Sherman County eNews #130

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


  1. Wasco’s Annual Memorial Celebration, May 29-30

  2. Memorial Day Weekend Marks Reopening of Corps’ Philippi Park

  3. Sherman County School District Communication to the Community

  4. Oscar Lange Memorial Power Boat Ramp Dedication, June 3

  5. Oregon State Sheriffs Association Protests BLM New Management Plan

  6. Protecting Our Waterways from Aquatic Invasive Species

  7. Sherman County fiber-optic build update

  8. The Dalles Dam Visitor Center & Summer Tours

  9. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1.Wasco’s Annual Memorial Celebration, May 29-30

American flag2

SUNDAY, May 29th

  • 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Country Breakfast at North Sherman Fire Department on old Hwy. 97
  • 4:30 to 6 p.m. Family Fun Night…nachos, smoothies and games for the whole family at the Wasco Annex
  • Book sale, raffle tickets, prizes and fun!



  • 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Country Breakfast at North Sherman Fire Department on old Hwy. 97
  • 9 a.m. SHERMAN STEP WALK at the old fire station, corner of Armsworthy & Clark Streets
  • 10 a.m. Tribute to the veterans and a memorial service
  • 11 a.m. PARADE… announcer: Joe Dabulskis & led by the Dabulskis family with their 30’X50′ flag (you can help carry this flag!)
  • Grand Marshal 101-year-old Dewey Thomas, RR Depot following the parade
  • Music by Tyson Huckens
  • Paradise Rose Chuck Wagon, Roger’s Donuts, Lean To cafe, Food Trough food cart
  • Used book sale, raffle tickets, prizes and fun at the Annex-old school fun Jumpers, go Karts, petting zoo, plant sale
  • Jr. tractor pull and more
  • 11:45 a.m. popular pastry auction
  • 2 p.m. raffle drawing for $300. for McMenamin’s Edgefield
  • VENDORS welcome.

Questions? Call Cassie…Wasco City Hall 541-442-5515

  • Submitted by Carol MacKenzie   Wasco, Or 541-442-5079

2. Memorial Day Weekend Marks Reopening of Corps’ Philippi Park

fishing.rod.reel~ US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District ~ Photograph: 20021010AQV191001..JPG

Partnership provides path to annual summer recreation on John Day River

PORTLAND, OREGON — Philippi Park, a long-time favorite recreation area on the John Day River about 3 miles southeast of John Day Lock and Dam, will reopen to yearly summer use on May 27, 2016. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District, through a new, long-term partnership with OPAL Foundation, will turn on the power and water systems, install boat docks, open the restroom/shower building and return the park to public use through the 2016 Labor Day weekend. The Corps closed the park prior to summer 2013 due to recreation budget reductions.

The park reopening will start with a boat parade from LePage Park to Philippi Park at 9 a.m., Friday, May 27, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. The public is welcome to tour the park and enjoy a beach-side BBQ hosted by OPAL Foundation. “Through positive collaboration with OPAL Foundation, we worked through details to improve and operate this popular destination park,” said Kevin Moynahan, John Day-Willow Creek operations project manager. “Together we now can support sustainable recreation each summer for local communities and visitors.” “We are excited to be part of opening the park to new generations of visitors,” said Darrell McSmith of Beaverton, Oregon, and founder of OPAL Foundation. “The Corps and the community have our commitment to maintain, preserve and enhance recreational opportunities at Philippi Park.”

OPAL Foundation, a non-profit organization comprised of individuals and organizations, will provide financial and material contributions and volunteer support to open and maintain Philippi Park each year from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. The Corps and OPAL Foundation will conduct a range of activities and projects that support recreational opportunities and protect and preserve the archeological, natural, cultural and environmental features at the park. Philippi Park is accessible only by boat and is located approximately one mile up the John Day River from its confluence with the Columbia. Parking and boat launch facilities are available at LePage Park. For a list of Philippi Park amenities, including camping and fishing, and information on other recreation opportunities in the vicinity of John Day Dam, visit Learn about Opal Foundation at

3. Sherman County School District Communication to the Community

Issue 11 Communication School Construction Update May 2016 (1)

4. Oscar Lange Memorial Power Boat Ramp Dedication, June 3

WHEN: Friday, June 3, 2016, at 12 noon.

sign.boatrampWHERE: Mack’s Canyon Campground on the Deschutes River. The campground is 17 miles down river (north) below Sherar’s Bridge on the BLM gravel road. Plan an hour to drive and enjoy the scenic views along the river. Suggested driving speed on the road not to exceed 20 m.p.h.

