Correspondence

A win in Oregon to keep roads open.

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What happens when people get active, attend meetings and make their voices heard –

You are on the mailing list for the Priest Hole Site Plan. We mailed the following letter yesterday. To save postage, we sent the letter via postal service only if no email was available. Since we had an email for you, we did not send you a hard copy of the letter. Please see the Decision Record on our web page (address in letter below) for additional information and instructions on how to appeal if you are adversely affected by this decision.

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DOI-BLM-OR-P040-2011-0022-EA
April 25, 2013

Dear Interested Public:

I have signed a Decision Record for the Priest Hole Site Plan project. The project is on public land in the Priest Hole area 12 air miles northwest of Mitchell, Oregon. After careful analysis of effects and consideration of public input, I decided to implement a significantly scaled-down version of the original proposed action.

As a result, the project will not develop any designated campsites, will not close any roads, and will not add a trash dumpster to the area. The BLM will install a temporary restroom (port-a-potty) while gaining public input on the best location for a permanent vault toilet. Once a site is identified for the permanent toilet, a gravel parking area will be developed to allow pull-through trailer access. The decision also includes modifications for the food and cover crop plots and irrigation for the fields. Additional information about the approved project is in the Decision Record.

Before approving this project, the BLM considered the potential direct, indirect and cumulative effects of the proposed action as described in the Environmental Assessment (DOI-BLM-OR-P040-2011-0022-EA); reviewed and responded to comments on the EA from the public; and prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

The Decision Record, FONSI, EA and BLM responses to comments on the EA are available for review at the Prineville District Office, or on our web page at http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/prineville/plans/index.php

Thank you for your interest in this project. If you have any questions, please contact Teal Purrington (Project Lead and Environmental Coordinator) or Bill Dean (Assistant Field Manager) of my staff at 541/416-6700.

Sincerely,

H.F. “Chip” Faver
Field Manager,
Central Oregon Resource Area

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ODFW Hearings

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Please consider taking the time to attend and speak.

Want an opportunity to voice your concerns on the ODFW’s management of your wildlife and subsequent management of your access to the mountains of Eastern Oregon? You might want to attend any and all of these meetings to voices your feelings on hunting/fishing reg’s, the use of the elk management plan to close roads and how the ODFW’s position on allowing the build up of wolves in Eastern Oregon and the forthcoming destruction of our big game populations – http://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2013/april/042613.asp

It has been noted that these meetings are for the Biologist to set harvest numbers. However there’s no better time to politely engage with the very people that are sitting in collaborative meetings and private FS/State meetings discussing your access to the mountains. As they are the very same biologist that are quoting their “best available science” to lock us out of the mountains.

Articles

Travel Management Enforcement

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The Arizona Daily Sun, http://azdailysun.com, posted an article this morning that discussed enforcement of Travel Management.  Arizona was hard hit by the administrative rule and the public is still fighting to get it reversed.  An Arizona state law went into effect in 2009 that mandated state fish and wildlife wardens to enforce travel management rules.  There is now another bill that will retract the previous law.

Should State, County or Local government be responsible for enforcing federal rules?  What laws would be broken by not abiding by forest service rules?  Trespassing or going out of the designated areas?  Theft for cutting timber that is not in the designated firewood cutting area?

Is is possible for travel management to be enforced consistently?  Who and When are there exemptions?  I have heard and read several times that closed roads will be opened and used when F.S. management deems it necessary and then will be re-closed.

 

Other News

George Wuerthner

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As posted earlier today, The Wallowa Whitman Collaborative is going to have a guest speaker at their meeting on April 24, Mr. George Wuerthner.

Many people outside of environmental circles have not heard about Mr. George Wuerthner. Below is an excerpt from http://www.livingwithwolves.org/wwd_a_g.wuerthner.html.

Mr. Wuerthner is an ecologist, writer and photographer who also teaches field ecology classes, photo workshops and guides natural history tours through his company, Raventrails.

George has researched and written a number of books on mountain ranges, wilderness areas and parks, exploring hundreds of ranges from New Mexico to Alaska. He has visited more than 380 wilderness areas and hundreds of national parks. In particular, he is very knowledgeable about Alaska and has visited all the national parks, preserves and major wildlife refuges in that state.

George has written 35 books on the national parks, conservation issues, wilderness areas, mountain ranges and wildlife issues, including titles for the National Park’s Visitors Companion Series on the Rocky Mountains, Oregon’s Wilderness Areas, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rainier, the Grand Canyon and the Great Smoky Mountains. He is also the author of Thrillcraft: the Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, and has released numerous books of his wilderness photography.

