- Valentine’s Day Silent Auction Fundraiser, Feb. 10
- There’s a Substantial Federal Presence in Eastern Oregon’s Economy
- Sherman Parent Teacher Organization Offers Thanks for Winter Clothing Contributions
- Federal Land Acquisition Gets Budget Boost
- Sherman County School District Builds Opportunities for Student Sucess
- Friends of Family Farmer’s Listening Session coming to the Gorge February 29, 2016
- Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society, Feb. 13
- New to the Community Foundation for SW Washington Staff, Trammell & Macnab
1. Valentine’s Day Silent Auction Fundraiser, Feb. 10
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Lunch & Auction
Senior & Community Center
300 Dewey Street, Moro, OR
Please join us to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day! We will have a Silent Auction and lunch with proceeds to the Senior & Community Center meal program. Auction items will include donated items and homemade delicacies. Please contact us to donate or for further information. 541-565-3191
2. There’s a Substantial Federal Presence in Eastern Oregon’s Economy 
https://www.qualityinfo.org/-/there-s-a-substantial-federal-presence-in-eastern-oregon-s-economy [State of Oregon Employment Department]
“In fact, there are only two places in Oregon – Sherman County (15.2%) and Lake County (12.1%) – where the federal government is a more important contributor to the local job market than in Harney and Grant counties. Sherman, Lake, Harney, and Grant are, by far, the Oregon counties most heavily affected by federal employment trends. No other county comes close. After those four, the next highest share in 2012 was in Crook County, at 5.9 percent. Baker County’s 4.3 percent put it in sixth place for federal job dependency among Oregon’s 36 counties in 2012.” [2013: State of Oregon Employment Department]
SUMMARY: Government Employment in Sherman County, Estimated
Total All Government Employment 293
Total Federal Government Employment 125
Natural resources & mining 2
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting 2
Trade, transport & utilities 4
Postal services 4
Professional & business services 115
Administration of economic programs 3
Total State Government Employees 43
Construction & engineering 27
Education & health services 5
Social assistance 5
Leisure & hospitality 9
[arts, entertainment, recreation, parks, historic sites, museums].
Total Local Government 125
Education & health services 43
Education services 30
Leisure & hospitality 4
Public administration 69
[executive, legislative, general government, justice, public order, safety]
Administration environmental programs 3.
3. Sherman Parent Teacher Organization Offers Thanks for Winter Clothing Contributions
Sherman Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) would like to thank everyone who graciously donated coats, hats and gloves for our Warm Clothing Drive. We are very appreciative of everyone’s contribution for helping keep our students warm this winter. We have several coats and hats left over. If you know of a child who is still in need of warm clothes, our surplus has been added to the Sherman County Children’s Closet located at the Wasco Annex.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the students and parents who donated food for our Food/Hygiene Drive. Altogether there was around 350 items donated to the Sherman County Food Bank. The 2nd graders brought in the most items and won the class contest. They each went home with a brand new book.
4. Federal Land Acquisition Gets Budget Boost | Federal agencies got $450 million to spend on land acquisitions in 2016 through appropriations to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Federal agencies got more money to spend on land acquisitions in the 2016 federal budget, which hasn’t satisfied either supporters or opponents of a controversial fund used for such purchases.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, initially authorized in 1965, was recently resurrected by Congress. After initially allowing it to expire after 50 years, and then considering major reforms, Congress reauthorized the fund for three years.
Lawmakers appropriated $450 million for the fund in 2016, which is a 47 percent increase over the prior year but only half of what the Obama administration and conservationists wanted.
Nearly $227 million will be divided among federal agencies for land acquisitions, while the rest will go to state parks and conservation projects.
The fund’s reversal of fortunes wasn’t welcomed by opponents such as the American Land Rights Association, which considers it a “slush fund” to buy private property for the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service — often at the behest of environmental groups.
“They never saw a piece of land they didn’t want to own,” said Chuck Cushman, the group’s founder and executive director.
With LWCF receiving temporary re-authorization, the next three years will be spent in a battle over whether to make the program permanent and set a mandatory funding level of $900 million per year, as environmentalists want, Cushman said.
In its 2017 budget request, the Obama administration has again requested $900 million for the fund. Cushman said the fund has been a “boondoggle” for private landowners since its inception.
Rather than create parks for people near urban areas, the fund has been focused on the expansion of federal territory in rural areas, often taking land out of production to the detriment of local economies, he said.
Aside from locking up land, the LWCF benefits environmental groups that buy up parcels and then sell them at a profit to the government, Cushman said.
Federal land managers are often complicit in this scheme, as they measure career success by how much land they’ve acquired for the government, he said.
“They always want to create a larger domain,” Cushman said. “It’s almost like a dog marking its territory.”
The federal government and conservation groups see the issue differently.
Since the fund was established, Congress has only appropriated about $17 billion to LWCF of the $37 billion authorized by statute, said Jessica Kershaw, press secretary for the Interior Department, in an email.
The fund isn’t dependent on taxpayers and instead receives fees from oil and gas companies that drill in U.S. offshore waters, she said.
