Alabama To Help Fight NW Fires

Source: Associated Press

Alabama Forestry Commission officials say firefighters from throughout the state are helping respond to wildfires in Oregon and Washington state.

Officials said in a release Tuesday that five firefighters have been sent to tackle wildfires in Oregon and two have been sent to battle a blaze in Washington State.

Alabama State Forester Greg Pate says Alabama Forestry Commission firefighters accepted a 16-day assignment through an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and have previously helped fight western wildfires in recent years.

Forestry officials say Alabama has seen measurable rainfall this summer while many western states are faced with drought conditions. Officials say the dry conditions allow wildfires to quickly become difficult to control.

Forgotten Souls: Oregon mental hospital to dedicate memorial

Remains of mentally ill reunited with surviving family as part of project

 

Remains of mentally ill reunited with surviving family as part of project

Remains of mentally ill reunited with surviving family as part of project

 

By JONATHAN J. COOPER, Associated Press

 

SALEM, Ore. — They were dubbed the “forgotten souls,” the cremated remains of thousands who came through the doors of Oregon’s state mental hospital, died there, and whose ashes were abandoned inside 3,500 copper urns.

Discovered a decade ago at the decrepit Oregon State Hospital, where “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed, the remains became a symbol of the state’s — and the nation’s — dark history of treating the mentally ill.

A research effort to unearth the stories of those who moved through the hospital’s halls, and to reunite the remains with surviving relatives, takes center stage today as officials dedicate a memorial to those once-forgotten patients.

“No one wants to be laid to rest without some kind of acknowledgement that they were here, that they contributed, that they lived,” said state Senate President Peter Courtney, who led the effort to replace the hospital and build the memorial.

Between 1913 and 1971, more than 5,300 people were cremated at the hospital. Most were patients at the mental institution, but some died at hospitals, the state tuberculosis hospital, a state penitentiary or the Fairview Training Center, where people with developmental disabilities were institutionalized.

Hospital officials have worked for years to reunite the remains of their former patients with surviving relatives. Since the urns were found by lawmakers on a tour of the hospital in 2005, 183 have been claimed.

The 3,409 that remain and have been identified are listed in a searchable online database. Thirty-eight urns will likely never be identified; they’re unmarked, have duplicate numbers or aren’t listed in ledgers of people cremated at the hospital.

They came from different backgrounds, for different reasons. Some stayed just days before they died, others for nearly their entire lives. Twenty-two were Native Americans. Their remains won’t be part of the memorial; they’ll be returned to their tribes for a proper ceremony. Members of the local Sikh community are working to claim the remains of two people.

Many of the 110 veterans still there will eventually receive proper military burials, though some are ineligible due to dishonorable discharges or insufficient information available.

Some patients spent a lifetime at the hospital for conditions like depression and bipolar disorder that, in modern times, are treated on an outpatient basis.

“At the time, they just put them in a safe place and treated them with what they knew to treat them,” said Sharon Tucker, who led the two-year research project.

Records are sparse, even for people who lived for decades inside the walls. Some had severe delusions; others had physical deformities. Some seemed to be institutionalized because their families just didn’t know what to do with them.

But what does survive is a window not only into who they were, but the time in which they lived.

The remains of thousands have been transferred from the copper canisters to ceramic urns that will better protect them. The old canisters will be preserved to give visitors to the memorial a sense for how they once were housed.

“I think it will be very difficult to forget them now,” said Jodie Jones, the state administrator leading the hospital replacement project.

Redwood Burl Poaching Spreads To Oregon

 

By Chris Lehman, NW News Network

 

Redwood burl poaching has long been an issue in the Redwood National Park in California. But now a conservation group says it’s spotted evidence of this type of tree damage in a national forest in Oregon.

Burls are the knobby growths sometimes found at the base of towering redwood trees.

They’re highly valued for their intricate designs. Cross-sections are used to make furniture or artwork.

There’s been an uptick in the theft of redwood burls from public lands in northern California’s redwood region.

Now Oregon Wild says it’s spotted a burl theft in one of Oregon’s redwood groves in the far southwest part of the state.

The group’s Steve Pedery said that a redwood usually survives having its burl removed.

“When you hack these chunks out of the tree, you’re leaving the tree open to disease, to insects,” Pedery said. “You’re weakening it structurally in case there’s a storm or a wind event in the future. And if there’s a drought, you’re making it very unlikely that that tree will survive.”

Forest Service spokesman Tom Knappenberger said the agency is taking the report seriously. He said theft of redwood burls is potentially a felony violation.

This was first reported for the Northwest News Network.

Yankees Center Fielder Jacoby Ellsbury Donates copy Million to OSU

 

Indian Country Today

 

 

Jacoby Ellsbury’s name will go down in history. Not as the greatest Native baseball player to ever play the game, (and perhaps it will) but in a more personal way.

