Notice: Sherman County School District Board of Directors Meeting, Oct. 12
Unit 20, Oregon Retired Educators to Meet, Oct. 17
A Proper Start to the Day
BLM Cancels 10 Million Acre Sagebrush Focal Area Withdrawal Proposal
Rep. Walden applauds wildfire funding request, calls for forest management reform
Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do
1. Notice: Sherman County School District Board of Directors Meeting, Oct. 12
There was an error in properly noticing the regularly scheduled Sherman County School District Board meeting for Monday, October 9, 2017. This meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. A work session will precede the Regular Meeting at 6:00 p.m. and an Executive Session will follow at 6:30 p.m. pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(f) to consider information or records that are exempt from disclosure by law, including legal advice from attorney
These meetings will be held in the meeting room of the Sherman County School/Public Library. We apologize for any inconvenience.
2. Unit 20, Oregon Retired Educators to Meet, Oct. 17
Unit 20, Oregon Retired Educators, will meet noon, Tuesday the 17th, at the Hood River Valley Adult Center. Special guest will be State OREA President Darlene Cook. Luncheon reservations may be made with Wilma Townsend at 541-296-4356,
3. A Proper Start to the Day
As you wake up, how do you start your day? Does the way you wake up have an effect on how the rest of your day goes?
Everyone knows how important it is that kids get off to a good start in life. How a horse comes out of the starting gate can often make its career, and a sprinter’s ability to come out of the blocks often determines who wins a foot race. Your first experience with something will often color what comes afterward. The way you start your day is no exception.
Do you leap out of bed before your eyes are really open, begin a mad rush to leave for work on time, and spend your whole day trying to get ahead of a schedule that always seems too busy?
Why not try setting your clock a few minutes early for a week? Spend those first few waking moments giving some thought to the way you want the rest of your day to go. Then, as you proceed through preparing for the day ahead, try to bring your full awareness to each activity: showering, brushing your teeth, and selecting your clothes. Do each thing thoughtfully and deliberately, paying complete attention to just that one thing.
Keep your thoughts on the present, and don’t let them leap ahead into the future, or slip back into the past. Just try to be fully present in the moment. This approach is similar to the Buddhist art of mindfulness, and if you practice it for a while, it will change the pace and the feeling of your day! ~The Pacific Institute
4. BLM Cancels 10 Million Acre Sagebrush Focal Area Withdrawal Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Based on a recent analysis and review of data available that showed that future mining is not a significant threat to sage grouse habitat, the Bureau of Land Management has canceled its Sagebrush Focal Area withdrawal application and the Department’s proposed withdrawal of 10 million acres of federal lands from location and entry under the mining law in Greater Sage-grouse habitat in six Western States. The BLM also terminated the associated environmental analysis process. The notice of cancellation can be found on the BLM website here: https://on.doi.gov/2hOpRxn.
The BLM determined the proposal to withdraw 10 million acres was unreasonable in light of the data that showed that mining affected less than .1 percent of sage-grouse-occupied range.
“The proposal to withdraw 10 million acres to prevent 10,000 from potential mineral development was a complete overreach,” said Acting BLM Director Mike Nedd. “Secretary Zinke has said from the beginning that by working closely with the states, who are on the front lines and a valued partner in protecting the health of these lands, we can be successful in conserving greater sage grouse habitat without stifling economic development and job growth. And that’s what we intend to do–protect important habitat while also being a good neighbor to states and local communities.”
The recommendation to withdraw nearly 10 million acres from location and entry under the mining law was one of many land use restrictions proposed for a new management area designated as the Sagebrush Focal Area (SFA). However, that recommendation was unreasonable in light of the data available. In particular, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2005 “Not Warranted” decision, the 2010 “Warranted But Precluded” Decision and the 2015 “Not Warranted” decision all showed that mining–including locatable mining–was not a significant threat to sage-grouse.
The lands will continue to be managed in accordance with existing plans, programs, policies and regulations in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. They had been temporarily segregated, or closed to new mining claims for 2 years when the Department originally proposed the lands for withdrawal in 2015, while the agency studied whether locatable mineral exploration and mining projects would adversely affect habitat important to the greater sage grouse. That temporary segregation period expired September 24, 2017.
5. Rep. Walden applauds wildfire funding request, calls for forest management reform
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today applauded additional wildfire funds and a call to action on forest management reform from the administration. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today included $576.5 million in wildfire funding in their supplemental budget request to Congress, as well as recommendations that active forest management and forestry reform be part of the solution to curb wildfire borrowing.
“I want to thank the Trump Administration for their request for funds to cover the costs of this fire season, as well as their call for Congress to reform our broken federal forest policy that hinders them from implementing much needed forest management. Another fire season winds down and, once again, the Forest Service needed to rob money from important fire prevention work to pay for fighting wildfires. We must not only supplement those accounts to pay for the cost of this fire season, but it’s past time that we fix how we pay for fires and treat them like the natural disasters they are,” said Walden. “We also need to streamline our federal forest policy so forest managers can get the much needed fire prevention work done to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire that choke our skies and communities with smoke. I look forward to working with the administration and my colleagues in the House to improve forest management and prevent catastrophic wildfire.”
Walden led a letter signed by a bipartisan group of 31 lawmakers to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to ask that wildfires be treated like natural disasters, and that the administration work with Congress to pass forest management reforms. To read Walden’s letter, please click here: https://walden.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/walden-calls-administration-address-wildfire-funding-forest-management
The lawmakers wrote, “Mismanagement has left our forests vulnerable to insects and disease and ripe for catastrophic wildfires. The system is broken. We need forest management reforms, and we need them now. We ask that you work with us to help to fix the way we manage our forests and how we pay for wildfire disasters. Two goals we can all agree on are reducing the costs of these fires and breaking out of this destructive, nationwide wildfire cycle.”
Walden has spoken with the administration in recent weeks to call their attention to the severity of this year’s fire season in Oregon and throughout the West, and the need to improve forest management. The supplemental request issued by OMB this afternoon says that forest management reform must be part of any long-term solution to prevent catastrophic fires.
“The Administration believes that the problem of wildfire ‘borrowing’ must be addressed in a more structured, long-term manner. However, additional funding alone will not reverse the worsening trend of catastrophic wildfires that threaten our forests, critical habitats, and communities that border public lands,” the request states. “Active forest management and other reforms must be part of the solution to curb the cost and destruction of wildfires.”
The administration’s announcement comes as Walden led a hearing today to examine the air quality impacts of catastrophic wildfires. During the hearing, Walden stressed the need to fix the wildfire funding problem cited in the administration’s request often referred to as “fire borrowing.”
“Every year we repeat this stupid, stupid cycle. Robbing the accounts that would do the forest thinning to pay for the firefighting while the fires are going on, so we don’t do the preventive work because we have to pay for the fire,” said Walden. “It makes no sense. It is four to five times more expensive to fight fires than to do the treatment.”
For more information on today’s hearing at the Energy and Commerce Committee, including a background memo, witness testimony, and full webcast, please click here: https://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings/air-quality-impacts-wildfires-perspectives-key-stakeholders/.
6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do