ACTIVITIES: Speakers from Sherman County, Oregon State Marine Board and BLM will present. Craig Lesley (Oscar’s Nephew and author of THE SKY FISHERMAN) will speak and read from his book. Legendary Deschutes River guides Mike McLucas and Skip Zapffe will speak. There will be an open microphone period for any of Oscar’s old friends and clients to “spin a yarn.”

LUNCH AND BEVERAGES: A light lunch will be served with beverages after the program. The lunch is provided by Stevens Marine of Tigard, OR.

OTHER INFORMATION: Those attending please bring a folding chair. The boat ramp has new rest room facilities that are handicap equipped and there is adequate parking. For more information contact Ron Walp, Maupin, OR. Phone 623-680-9724 or email

5. Oregon State Sheriffs Association Protests BLM New Management Plan

The Oregon State Sheriffs Association (OSSA) along with numerous other organizations have reviewed the newest management plan released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for 2.5 million acres of O&C timberland here in Oregon. OSSA takes a strong interest in this plan because federal law provides that the primary use of these O&C lands is to be used for a sustainable timber harvest that provides a revenue stream for Oregon counties. That revenue stream is supposed to help these counties provide a variety of public services, including law enforcement.

Quite simply, the BLM plan ignores clear law and proposes a timber harvest plan that will continue to place these counties in a fiscal crisis. The BLM refused to even consider revenues for counties as an objective in developing its plan, even though that is mandated by statute and case law. It has routinely ignored comments from affected counties, concerned citizens, and state and federal legislators. There are many ways the BLM could have balanced jobs and revenues for vital County services while creating habitat for endangered species, providing clean water, recreational opportunities, and improving fire resiliency. This federal agency has once again failed the communities where these public lands are located. In light of this, nearly half the counties in Oregon have announced they would challenge the plan in federal court. No county wants to use precious taxpayer dollars to sue the federal government, but the BLM’s arrogance has left these counties with no other viable options.

The law governing management of the BLM lands states that all timberlands shall be managed for sustained yield production, with the revenues shared with Counties to help pay for public services. The law also mandates a minimum harvest each year of 500 million board feet. The BLM’s final plan violates both requirements, with more than 75% of the lands locked up in permanent reserves, and a projected harvest little more than half the required minimum. The O&C lands were once in private ownership. After the lands were taken back by the federal government, they were set aside by Congress to provide a permanent sustainable revenue source to the communities they border. The counties are legally entitled to 50% of the revenues generated from the sale of timber, and the revenue pays for all kinds of public services: mental and public health, sheriff patrols, jails, libraries, social and many others.

Mismanagement of these forest lands since the early 1990s has decimated county budgets, reducing some as much as 80%. Several Oregon counties are on the brink of insolvency, and the inability to pay for public services has led to increasing crime rates and poverty. This plan is the culmination of over two decades of ineffective management by the BLM, and it is a product of the failure to listen to, or cooperate with local governments, organizations, and citizens who live near or around these forests. OSSA fully supports the decision by Oregon counties to file a lawsuit to try and force the BLM to follow clear federal law.

6. Protecting Our Waterways from Aquatic Invasive Species

sign.boatramp~ Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

It’s been six years since the Oregon Legislature enacted the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, aimed at protecting Oregon’s waterways from the economic and environmental devastation experienced in the Midwest from invasive quagga and zebra mussels. Since the program’s inception, the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) have issued an annual report highlighting the year’s activities to include mandatory check stations, education and outreach, and program finances. In 2015, ODFW completed 12,953 watercraft inspections of trailered boats and non-motorized boats at mandatory roadside check stations along border points of entry. Two hundred and eighty one of the 12,953 boats inspected were contaminated with invaders: 207 with aquatic vegetation, 33 with marine organisms, and 29 with freshwater organisms. The remaining 12 were contaminated with either quagga or zebra mussels originating from Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. These boats were decontaminated with high pressure and hot water at the inspection stations. In addition to the inspection stations, OSMB and ODFW expanded education and outreach efforts by distributing printed materials through additional partnerships with park rangers, river rangers, biologists, and researchers.

