Sherman County eNews #287


  1. I-84 now open in both directions Troutdale to Hood River

  2. Madelyn Barnett-Patterson Memorial Service, Oct. 14

  3. Why Get a College Education?

  4. BLM Offers Livestock Operators Increased Grazing Flexibility

  5. Friction

  6. Have you checked the grant deadline of your county or tribal Cultural Coalition lately?

  7. Sherman County Cultural Coalition Applications for Fall Grant Cycle

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

1. I-84 now open in both directions Troutdale to Hood River

sign.cautionEastbound Interstate 84 between Hood River and Troutdale reopened at 1 p.m. Saturday  19 days after the highway was closed by the Eagle Creek Fire.

The road was closed in both directions on Sept. 4 under increasing threat from the fire. The westbound lanes re-opened Sept. 14. All traffic, eastbound and westbound, is now open.

Because of continuing fire activity at Shellrock Mountain, ODOT has diverted eastbound traffic onto the westbound highway alignment by milepost 52. For a 1.2-mile stretch of road, eastbound and westbound traffic will each travel on one 18-foot wide lane in each direction.

This new configuration will be in place for the foreseeable future. No bicycle traffic will be allowed on this section of the road. 

The speed limit on that section has been reduced to 50 mph. Speed radar signs have been set up to remind motorists of their speed.

The configuration change is necessary to move eastbound traffic farther from fire and treefall concerns along this section of Shellrock Mountain.

To further protect the highway, two dozen Conex containers, steel reinforced boxes commonly used for shipping cargo, have been aligned on the south side of the eastbound lanes. The containers are being used as a barrier against falling material.

The interstate is open but not all ramps are open. Here is a list of exits and parks that are open and closed.



  • Historic Columbia River Highway, MP 8.7 at Larch Mountain Road: closed, resident access only.
  • I-84 Exit 28, Bridal Veil: closed, resident access only.
  • I-84 Exit 31, Multnomah Falls: closed. 
  • I-84 Exit 35, Historic Columbia River Highway, Ainsworth interchange open but access to U.S. 30  closed
  • Frontage Road–Dodson Road east from Warrendale interchange to John B Yeon State Park: closed, resident access only
  • I-84 Exit 40, Bonneville south of interchange: closed
  • I-84 Exit 41, Eagle Creek: closed
  • State Parks Trail at Cascade Locks to Eagle Creek: closed
  • I-84 Exit 56,  Viento interchange: pen; north and south access closed

State Parks Open:

  • Rooster Rock
  • Starvation Creek (No access to Trails)
  • Dabney
  • Women’s Forum. 

State Parks Closed:

  • Viento
  • Ainsworth
  • Toothrock
  • John B. Yeon
  • HCRH Trail
  • Angel’s Rest
  • Sheppard’s Dell
  • Bridal Veil
  • Latourell  Falls
  • Guy Talbot
  • Crown Point and Vista House: closed for season.

All ramps to and from Cascade Locks are open.

sign.cautionTravelers may not stop anywhere along Interstate. This remains an active fire zone. Travelers should not  stop to take pictures as the shoulder is for emergency stopping only. Cars parked on the shoulder will be towed. 

The interstate could close again if fire conditions change, if the weather changes or if there are slides. The underbrush burned away by the fire has increased the threat of slides, particularly in the Gorge drainage areas, such as Herman Creek, Oneonta Creek and Eagle Creek.

Travelers should be aware of this possibility and check road conditions at

2. Madelyn Barnett-Patterson Memorial Service, Oct. 14

flower.rose.starA Memorial Service for Madelyn will be held on Saturday, October 14 at the Wasco United Methodist Church in Wasco, Oregon, at 1:00 p.m.,  followed by a light lunch after in the basement. Food is welcome.


3. Why Get a College Education?

Why do we go to college? Is it just to get a better job and earn more money, or is there some other, deeper and longer-lasting purpose?

The U. S. Department of Labor published a report that stated what some of us already knew: a lot of college graduates are having trouble finding suitable jobs. Not only that, they are increasingly unable to repay their student loans, and wind up back home, living with their parents in order to make ends meet. Depending upon where we live, some economically-challenged technology companies are letting employees go – not hiring.

A local career consultant says that for every job that pays in the 30 to 35 thousand dollar range, it is not uncommon to get 200 resumes and a lot of them are overqualified for the position being offered. In some areas of the country, an entry level clerical position will generate scores of resumes from people with college degrees, even advanced degrees, who are willing and eager to work at jobs for which they are extremely overqualified. Those student loans demand payments.

But if a college degree no longer guarantees a good job after graduation, there are still compelling reasons for continuing our education. As columnist Charles Osgood once pointed out, “The reason for studying history, philosophy, the humanities and the arts and sciences is to better understand ourselves, each other, and the world around us.

