Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, September 27, 2017, Page 2B, Image 6

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    2B Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Appeal Tribune
East valley rail assessment underway
Marion County has hired a consultant
to conduct an economic assessment of
the railroad line between Silverton and
The East Marion Rail line is owned by
Union Pacific and operated by Willam-
ette Valley Railway, stretching from
Woodburn to Stayton and passing
through Mt. Angel, Silverton, Pratum,
Macleay, Shaw, and Aumsville.
The line has been inactive between
Silverton and Stayton since inclement
weather in January of 2012 compro-
mised the tracks.
Marion County Economic Develop-
ment Coordinator Tom Hogue said that
in recent years several groups have ex-
pressed an interest in seeing the line re-
activated. Among them is Oregon Ship-
ping Group, which contacted city offi-
cials in Stayton and Silverton this year
regarding the line.
The county has contracted with An-
zur Logistics, a Salem-based rail trans-
portation consulting company, to con-
duct a study of the line, including an in-
frastructure assessment, market analy-
sis and cost-benefit analysis.
According to Hogue, the contracted
amount to pay for the study is $29,856.
County officials said the objective is
to “assist with the conversation and de-
velop a common picture for all interest-
ed parties.”
The aim is informational.
“Marion County’s goal is to provide
the underlying research and economic
evaluation necessary as potential rede-
velopment opportunities are explored,”
Hogue said. “We are not advocating for a
particular outcome or project. The coun-
ty’s role is to provide factual, neutral in-
formation beneficial to all parties as the
future of the East Marion Rail line is dis-
Pratum Co-op is among the businesses that have been without Willamette Valley Railway service since early 2012, even though the co-op and its
spur are on sturdy tracks well north of where inclement weather compromised the rail. JUSTIN MUCH | STAYTON MAIL
Hogue said Anzur will assess track
conditions and provide an estimate of the
cost to return the line to service. The
group will also provide a cost-benefit
analysis and potential funding sources.
The study will ultimately include an
economic assessment for cities along the
rail line, Hogue added.
“Short line railroads are an important
asset,” Marion County Commissioner
Kevin Cameron said, “It’s important for
the county to assess the economic im-
pacts of rail service and ensure potential
renewed service is utilized for the bene-
fit of Marion County communities.”
Hogue said the assessment and evalu-
ation project will begin immediately and
the results are expected later this year. A
final report is anticipated to be available
for stakeholder review in January 2018.
cell 503-508-8157 or follow at
Siegmund Excavation deploys steep-slope technology
In the fall of 2014 when Andrew Sieg-
mund first witnessed steep-slope log-
ging technology, it wasn’t exactly love at
first sight.
Siegmund said Weyerhaeuser ar-
ranged for a New Zealand outfit to travel
to Oregon and demonstrate the steep-
slope timber harvesting it had devel-
“You know, I was intrigued, but I was
cautiously skeptical,” said Siegmund,
owner of Stayton-based Siegmund Exca-
vation & Construction. “The mechanic
side of me sees it and thinks, ‘If there is a
breakdown and on the side of the hill …
That thing is 700 feet down the hill, and
we’ve got to get parts down there to fix
On the other hand, the technology
sure made quick work of traditionally ar-
duous tasks tended in difficult and dan-
gerous working conditions – and with a
fraction of the labor.
“The more I researched it, the more I
saw lots of opportunity here and how it
served a niche,” Siegmund said.
There was also the roughly $1.5 mil-
lion price tag to consider.
Several generations of Siegmunds
have been in the timber services busi-
ness in Oregon, charged with tasks that
include construction, building forest
roads and general excavation. Andrew
decided to make the investment.
Siegmund purchased steep-slope
equipment from Technical Forest Solu-
tions (TFS)
and has been using the harvesting
equipment for 15 months; it appears to be
on track with expectations. Perhaps
even exceeding them, considering the
boost it provided fighting fires in San-
tiam Canyon’s portion of Oregon’s torrid
fire season.
“Siegmund’s steep-slope equipment
was extremely useful in establishing fire
line (in dicey areas),” said Brent O’Nion,
Oregon Department of Forestry’s White-
water Fire branch director. “It allowed
us to get a fire line established in a very
rapid manner; a job that normally would
have taken days with the old-fashioned
Continued from Page 1B
ministrator in the Silverton district.
In the latest proposal, five Salem-
Keizer schools – McKay, McNary, South
Salem, Sprague and West Salem – would
be placed in a league with Bend schools
Bend, Mountain View and Summit.
The final meeting of that committee is
Sept. 25 at the Al Kader Shriners Center
in Wilsonville. Days after that meeting, a
final recommendation from the commit-
tee will be made. That recommendation
will be voted on by the executive board
on Oct. 16 and it will go to the delegate
assembly that same day for approval.
Oregon is unique in that it has a demo-
cratic process.
Anyone from the public can – and
many have – testify at the committee
meetings and their opinions will be taken
into consideration.
“In Alabama for reclassification they
just do (attendance),” Younger said.
“They say, 'We have 300 schools so the
top 50 is going to be 5A, the next 50 is go-
ing to be 4A, and then we’ll just make
leagues from that.'”
Ultimately in Oregon the decision on
which leagues and classifications each
school is placed will be made based on
Steep-slope technology at work in Oregon forests.
hand crews was accomplished in less
than a day.
“It is a huge technological advance.
It’s the first time I’d seen it in the fire line
and it may be the first time used in fire
suppression efforts in the U.S.”
Freres Lumber Co. of Lyons first ap-
proached Siegmund with the fire-fight-
ing deployment idea at the Whitewater
Fire, located east of Detroit. That was a
new application for Siegmund and re-
quired a quick assessment.