Another enhancement was increasing on water enforcement of the permit and education about the program. In 2015, officers documented 47,781 contacts with boaters. Most of these boaters were in compliance, however, 810 warnings were issued for boaters who did not have an aquatic invasive species permit, and 356 citations were issued. Some of the permit fees were dedicated to monitoring Oregon’s waterways. Portland State University’s (PSU) Center for Lakes and Reservoirs supported two programs: monitoring waterways for zebra and quagga mussels, and continuing the Oregon Lake Watch Program. With the help of volunteers who “adopt” a waterway, these individuals were provided technical field training and equipment to sample the waterbody a few times during the year. PSU collected the data and tracked locations where aquatic invasive species of concern were found. Aquatic Invasive Species revenue is also being used for targeted removal efforts. In 2010, an invasive colonial tunicate (Dideemnum vexillum) was found in two locations: The Charleston Marina and Winchester Bay’s “triangle” on the southwestern Oregon coast. In 2015, an underwater suction dredge was purchased and will be used in 2016 at the Winchester Bay location to begin removing the tunicates from where they are growing. Monitoring at the Charleston Marina continues, with any found tunicates being removed by divers when found. The annual dive surveys indicated a population decrease in this location.

Revenue generated from the permit sales slightly increased over 2014, with $796,753. There were 77,766 motorboat owners who renewed their boat registrations, which include a $5 surcharge that goes directly into the AIS fund. Out-of-state boaters purchased 4,979 permits, 2,300 permits were sold to guides and rental facilities and 52,271 permits were sold to non-motorized boat owners (number includes annual and two-year permits). All of the permit fees go directly into the AIS program that funds inspection station staff, decontamination equipment, education and outreach materials, and waterway monitoring. For more information about the Aquatic Invasive Species Program, visit or

7. Sherman County fiber-optic build update

~ Mike Smith, The Sherman County Court

So just what are those orange cables you see going into the ground around Wasco? The Sherman County Court is very pleased to announce the first of a three phase project to run fiber-optic Internet through our County.

The first phase will run from Wasco to Erskine. This will hook up county offices, enhance our Emergency Services Network, allow increased Internet speeds, create the opportunity for other Internet Service Providers to serve our households and businesses and, most importantly, connect our school district directly to fiber.

While all of these things are a significant benefit to the County, the Court is most excited about connecting the school to fiber, at no extra cost to the district. This is a rarity for a district of our size, especially on the east side of the state.

The second phase will run from Wasco to Rufus and the third will run from Erskine to Grass Valley. One very important note is that no debt was created to fund this project. In fact, the State of Oregon awarded $820,000.00 to Sherman County through its Regional Solutions Team.

As the project moves forward we will update everyone on the progress and impacts of this opportunity.

8. The Dalles Dam Visitor Center & Summer Tours

electricpowerlinePORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites guests to visit The Dalles Dam Visitor Center and tour the dam this summer.

The Dalles Dam Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, between May 1 and Memorial Day weekend. After Memorial Day, the center begins daily operations, seven days a week through Labor Day weekend.

Starting May 7, tours of The Dalles Dam will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. They begin at the visitor center, then are conducted via electric shuttle which runs along a portion of the Riverfront Trail to the dam. Whether on a tour or at the visitor center, there are opportunities for fish viewing and visitors can explore interactive displays and learn about the dam’s history, operations, and how power is generated. Pre-registration for tours is encouraged, as space is limited.

The Dalles Dam Visitor Center is located just north of Interstate Highway 84 at exit 87. Turn east onto Bret Clodfelter Way and follow the road to the visitor center. For more information and to register for tours, please contact The Dalles Lock and Dam Ranger Office at 541-506-7857 or 541-296-9778 or visit

After Labor Day weekend, the visitor center resumes weekends-only hours through the end of September when it closes for the season.

9. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do


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 When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.” — Epictetus