Mr. Wuerthner attended graduate school at three universities while working as a wilderness guide and instructor for the University of Montana Outdoor Program, as a river ranger/biologist on the Fortymile River in Alaska, as a backcountry ranger in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, a surveyor for the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska, a botanist/biologist for the B.L.M. in Idaho, and as a junior high school teacher in California. He also regularly guided wilderness trips in the Rocky Mountains and in Alaska.

George received his undergraduate degree in botany and wildlife biology from the University of Montana, and obtained a graduate degree in Science Communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz before taking additional graduate courses in geography at the University of Oregon.

I have read several of his articles that are posted on the internet.  I doubt that I will spend any of my money on his books.  I have supplied links below to some so that you can peruse some of his writings.

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/author/george-wuerthner/

http://wuerthner.blogspot.com/ There is an article here that discusses the bark beetle disease.  Please keep in mind that Chief Tidwell has stated in front of the House Committee on Natural Resources that the bark beetle disease increases fire fuels and lends to the rapid spread of wildfire.

http://yeoldeconsciousnessshoppe.com/art74.html

Mr. Wuerthner has several articles on The Oregonian’s website, Oregonlive.com  Herre are just a couple.

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/03/amend_the_clean_water_act_for.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/02/forest_service_bid_to_boost_lo.html

Other News

Wallowa Whitman Collaborative Meeting Agenda for April 24th

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Email from Jenny Reinheardt – Wallowa Resources

Quick reminder.

The regularly schedule Wallowa Whitman Forest Collaborative Meeting will take place on Wednesday April 24 at the LaGrande Ranger District Conference Room.

We are meeting at a new time – starting at 1:00 PM and concluding by no later than 5:00 PM

Primary items on the agenda include:

1. Lower Joseph Creek – Summary of Lower Joseph Creek Recommendations and Project Status. Will seek consensus on project recommendations to advance to next phase of site specific planning.

2. East Face Project Updates.

3. Guest Speaker. George Wuerthner. Ecologist. Perspectives on forest thinning in cool dry and cold moist forests.
(Note: A wide range of speakers will be invited to speak before the Collaborative in successive meeting and field trips. George has been scheduled this week to take advantage of his previously scheduled visit to LaGrande.)

4. Collaborative Business Issues.

Travel Management

Mushroom season upon us (and Travel Management Affects)

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Please find attached the 2013 mushroom picking guide for the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon. While these guidelines have been in place for several years now, you will note at the bottom of document a section specifically noted for Travel management and your requirements to meet the policy. This document is supplied to you simply as a reminder of what we are being corralled into as citizens of our communities, and what federal employees are doing to help “protect the resources” from the general public.If you have concerns with the USFS policies on the matter, contact information for each office is found on the guide.

Mushroom Permit 2013

Legislation

Oregon Senate Legislation against mining

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There are 2 bills in the Legislation that is being sold as stream restoration, protecting fish habitat, etc.  SB 401 and SB 388 are both designed to stop mining near and in streams.

SB401 establishes at 1/4 MILE easement along specifically named “water ways”.  Portions of The Wallowa, Grande Ronde,  Crooked Creek, North/Mid/South fork of The John Day, Eagle Creek, Burnt River and many other streams.  All land with in this easement will fall under government control and land owners will have to get permission to use that land.

SB388 will enact a moratorium on using ANY motorized equipment in the mining of minerals from streams and/or stream beds until Jan 2, 2018.  In essence, the only mining permitted would be panning.

Write your legislators.  The State Legislature website has a form that will email your local Representative(s) and Senator.  Click here to Write a Letter.

 

Other News

One Year Later

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April 6th, 2013 marked the one year anniversary of the people of Eastern Oregon standing up for themselves and letting their voices be heard on the matter of additional road closures for our region. We have been called trouble makers, rebel rousers, and been addressed as the uneducated and ill-informed, but what we accomplished was unprecedented, we stood our ground and saw a Record of Decision pulled from the Forest Service.

This was accomplished because of the help of men like Kerry White from Montana, and members like Tork Ballard, Mike Ragsdale, Carrie Matthews, and a host of others coming together to assist the greater populace of Eastern Oregon to have a voice in the matter, and to each and every man and woman who helped bring that together we should all be eternally thankful to.

Today we start another year of the battle to keep our access to our mountains, with the same issues ahead of us and new Wallowa Whitman National Forest leadership to work with. While the new supervisor is quoted as stating a plan will be in place by 2015 and not everyone will be happy with the decision, we are certain our voices will continue to be heard with our increased organization, membership and partnerships, both locally, regionally, and nationally.

As always, we appreciate each and every individuals assistance and participation in travel management and look forward to a very active year with you all.