ross Island Deal Accepted

This morning, the Portland City Council voted to accept the donation of Ross Island to the city from owner Robert Pamplin Jr. Pamplin agreed to give 45 environmentally clean acres of the island complex to the city.

From the Oregonian:

It was a love fest decades in the making today as the city formally accepted the donation of 45 acres on Ross Island from Robert Pamplin Jr.

"This is an occasion, I believe, of noble fulfillment," Pamplin said. "I really believe to the end of time we can be proud of a definitive and judicious agreement."

The city reached the deal with the millionaire pastor, publisher and philanthropist in September after years of confusion and stalled talks.

Ross Island Sand & Gravel has owned the island since 1926. The company mined the island from 1926 through 2001, resulting in major environmental damage, including the removal of many trees and the creation of a large lagoon.

The donation is actually four pieces of land in the Willamette River a mile south of downtown Portland. The city accepted the pristine section of the island complex. Planners and environmentalists will soon begin crafting a long-term plan for both preserving the land and ensuring limited public access.

Read the rest. Now that the city has Ross Island, what should Portland do with it?


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    What are the particulars of the deal? Was any immunity given over environmental clean-up costs?

  • Lewis (unverified)

    What an unbelievable piece of property. Beauty, water, trees, eagles, other wildlife.....all on a not-so-clean river. We've got a perfect opportunity to make this a real showplace...something to be proud of.

  • BOHICA (unverified)

    He also gave the City a check for $100,000 to start the rehabilitation of the habitat. I was down there for something different and sat through the proceedings.

    Here is a link to the agenda items for today. Council agenda 1293 and 1294 are the Ross Island resolutions.

    I was there for 1316

    Grant a revocable permit to Peace Memorial Park Foundation to landscape and maintain portions of public right-of-way located at NE Oregon St and Lloyd Blvd to establish a Peace Memorial (Second Reading Agenda 1280)

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    Now that the city has Ross Island, what should Portland do with it?

    We could name it Cesar Chavez Park...

  • PSJackson (unverified)

    Will Ross Island now be included in a State House and Senate District? Will it now be included in a Neighborhood Association? If so Who's?

  • ws (unverified)

    Or, how about Chavez Potter Park? But seriously... . I wonder how everybody is feeling about Mr. Pamplin now. Don't want to upset him even though he backpedaled on his original more generous offer. He definitely seems to be a somewhat unusual person, but I suppose a lot of us are. Thinking of this, that old movie, "The Island of Dr. Moreau somehow comes to mind.

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    As I read this, the city only has, i.e. only has agreed to take, part of the island, the "pristine" part, which I believe Channel 8 reported was about 1/4 of the whole. Presumably this means that Pamplin & RIS&G retain responsibility for the part that requires remediation -- or at least more responsibility than he/they were trying to shed originally, at which the city council balked. (I'm not sure the original really was a "more generous offer" in that sense.)

    Is Pamplin really a pastor? He's strongly associated in my mind with University of Portland, of which I believe he's an alum, & perhaps also a trustee? I had thought that he's Catholic, though of course one need not be Catholic to attend or even to teach there, so maybe that was just a projective assumption on my part.

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    Is Pamplin really a pastor?

    Yes. His bio describes him as a "minister", and as "Founder and Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church". That doesn't seem to imply that he's a Catholic.

    Certainly, he's well-known for his support of UP - but also at L&C.

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    Thanks Kari. Another lesson in not jumping to conclusions.

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    I rowed out to the north end of Ross Island last Saturday from the boat dock near the OMSI. There were at least 2 juvenile bald eagles & many other raptors on the island and many, many herons (which nest there). The thickets were full of songbirds. There were fresh tracks from deer, raccoon, and opossum in the sand on the beach.

    <h2>But there was also more industrial garbage (mostly scrap metal) just on the surface than could be hauled away by several barges. The trash doesn't seem to bother the animals, but could be trouble if the island starts getting high traffic--it's not really prime "park" land in the usual sense. Other than maybe stabilizing the beach with rip rap, I'd recommend the city just leave it alone.</h2>
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