Clarence Adams - Douglas County
Clarence Adams is a retired Forest Service employee who lives in Tenmile, Oregon with his wife, Stephany. Clarence began fighting Jordan Cove when the project was first proposed as an import terminal. The pipeline would run within 165 feet of his house; the company also wants to locate a temporary work area (TEWA) just below his horse barn.
Invested in the land
I accepted a job with the Forest Service over here in ’90. I was a check scaler, check cruiser, for the Umpqua National Forest. I know a bit about the timber industry.
This was the best buy for what we had. It didn’t have outbuildings, but it had more acreage and a decent house. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s ours. We’ve grown attached to it.
We’ve watched these oaks grow up since they were pups. I was looking forward to seeing them grow to be nice, healthy big old trees, especially since a lot of the older oaks are disappearing. I’m not sure that’s going to happen now.
I’ve spent a lot of time watching the property grow up and they’re going to come through and basically cut off nearly half of it during construction. And I don’t know what they’re going to do afterward. I just don’t see how they’re going to put it back right.
Nothing has changed since the 2016 denial. The project still has no real customers, the LNG market is glutted, and about 90 adversely affected landowners still refuse to sell easements.
Organizing and learning
In 2011 or 2012, several of us had a meeting. We thought that we should start raising money to help fight this thing. In order to do that, we needed some kind of organization. That's how Landowners United got started.
There’s a lot of reading. A lot of talking back and forth with landowners and the people—the “head malcontents” who are fighting this thing. Between the bunch of us, there's a large volume of information contained in our heads.
For me, it's personal. It's an affront to private property rights. It seems like we're losing individual freedoms at a fairly steady rate. This is just one more sign. Nobody should be able to tell me what I can do in my property, within reason.
Some of the more active environmentalists, we don't quite see eye to eye on a few things, but we all have common ground on the pipeline and Jordan Cove. We all want to see it stopped, for whatever reason.
Dangers and devaluation
They’ve got a Temporary Work Area located right underneath the horse shed. I’ve figured out that it’s 165 feet horizontal distance from my house, which scares the hell out of me, quite frankly. There’s the traffic during construction, and to have a pipeline that close…
The other issue is property devaluation. I’ve done some calculations. If you assume the average property value is $200,000, and you lose 20 percent of that value because of the pipeline, that’s $4 million a year for every 100 landowners in lost property value. When you consider that half of property taxes go to the schools, it could have a huge effect. It more than makes up for what they’re going to give the county in property taxes.
The only people who are for it expect to make money off it. Everyone else is against it. It’s kind of like fighting off a foreign invasion. Only instead of using guns and bullets they’re using money and lawyers. It’s a war that’s going to be hard to win.
I am currently 67, and I figured out that I have been fighting the pipeline for 19% of my life. That’s too close to one-fifth for my liking.
Clarence has been one of the most active landowners fighting the Jordan Cove project. He frequently tables at local events so he can educate people about Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector.