Larry and Sylvia Mangan - Coos County
The Mangans own several acres on the Haynes Inlet, a slough off the main Coos Bay Estuary. A good portion of their property is marsh and mudflats that were restored as part of a wetlands mitigation project. Although the current proposed pipeline route does not cross their land, they are on one of the so-called "alternate routes."
An unwelcome introduction
We get this call from the company: we’ve been engineering this and we have the pipeline going way up on the ridge and it’s just going to nick your property on the bay; would that be okay? We said no, you can’t cross our property. That’s about the last we’ve heard from them, but it was the start of when they really starting hearing from us.
We met with Mr. Robert Reinbold and he told us we’re not going to cross your property anymore. We said, we’re still against this. He seemed astounded and asked why. We said, we don’t want it on our property but we also don’t think it’s good for our community. For us, it was a pipe bomb in our yard.
I explained our situation: Our house is on a Pleistocene sand dune; it’s pretty stable. But when that pipe goes from the sand dune down into the wetlands, if there’s an earthquake those wetlands are going to subside three, six, nine feet. And there’s no way to engineer that so a pipe wouldn’t break, and there’s going to be sources of ignition all around and the power poles are going to be down.
That’s when he said, well, if the earthquake comes, everyone’s going to be dead anyway. What’s the big deal?
They treat this community as expendable souls, expendable people. That’s why we’ve been so active in supporting other landowners. As people have helped us, we’ve tried to pass it on and help others.
The route could always change
We're not in the center of the target now—maybe we’re on the next ring out. But you really don’t know what the proposed route is going to be until FERC makes its decision. It’s not the company who decides; it’s FERC, based on analyzing under NEPA the alternatives for a number of environmental, political economic social issues—they make the final decision.
Every alternate route is fair game in a decision like this. We could end up on the proposed route again. But whether we’re on it or off it, we don’t think it’s right for our community. Even if we lived ten miles off the proposed route, we’d still be against it and we’d still be fighting against it.
In 2007, the FAA asked the local airport to move its taxiway. In the process they had to fill some wetlands. They came to us and said, can we pay you to make some wetlands and wildlife habitat on your property? After the easy “yes,” we worked with them for two or three years. When they moved our dike it opened up a 14-acre area, basically restoring it the way it was before it was diked in the 1930s. We have mudflats, salt marsh, and winter survival habitat for Coho. We’re really proud of it. Not only do we have wildlife habitat, we look at it as a real community service.
We said no, you can’t cross our property. That’s about the last we’ve heard from them, but it was the start of when they really started hearing from us!
Larry and Sylvia have become outspoken activists against the proposed pipeline and Jordan Cove LNG terminal. They have attended meetings and rallies, written letters to the editor, and forged alliances with other landowners, tribal members, and environmental groups.