Friends of Cougar

Information directly from Hoodoo

Cougar Hot Springs: Hoodoo Help


Email from Chuck Shepard, owner of Hoodoo 4/12/05 2:42pm

From Chuck Shepard, President of Hoodoo Recreation (April 12, 2005)
I was told about your website and thought that I should check and see if I could get a grip on the problem that seems to be rising. I was extremely astounded to learn that I had offered anyone a job. At this point in time I have not even signed the contract saying that Hoodoo would agree to manage Terwilliger. How could I have offered anyone a job, especially someone I don't know. I did talk with someone in the parking lot about a month ago, and from the description it must have been Lionel. I asked him a bit about what he was doing and explained that I was there to look at the springs since I had not been there in some time. (Yes, I used to visit here many years before most of you arrived) I also told him that the USFS was asking Hoodoo to help them manage the hot springs. I may have talked about a camphost job at Slide Creek, which is possibly where he got the $300 from. But I don't remember ever saying that to him. I did not offer him a job, but at the time we were looking for camp hosts and he may have asked me about that.
       We already have the main person who we expect to have watch over the springs. His name is Chip Anderson and is well known to many of you as a long time Blue River and McKenzie Bridge local. Chip has worked for Hoodoo in the area for about 12 years and gets paid a lot more than minimum wage, plus he gets health insurance, paid vacations, and retirement benefits. It is true that part of your $5 fee will go toward paying his salary. However, I hope that you will support us in giving him and our other employees living wages where possible. Hoodoo has suffered through bad snow and some fires, but we have always continued to offer our employees a fair wage with fair benefits even if it has meant that the money had to come from outside of Hoodoo. I hope that you will support that prospect. In addition we have hired camp hosts in the area that will help work the needed hours assuming we take this on. These hosts are retired folks who will work for less, normally for just slightly over the minimum wage level. It might interest you to know that I work for MUCH LESS than minimum wage. While it is true that I have income from another successful company, I have mostly just volunteered my time to Hoodoo for the past six years.
       I am concerned that you reprinted what is obviously incorrect information. Certainly you must realize that I wouldn't just go and ask someone to collect a $5 fee for me when we have not even taken over the management of the hot springs. Do you really think that I would go up to someone who I don't know, who is hanging out in the parking lot and ask him to start collecting money for me? I hope that you will replace his information with mine. I have no problem at all with concerned Friends of Cougar emailing me at with concerns or wishes that they might have, but at least wait to see how things go.
       Meanwhile in figuring the cost of managing the hot springs, also include the premium on a 3M liability insurance policy plus business insurance, a business license and all the trappings of running a business, a vehicle and fuel and insurance, uniforms, a kiosk, a webpage, a phone system, an office, and yes the cost of collections which includes not only the attendant's salary, health insurance, workmen's comp and a lot more, but the same for those who work behind the scene. The FS would not be asking us to help if there were making money here.


Email from Chuck Shepard, owner of Hoodoo 4/12/05 3:03pm

I thought I would add one last thought about how the fees were determined. It was not Hoodoo that selected these fees although we were given some input. The FS determined its costs in caring for the pools and their revenue was about 1/2 of this amount. We felt that we could do a better job at collecting the fees (which makes it more fair for everyone) and thus could charge less than the awkward amount of $6. We agreed to try $5. You mentioned in your information that the FS would not get much of the amount that we collect. Right now they are getting nothing since the management costs them much more than what they collect. With Hoodoo's management they are guaranteed a profit which stays with the local area even if Hoodoo loses money. I am wondering if there is anyone in your organization that knows me and knows me to be anything other than honest, available and upfront? Isn't this the kind of person you would like to have involved with Terwilliger? Maybe I am building myself up too much, but it sure doesn't seem fair to have so much negative stuff about Hoodoo without anyone really bothering to talk to me.


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