“The timber manager for Freres
Lumber Company, Todd Parker, called
and asked us to bring a feller-buncher to
cut trees on Freres timberlands where
they were establishing a fire line for the
Whitewater Fire,” Siegmund said. “Our
tethered base machine was brought in to
work in tandem with our steep slope har-
vester (feller-buncher). Dozers and
hand-crews followed behind, getting it
down to bare dirt, forming the fire line.”
It was not only of use, but the mecha-
nization freed up crucial resources by
completing the fire line with a fraction of
the labor in a fraction of the time as tradi-
tional methods.
“We’d typically have to approach this
in two steps, the first being timber fell-
ing with timber fallers and then followed
up by 20 to 40 people brushing and com-
pleting the hand line itself," said John Til-
lotson, an ODF timber management unit
forester who worked onsite at the fire.
"But in this case, it was one guy inside the
cab of the steep slope machine doing
most of the work, the hand crews only
needed to clear the hand trail and minor
amounts of brushing along the edge.”
Siegmund hopes that steep-slope
equipment can be deployed for fire sup-
pression in the future, and ultimately de-
crease the amount of damaged timber-
This type of mechanized system is not
new to flatter forest settings, such as
those in the southern U.S.
“They’ve done a good job of mecha-
nizing their harvest in the south so that’s
what is best for the schools as a whole.
“Who is hurt the least is basically
what it’s going to come down to,” South
Salem softball coach Scott McCormick
said. “I know (the Bend schools) want to
come here because it’s their easiest
All of the people who are part of the
OSAA’s governance, at whatever level it
is, are unpaid volunteers.
And as most are school administra-
tors and their participation in these com-
mittees requires them to miss their jobs,
they have to use sick time or vacation
time in order to be part of it.
gender students can participate on male
or female teams while others may only
participate on male teams.
And once a transgender student in
Oregon selects the gender of the team on
which they participate, they can only
play on teams of that gender throughout
the duration of their high school career.
The OSAA set its policy after other
states were forced to.
“If we don’t stay up with the times and
modify our policies and things like that,
we end up trying to administer 20th cen-
tury rules in a 21st century system,” We-
ber said.
It's more than leagues and
Who oversees the OSAA?
A decade ago there was no public
awareness of transgender athletes com-
peting at the high school level.
And there was no OSAA policy about
So what happens when a transgender
athlete wants to compete in softball at
South Salem?
“I do not know what I’m going to do,”
McCormick said. “It’s happening.”
It wasn’t until the summer of 2016 that
the OSAA added rules regarding trans-
gender participation in high school
sports when it became a public issue that
was brought to light in other states.
The policy lays out how certain trans-
During the reclassification process
that took effect in 2006 – the one that ex-
panded Oregon’s classifications to six
from four – many people in Eugene,
Medford and Salem-Keizer were upset
that they would now have to travel long
ways for league games.
The Eugene, Medford and Salem-
Keizer school districts sued the OSAA,
but then-state superintendent of public
instruction Susan Castillo upheld the
“At that time we were under the pur-
view of the Oregon Department of Edu-
cation,” Weber said. “They reviewed us
every five years.”
Since then, however, the Oregon De-
it’s rare for them to use a power saw or
chainsaw that we do,” Siegmund said.
“Here in the Northwest it’s difficult to
mechanize it…with the terrain we have,
there wasn’t a good way to get the equip-
ment on the slopes.
“This is a method to overcome that.
We’ve had the equipment for 15 months,
and it’s worked continuously since.
We’ve (harvested) 8 or 9 units, anywhere
from one to three million board feet of
timber in each unit.”
Siegmund was the first forest opera-
tion in Oregon to apply for and receive a
variance from OR-OSHA to operate
steep slope harvesting equipment. An-
drew Siegmund estimates that about a
dozen others have followed suit, and a to-
tal of about eight are currently operating
Siegmund sees the technology deli-
vering raw timber more efficiently and
safely to manufacturers, something that
may fuse well with recent innovations,
such as the vaunted cross-laminated tim-
ber or the Freres developed mass-ply-
wood panel.
Siegmund acknowledges that steep-
slope technology could shed some forest
jobs through automation; it can harvest
with four employees what has tradition-
ally required eight to 12.
“I’ve heard from people saying, ‘Gosh
you’re putting timber fallers out of work;
you’re putting choker setters out of
work,’” he related. “But really we’re not,
because that’s an aging workforce; the
pool of workers (for those forest jobs) is
New technology, he believes, could
develop other timber-related jobs in
manufacturing and construction.
“Absolutely. That mass-panel plant
Freres is building,” Siegmund cited as an
example. “Quite honestly, that’s going to
increase the volume of material they
need. It will require more logs, more raw
material, and this system is an efficient
and more effective way to keep a steady
supply to a firm like theirs.”
cell 503-508-8157 or follow at
partment of Education dropped its over-
sight of the OSAA – along with several
other agencies.
And now there is no independent
group that reviews the OSAA, although
the Oregon State legislature has some
“We’re referred to in some of the leg-
islative policies as a volunteer activities
association,” Weber said.
One way the OSAA maintains balance
is its associated groups: The Oregon Ath-
letic Coaches Association, the Oregon
Athletic Directors Association, the Ore-
gon School Boards Association and the
Oregon Athletic Officials Association.
Those groups representing different
interests within high school sports in
Oregon all have representation on all of
the levels of OSAA’s governance, which
makes the state unique in that its associ-
ated organizations have influence on the
legislative process.
“Numerous places, whenever I travel
the United States and go to national
meetings, they’re continually asking
me," said Younger of the coaches associ-
ation, "how in the world did you get this
situation that you’re so involved at the
state level?” or