The Yankee’s center fielder donated copy million to his alma mater. According to an Oregon State press release, Ellsbury, who is Navajo and Colorado River Indian tribes, made the donation to expand the baseball team’s locker room facilities.

“OSU Baseball has given me so much,” Ellsbury told OregonLive.com. “I am thrilled I am able to help my alma mater carry on its proud tradition; and perhaps, this expansion will convince a few more Pacific Northwest recruits to wear OSU orange and black.”

OSU also plans to name its locker room facilities after the former Beaver.

RELATED Jacoby Ellsbury, Greatest Native Player in Baseball, Signs With Yankees

Goss Stadium is in need of a few updates, including its overall infrastructure. The project is expected to cost $2.8 million and the enhancements are for the locker room, equipment room, a team meeting space and a new recruiting area. Ellsbury’s contribution accounts for 1/3 of the cost, SBNation.com says.

“We are tremendously thankful,” coach Pat Casey said in the release. “Great facilities are at the core of great programs, and with Jacoby’s generous gift we will be able to continue to offer our student-athletes a world-class experience.”

“Oregon State is where I got my start,” Ellsbury said. “It’s where I learned — from Coach Casey, teammates, and assistant coaches — how to be a successful athlete, a successful person. For that, I am forever grateful.”

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06/08/yankees-center-fielder-jacoby-ellsbury-donates-1-million-osu-155206

Submerged Wave Energy Generator On Track For Deployment Near Astoria

By Tom Banse

May 30, 2014 nwnewsnetwork.com

An engineering company based in Salem, Oregon, says it is close to deploying the first submerged wave power generator on the West Coast. M3 Wave Energy Systems plans a temporary deployment late this summer in shallow water off the northern Oregon Coast.

The concept here relies on wave pressure passing over acrylic pillows on the sea floor. That pressure compresses air in the pillows, which is then used to spin an electric turbine.

Mike Morrow, M3 Wave’s CEO, said the initial open water deployment will be a self-contained, 7′ x 30′ rectangle on the seafloor off of Camp Rilea near Astoria.

“It is smaller scale so it is not going to generate a huge amount of power,” he said. “It would be enough to power a small sensor array or marker beacon.”

The demonstration is planned to last two to six weeks starting this August or September. Longer term, Morrow foresees manufacturing larger devices in Oregon. The devices would probably be exported to power off-the-grid outposts or coastal communities with high electricity costs such as Pacific islands or in Alaska.

Morrow said government grants and private investors are financing the commercialization of this technology.

The steady, powerful pounding of the ocean surf along with supportive state governments attracted a plethora of energy developers to the Pacific Northwest over the past decade. But one-by-one, project developers have thrown in the towel as their funding ran low or West Coast utilities proved unwilling to commit to this type of renewable electricity at above-market rates.

M3 Wave has managed to survive the shakeout in the ocean renewable energy sector.

“One of the key things about M3 and our technology is that it does fit on the [sea] bottom. We took a very different philosophy,” Morrow explained. “There’s less energy on the bottom available — that’s just simple laws of physics — but we think it will be easier and more cost effective to harness that energy.”

Earlier this spring, New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies canceled its plans to deploy an array of ten wave energy buoys, which would have floated on the ocean surface near Reedsport, Oregon. A Scottish wave energy developer, Aquamarine Power, closed its Oregon office in 2011 citing uncertainty about seabed leases.

One of the other survivors in the ocean energy space regionally is Seattle-based Principle Power. It recently won a federal grant to test wind energy generation using turbines placed atop redesigned offshore drilling platforms. Principle Power is currently seeking permission to deploy such floating windmills offshore of Coos Bay, Oregon.

Elected Officials Ask Oregon Governor To Deny Coal Export Permit

A coal mine in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Elected officials from the Northwest and beyond want Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber to stop the Morrow Pacific project, which transfer Powder River Basin coal to Asia by way of the Columbia River. | credit: Katie Campbell | rollover image for more

A coal mine in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Elected officials from the Northwest and beyond want Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber to stop the Morrow Pacific project, which transfer Powder River Basin coal to Asia by way of the Columbia River. | credit: Katie Campbell

 

By Cassandra Profita, OPB

Dozens of elected officials from across the region are asking Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and a state agency director to deny a key permit for a coal export project on the Columbia River.

The request went out in the form of a letter from 86 officials including mayors, city councilors and state lawmakers from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

They want the governor and Oregon Department of State Lands Director Mary Abrams to stop the Morrow Pacific coal export project. The project would ship nearly 9 million tons of coal a year from Wyoming and Montana to Asia by trains, barges and ships.

Opponents say the state of Oregon can stop the project by denying a permit project developer Ambre Energy needs to build a dock for coal barges at the Port of Morrow in Boardman. Oregon Representative Jules Bailey of Portland is one of the officials who wants to see that happen. He says Gov. Kitzhaber has “a lot of tools at his disposal” that he could to deny the project.