Money spent to improve hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation opportunities “makes good economic sense: for every dollar spent on federal acquisitions, it has returned four dollars for the American taxpayer,” Kershaw said.
Even if the LWCF were fully funded at $900 million per year, as authorized by statute, that amount represents a fraction of the money collected by the government in oil and gas royalties, said Amy Lindholm, director of the LWCF campaign for the Wilderness Society conservation group.
Even if the $900 million in annual funding were made permanent and automatic, Congress would still be able to decide how that money was spent, she said.
Contrary to the view that federal agencies spend LWCF money “willy-nilly,” there is actually a great deal of competition among projects, so only the most worthwhile acquisitions are funded, Lindholm said.
For the same reason, funding also goes to acquire non-controversial properties that have local community support, she said.
Many national parks contain pockets of private property that could be developed if not for the LWCF, Lindholm said. “The argument about how much land the government owns is misplaced, because this is not about increasing that percentage but filling in those gaps.”
Cushman of the American Land Rights Association is skeptical of this characterization, since his group was founded in opposition to federal purchases of inholdings within Yosemite National Park in California. “They’ve wiped out entire communities across the country,” he said.
While the “professional land buyers” who work for federal agencies are now less inclined to use eminent domain, at least compared to the early days of the LWCF, it’s still a force with which landowners must reckon, he said. “Condemnation is implied in every conversation,” Cushman said.
Concerns about how LWCF money is spent, as well as a $19 billion backlog of deferred maintenance on public land, led Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, to propose a major overhaul to the fund last year.
The bill, which failed to pass muster, would have drastically reduced the portion of the LWCF devoted to federal land acquisition in favor of spending on state parks, offshore energy exploration and other grant programs.
The Wilderness Society and other members of the LWCF Coalition — a group that consists of conservationists and outdoor recreationists — fought the proposal, claiming it “would undermine the integrity of America’s most successful and necessary conservation program.”
Supporters of the LWCF expect to challenge any new version of that bill that would cut federal funding in favor of state grants. “We want to see both sides of the program thrive,” said Lindholm.
5. Sherman County School District
6. Friends of Family Farmer’s Listening Session coming to the Gorge February 29, 2016
On Monday, February 29, Gorge Grown Food Network and Friends of Family Farmers (FoFF) will co-host a Listening Session for family- scale, socially and environmentally responsible farmers, ranchers, and orchardists. Friends of Family Farmers is an Oregon based organization that is traveling the state to hear about issues that impact the state’s farmers. FoFF uses this input to advocate for family farmers and ranchers in the Oregon Legislature.
Please join us for the event at the Rockford Grange, 4250 Barrett Drive in Hood River. There will be a locally made soup dinner served at 5:30, the Listening Session will begin at 6:00. This event is free but attendants should register. More information can be found at GorgeGrown.org. ~ Hannah Ladwig Outreach & Communications Manager Gorge Grown Food Network
7. Columbia Gorge Genealogy Society presents Love From the Past, Feb. 13
Saturday, February 13
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center
An afternoon of delightful stories and reminiscing.
Learn techniques for sharing family stories
with Holly Robison, a professional storyteller
and member of the Portland Storytelling Guild.
8. New to the Community Foundation for SW Washington, Trammell & Macnab
The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington recently added a key position to its team, and welcomed two new employees. Michael S. Macnab will fill the new Vice President of Gift Planning role, while Chrissy Trammell brings her expertise to the position of Operations Assistant at the local grantmaking organization. Macnab will strengthen partnerships with professional and financial advisors throughout the region and help meet the financial, estate planning and charitable goals of prospective donors. Michael grew up on a family ranch in Sherman County, Oregon before receiving his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University. He has worked in the trust and investment management arena for nearly four decades and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington. Before joining the Community Foundation, Macnab worked as the Senior Director of Gift Planning at the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation. He is the current President of the NW Planned Giving Roundtable, Vice President of the Southwest Washington Estate Planning Council and a member of the Portland Estate Planning Council. Trammell will focus on coordinating office management and administrative duties to support the work of Foundation staff. She brings 15 years of administrative experience to her role at the Community Foundation. Most recently, Trammel worked in scheduling and diagnostics for the PeaceHealth Southwest Cardiology Clinic. Before that, Trammell ran a residential interior design business while raising a family. She is a Vancouver native, cares deeply about children’s issues and animals, and believes strongly in giving back and building community through volunteerism. “Our new hires build on the Foundation’s reputation for providing excellent philanthropic services and bring specialized expertise that allows our entire team to work more effectively,” Rhoads said. “We’re excited to have them adding their skills to our mission of growing local philanthropy.” About the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington Established in 1984, the Community Foundation helps southwest Washingtonians build a more vibrant community by inspiring investments in local philanthropy. The Foundation holds more than 290 distinct funds, which are actively invested to generate growth and income for granting purposes. Governed by an esteemed volunteer Board, the Community Foundation offers benefits and services to donors, nonprofits and the community at large. Learn more at www.cfsww.org.
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