“Going to college doesn’t give you all the answers. It doesn’t guarantee that someday you will live in a big house or drive a fancy car. But it does give you some exposure to the wisdom and the folly of the ages. The world has never been more complex than it is right now. Education helps to sort the wheat from the chaff . . . and real values from phony ones.”

Critical thinking skills have never been more valued or more needed. Higher education provides the knowledge and hones the intuition that allows us to see the world with a discerning eye and mind. College degrees may have lost some of their allure, but higher education should not. ~The Pacific Institute

4. BLM Offers Livestock Operators Increased Grazing Flexibility

Downloadable file: Livestock Grazing in southeast Oregon
Downloadable file: BLM Offers Livestock Operators Increased Flexibility Through Outcome Based Grazing Authorizations

cow.blueThe Bureau of Land Management announced a new initiative today to provide grazing permit holders an unprecedented level of flexibility in the management of livestock while also protecting the public lands. This effort emphasizes the Trump Administration’s goal of promoting shared conservation stewardship of public lands while supporting uses such as grazing.

“Farmers and ranchers know the wildlife and the land they work better than anyone, it only makes sense that we would enlist them in conservation efforts,” said Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. “One of my top goals is for the government to be a better neighbor, land manager, and partner. I think it’s is a great step in that direction. I applaud the team at BLM for coming up with this innovative program.”

Under the demonstration program, the BLM will work with grazing permittees and other stakeholders in identifying 6 to 12 “Outcome-Based Grazing Authorizations” in its first year. Grazing authorizations typically emphasize process and prescription. The new authorizations will instead emphasize ecological outcomes, allowing livestock operators more flexibility to make adjustments in response to changing conditions such as drought or wildland fire. This innovative concept is intended to develop and determine the effectiveness of these permits to manage livestock grazing on public lands in order to meet both natural resource and operational objectives.

“This initiative is in line with the Administration’s priority promoting shared stewardship of public lands and giving local stakeholders a say in how these lands are managed,” said Michael D. Nedd, acting BLM Director. “This demonstration project will allow permittees and the BLM to work together more efficiently and effectively to support sustainable grazing operations.”

The new authorizations will emphasize conservation performance, ecological outcomes and cooperative management of public lands that will also provide greater opportunity for an operator to manage ranching operations that are both economically and environmentally sustainable.

Through this new demonstration program, the BLM plans to work with permit holders and other stakeholders to show that livestock grazing on the public lands can operate under a more flexible framework than is commonly used in order to better reach agreed upon habitat or vegetation goals. The BLM and its partners in the grazing community will share experiences and best practices that will determine if additional authorizations can be successful in the future.

The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze their livestock (mostly cattle and sheep) on more than 21,000 allotments. Livestock grazing occurs on 155 million acres of public lands.

The BLM will solicit project proposals through its state offices with a deadline of Oct. 13.

—-The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any federal agency. This land is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

5. Friction

teamwork.gearsFriction in machinery costs money. Friction in human relationships impoverishes both the spirit and the bank account.
Discord in any relationship often has unpleasant financial implications, but it is far costlier in human terms. When you are involved in a fractious relationship, physical and mental energy that could be directed toward positive achievements is dissipated needlessly, squandered upon stressful, unproductive activities. Unfortunately, whatever the cause of friction between individuals, it adversely affects each person involved.

When you find yourself in a contentious relationship, there are few acceptable alternatives. You can work out your problems or leave the team. Only you know which is the best solution for you, but if you objectively evaluate your reasons for becoming involved and find that they are still valid, your best course of action may be to swallow your pride and find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved. If you cannot do this, perhaps it’s time to get out of the partnership and find another course toward your objective. ~Napoleon Hill

6. Have you checked the grant deadline of your county or tribal Cultural Coalition lately?

One of the funding opportunities through the Oregon Cultural Trust are the 45 County and Tribal Coalitions. Oregon’s 45 county and tribal Cultural Coalitions are funded directly by the Trust and are unique to the state. Led by dedicated volunteers, each coalition prioritizes community cultural goals and annually distributes seed grants that address the needs of each county.

Many of these County Cultural Coalitions have grants that are due in the next couple of months so this would be a good opportunity to check in on your County Cultural Coalition if your organization has an arts, culture, or heritage project that needs funding. You can find information on these Coalitions here:

7. Sherman County Cultural Coalition Applications for Fall Grant Cycle

The applications are available for the Sherman County Cultural Coalition 2017 Fall Grant Cycle. Applicants may be individuals and/or groups and need not be legally recognized non-profits.

Application Deadline: September 29, 2017

Awards up to $1,500 will be granted in support of local Sherman County activities and events which promote Culture, Humanities, Heritage and the Arts in Sherman County.

Additional information including Grant Guidelines and the application form, may be found at:

Completed grant applications may be mailed to:
Sherman County Cultural Coalition
P.O. Box 23
Moro, OR 97039
Or emailed to:

Contact Melva Thomas at 541-442-5488 or

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

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