“I think where there’s a will there’s a way,” he said. “Folks in state government from the governor on down ought to be looking for ways we can have a more responsible, sustainable path.”

Kitzhaber spokeswoman Rachel Wray says the permit in question is issued by the state lands department “a standards-based review process.”

She says isn’t aware of any plans for the governor to get involved in that permitting process.

Earlier this week, the company once again asked the state to extend the deadline for completing its permit application.

Last month, the Oregon Department of State Lands notified the company that it will also need to lease state land in the areas where the project would operate over state-owned land submerged in water. That will require additional state approval.

The Morrow Pacific project is the smallest of three proposed coal export facilities that mining and shipping interests want to build in the Pacific Northwest. The Gateway Pacific project proposed north of Bellingham Washington would ship 48 million tons a year and the Millenium Bulk terminal in Longview would ship up to 44 million tons of coal. All three projects would receive Wyoming or Montana coal hauled in by train. The terminals would transfer the coal to ocean-going vessels bound for Asian markets.

Judge Reduces Hatchery Releases On Sandy River

Oregon Department of Fish and WildlifeA federal judge has ruled an Oregon state fish hatchery must limit the number of hatchery-bred fish it releases. The goal is to protect wild salmon and steelhead stocks, which could interbreed with the hatchery fish.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
A federal judge has ruled an Oregon state fish hatchery must limit the number of hatchery-bred fish it releases. The goal is to protect wild salmon and steelhead stocks, which could interbreed with the hatchery fish.

 

By Cassandra Profita, OPB

A new court decision reduces the number of hatchery fish releases into Oregon’s Sandy River this year.

The Sandy River Hatchery will be allowed to release 200,000 coho salmon this year. That’s less than the 300,000 coho hatchery managers were planning to release.

Liz Hamilton, executive director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, said in a statement that the reduction won’t harm sport fishers.

“This is good news for our industry,” she said. “We are very happy the anglers and businesses that rely on fishing on the Sandy River will not be negatively impacted by this ruling. This is great news for hatcheries in Oregon and for anyone who fishes in the Northwest.”

A federal court ruling in January found the hatchery had violated the Endangered Species Act.

Judge Ancer Haggerty said hatchery managers needed to do more to ensure the hatchery fish released into the Sandy weren’t going to put protected wild fish at risk.

His latest decision issued Friday follows up on that ruling. It allows the hatchery to continue releasing fish -– but not as many as planned.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by the Native Fish Society. Michael Moody, executive director of the Society, said his group had asked the court for a larger reduction in hatchery releases – not just for coho but for chinook and steelhead, too.

“We’re disappointed,” he said. “We don’t think it was beneficial to wild fish as much as we’d hoped.”

Oregon Says Coal Export Project Will Need To Lease More Land

 

By Cassandra Profita, OPB

Developers of the Morrow Pacific coal export project on the Columbia River already have land leases with the Port of St. Helens and the Port of Morrow.

But according to the Oregon Department of State Lands, they’re going to need a couple more.

In Oregon, the state owns all the land submerged in water -– including riverbeds.

In a letter sent Friday, DSL operations manager Lori Warner-Dickason told project developers that a portion of their project will be taking place over state-owned submerged lands. That means they will need to lease additional state land before the project can operate.

Project opponent Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, said the new lease requirements offer the state a new way to stop the project.

“Oregon has tremendous discretion as the landlord to approve and deny leases,” he said. “Like any landlord, Oregon can say no to a coal company as a tenant, and we think they should.”

The Morrow Pacific project would export nearly 9 million tons of coal from Wyoming and Montana to Asia. It would transfer coal from railroad cars to barges and ships on the Columbia before sending it overseas.

The first transfer site is at the Port of Morrow, where coal would be loaded onto barges. The second stop is at the Port of St. Helens, where the coal would be transferred from barges to a larger ship at a dock near Clatskanie.

Warner-Dickason wrote that both transfers sites will be taking place in areas that require state land leases. At the Port of St. Helens, the company will need a lease for marine industrial use in a “yet to be determined area.”

“The department requests a meeting with you to discuss the details of the operation at both locations so that we can clearly understand what is being proposed,” Warner-Dickason wrote.

Liz Fuller, spokeswoman for Morrow Pacific, said the company is reviewing the letter and “will be consulting with the Port of Morrow and Port of St. Helens.”

The Morrow Pacific project is the smallest of three proposed coal export facilities that mining and shipping interests want to build in the Pacific Northwest. The Gateway Pacific project proposed north of Bellingham Washington would ship 48 million tons a year and the Millenium Bulk terminal in Longview would ship up to 44 million tons of coal. All three projects would receive Wyoming or Montana coal hauled in by train. The terminals would transfer the coal to ocean-going vessels bound for Asian markets.

