Note: Neither the editor of this newsletter, nor SOS/Sisters Rural Advisory, LLC, claims responsibility for certifying the accuracy of any statements made independently by individual participants.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
SOS and the Sisters Rural Advisory
The SOS group came together in August of 2016 after a skydiving operation was introduced at Sisters Eagle Airport. While normal traffic at the airport had never been regarded as an issue, the introduction of a commercial skydiving operation proved to have serious negative impacts on many area residents and visitors. Extreme takeoff noise and the constant drone from planes circling to gain altitude were seriously affecting the ability of many residents and visitors to enjoy some of the unique environmental qualities of our area.
The primary focus of SOS was to address the noise impact of skydiving as well as discourage future commercial aeronautical recreational activities at the Sisters Eagle Airport. If cessation of such activities is not achieved, we hope to work with airport officials to at least reduce the number of commercial recreational flights, their hours and days of operation as well as modification of flight paths.
In September 2016, it was determined that we needed to develop a more formally organized legal entity to serve as an umbrella organization for the SOS effort. This group, the Sisters Rural Advisory, has as its purpose to obtain and distribute accurate information about decisions that may impact those of us residing outside the city limits of Sisters, and to inform area residents of the ways they might voice their concerns in a constructive manner. A 10-member steering committee was formed and provisional officers elected.
The SOS effort was adopted as an initiative by a vote of the Sisters Rural Advisory steering committee. The main focus of SOS has been airport noise, especially that generated by commercial recreational activities such as skydiving.
As a result of various factors, the skydiving operation relocated to Madras for the 2017 season. Their inability to procure legal landing zones was a major contributing factor.
In the meantime we have made progress toward entering into positive discussions with airport officials. This is a result of a formal mediation process that occurred during the summer of 2017. A noise mitigation committee has been formed, consisting of two officials from the airport, a pilot representative, and three representatives of the Sisters Rural Advisory. We believe that we now have a good working relationship with airport officials.
As our organization grows and evolves, we anticipate additional opportunities for helping to preserving the environmental qualities that make our area a special place for residents and visitors alike.
SOS remains an initiative under the umbrella of our legal entity, The Sisters Rural Advisory. However, we now refer to SOS as “Skies Over Sisters” to denote that part of our efforts devoted to protecting the overhead environment, especially in regard to noise.