Read the Department of State Lands letter to developers of the Morrow Pacific project:

2014.3.14 DSL Proprietary Letter to Ambre by Cassandra Profita

 

2014.3.14 DSL Proprietary Letter to Ambre

Klamath Tribes And Ranchers Seek Water Solutions In New Agreement

The Klamath Basin spans northern California and southern Oregon and has seen frequent water crises between the farming, ranching, tribal and environmental communities. | credit: Devan Schwartz

The Klamath Basin spans northern California and southern Oregon and has seen frequent water crises between the farming, ranching, tribal and environmental communities. | credit: Devan Schwartz

Devan Schwartz, March 5, 2014 OPB

An agreement announced Wednesday between ranchers and Native American tribes seeks to resolve contentious water rights issues in the Klamath Basin, a drought-ridden region spanning southern Oregon and northern California.

Amidst a deep drought last summer, the Klamath Tribes and the federal government called on their senior water rights –- meaning they received access to limited water supplies.

As a result, irrigation water was cut off to thousands of acres of Klamath Basin ranchland. This created millions of dollars in losses.

The new agreement seeks reduced water demand by ranchers, along with increased river restoration and economic development for the Klamath Tribes.

Tribal chairman Don Gentry said it wasn’t easy getting all the stakeholders in the Klamath Basin to reach common cause on such a contentious issue.

“It’s nothing short of remarkable that we’ve come to this point,” he said.

Last summer, Larry Nicholson saw irrigation water shut off to his family’s cattle ranch. He hopes that won’t happen again.

“Everybody can have water, where most people couldn’t before,” Nicholson said.

Proponents of the new agreement say it will bring stability to the region and represents an important step forward in a generations-long struggle.

But some conservation groups disagree.

Jim McCarthy of Oregon WaterWatch said the agreement doesn’t go far enough in limiting the amount of water that people will want to withdraw — water that others want to remain in streams to help fish and wildlife . “It’s just not enough water to solve those problems,” he said.

Drought conditions could be worse next summer and fall than they were in 2013. The Klamath Basin currently has a snowpack about 40 percent below what it was last year at this time, according to Natural Resources Conservation Services data.

The new agreement calls for an additional 30,000 acre-feet of water to help fill Upper Klamath Lake –- the source for both the Klamath River and the Klamath Project, one of the largest federal agricultural projects in the country.

This would be accomplished through a combination of reduced ranching through a land retirement program and increased management of streamside areas along Upper Klamath Lake tributaries.

As far as economic development, an additional $40 million would be appropriated for the Klamath Tribes.

Tribal Chairman Don Gentry said this agreement is historic and paves the way for a better economic situation for the Klamath Tribes, in addition to better protecting the natural resources of historic tribal lands.

The new agreement still faces votes by the ranching and tribal communities, and would be folded into federal legislation that is likely to reach opposition in a divided congress.

The legislation would combine the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, which stipulates the removal of four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River.

But Gov. Kitzhaber’s natural resources advisor Richard Whitman expressed confidence that the continued leadership of Sen. Ron Wyden could get the bill approved in Congress by the end of the year -– and help solve the water crises in the Klamath Basin.

NW Native Art Show Seeking Vendor Applications from Qualified Artists

NW art show

Join Top Native Artists from the Northwest and Beyond in Portland, Oregon –

The NW Native Art Show is now accepting vendor applications from qualified artists through the end of February. The NW Native Art Show will take place July 19th & 20th, 2014, in beautiful downtown Portland, Oregon, at Director Park. This event will feature top artists from the Northwest and beyond in addition to drum groups and traditional Native dancing.

Applications can be downloaded at www.NWNativeArtShow.com and there is a $25 application fee. Applications will be reviewed and approved as they are received. Booth fees are $225 for single artists or collaborative artists and include 5’x10’ tented space, one table and two chairs. Artists are invited to enjoy an Artist Hospitality Tent as well as an Artist Reception on Friday night preceding the event. Artists are also invited to submit their work in a juried competition with cash prizes for Best in Show ($1,000) and Best in Category ($500). Categories to be judged are: Basketry, Jewelry, Wood Carving and Sculptures.

ART SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

All art must be the artist’s original work. The Northwest Native Art Show does not allow imported, manufactured or mass produced items. Artists must comply with current state, national and international laws and regulations with regard to the use of endangered species materials in their works. Use of such materials should be disclosed, in writing, to the consumer.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Artists can learn more at www.NWativeArtShow.com, click on “Artists’ Corner.”  Interested artists may also call 503.752.2412 or email NWNAtiveArtShow@Moran-Consulting.com.

The NW Native Art Show is presented by Moran Consulting, a Native American-owned small business. A portion of the proceeds raised from the NW Native Art Show will benefit the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA).