Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, November 06, 2015, Page 3, Image 3

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    November 6, 2015
Biologists: Taking wolves off Oregon’s endangered species list
Capital Press
The wildlife biologists in
charge of Oregon’s gray wolf
recovery program believe
wolves should be taken off the
state endangered species list.
The recommendation goes
to the Oregon Department of
Fish and Wildlife Commis-
sion, which will decide Nov.
9 whether to delist wolves.
Livestock producers, especial-
ly those represented by the Or-
egon Cattleman’s Association,
favor delisting.
Conservation groups op-
pose the idea. In a joint state-
ment released Oct. 29, the
Pacific Wolf Coalition said
the staff recommendation is
flawed and has not been peer
reviewed as required by state
law. The coalition includes
Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wild-
lands and the Center for Bio-
logical Diversity.
Michael Paul Nelson, a
College of Forestry professor
Courtesy of ODFW
OR-3, a three-year-old male wolf from the Imnaha pack, is shown
in this image captured from video taken by an ODFW employee on
May 10, 2011, in Wallowa County, Ore. The Oregon Department
of Fish and Wildlife Commission, which will decide Nov. 9
whether to delist wolves.
of environmental ethics and
philosophy at Oregon State
University, called delisting
“logically indefensible” when
wolves are present on only 12
percent of their potential range
in the state.
“Dropping state protections
for wolves right now would
suggest that politics, rather
than science and law, are guid-
ing wildlife management deci-
sions in Oregon,” Nelson said
in a statement issued by Pacific
Wolf Coalition.
ODFW disagrees.
“We have reviewed and
used documented and verifi-
able information to formulate
our results,” ODFW spokes-
woman Michelle Dennehy
said. “We are confident in our
process and that we are follow-
ing statutory and regulatory re-
If the ODFW commission
agrees with the staff recom-
mendation, it would mean
wolves in the eastern third of
the state are not protected un-
der either state or federal en-
dangered species laws. Federal
ESA protection would still be
in force in the rest of Oregon.
That wouldn’t mean open
season on wolves, however.
The state wolf plan would re-
main in force, and it allows
ODFW-approved “controlled
take,” or killing, of wolves
in cases of chronic livestock
attacks or if wolves cause a
decline in prey populations,
chiefly elk and deer. Ranchers,
as they do now, would be able
to shoot wolves caught in the
act of attacking livestock or
herd dogs. None have been
killed in that manner.
Oregon’s wolf plan does
not allow sport hunting of
wolves in any phase of the
recovery timeline, Dennehy
The ODFW staff recom-
mendation was not a surprise.
A biological status review
completed earlier this fall said
gray wolf recovery in Oregon
has met the delisting criteria in
every instance.
Under the state plan,
wolves can be delisted if:
Wolves aren’t in danger of
extinction in any portion of
their range; their natural repro-
ductive potential is not in dan-
ger of failing; there’s no immi-
nent or active deterioration of
their range or primary habitat;
the species or its habitat won’t
be “over-utilized” for scientific,
recreational, commercial or ed-
ucational reasons; and existing
state or federal regulations are
adequate to protect them.
State wildlife biologists,
headed by ODFW’s Russ Mor-
gan, believe the criteria have
been met. Morgan describes
Oregon’s wolf population as
steadily increasing in number
and geographic distribution.
The first wolves migrated
to Oregon from Idaho, where
they had been released as part
of a national recovery program
coordinated by U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The first Or-
egon pack was documented in
2008, and the confirmed wolf
population stood at 85 as of
July 2015. Since then, three
wolves have died: The Sled
Springs pair were found dead
of unknown cause in Wallowa
County in late August, and a
Grant County man hunting
coyotes on private property in
early October reported shoot-
ing a wolf designated as OR-
22. A district attorney is re-
viewing evidence in the case.
The Nov. 9 ODFW Com-
mission meeting begins at 8
a.m. at the department head-
quarters, 4034 Fairview In-
dustrial Drive SE, Salem. Wolf
delisting is the only topic on
the agenda.
Saving an apple orchard may graft an industry’s growth
Capital Press
MOLALLA, Ore. — On
a modest farm southeast of
Portland, volunteers nurture
thousands of cuttings taken
from a world class collection
of obscure apple varieties.
Their goal is to copy the
eclectic collection and sustain
its genetic diversity before its
aging owner retires, sells or the
collection falls into disarray.
The volunteers, roused
through such groups as the
Home Orchard Society, have
found unexpected allies: Hip-
ster hard cider makers, whose
booming industry seeks the
bitter-sweet or even bitter-tart
flavors of old heirloom apples,
not the Honeycrisp, Fuji or the
half-dozen other fresh-eating
varieties most commonly sold
in grocery stores.
“The cider makers have
found the older varieties pro-
duce the complex, multi-lay-
ered flavors they need,” said
Joanie Cooper, who owns the
Molalla farm where the orchard
collection is being established.
“The new ones are just sweet
and don’t add character to ci-
“All of this makes sense,”
said Pete Mulligan, a key
project supporter and partner
in Bull Run Cider outside of
Portland. “This is the fastest
growing adult beverage in the
At the root of this collabo-
ration is the renowned Botner
Collection in Yoncalla, Ore.,
which was established by am-
ateur horticulturist Nick Botner
and his wife, Carla. Trading
and exchanging with other pri-
vate and public collectors over
A late-setting variety labeled “Huvitus” is among the apple trees
copied from the renowned but eclectic Nick Botner collection in
Southern Oregon. The Temperate Orchard Conservancy, a non-
profit, is copying the collection to sustain genetic diversity.
Photos by Eric Mortenson/Capital Press
Joanie Cooper, owner of Almaty Farm in Molalla, Ore., leads The Temperate Orchard Conservancy’s
effort to copy the Botner apple tree collection, which includes up to 4,000 varieties.
several decades, Nick Botner
gathered an estimated 4,000
apple varieties from around the
world, including from old pio-
neer homesteads in the U.S. He
grows them on his farm.
But the farm is for sale.
Cooper, who’s long been active
in the Home Orchard Society,
said Botner, near 90, told her,
“You need to buy my farm.
Move down here and save my
That wasn’t feasible. In ad-
dition, Cooper said the farm is
not commercially viable, be-
cause in many cases Botner has
only one tree per variety.
In 2011, intending to pre-
serve the genetic diversity
represented in the Botners’ or-
chard, Cooper and others set
out to duplicate it.
In 2012, Cooper formed a
nonprofit, the Temperate Or-
chard Conservancy, and began
the effort to plant the copied
varieties on Almaty Farm, her
40-acre property outside of
Molalla. Cooper said the farm
will distribute cuttings to other
“We have big and broad
plans,” she said. “This isn’t go-
ing to be a static collection.”
It is tedious work. Vol-
unteers take cuttings, called
scions, and graft them to root
stock. They’re grown out in
pots under shade cloth before
being planted at Cooper’s farm.
The nonprofit eventually will
take over the property, Cooper
said. Down the road, the con-
servancy may be able to help
support itself by selling trees.
Each tree wears a metal tag
with identification drawn from
Botner’s eclectic records: Com-
mon name, planting block and
row number.
The varieties range from
Muscaset de Lense, a French
cider apple, to Huvitus, which
originated in Finland. Others
are identified as Glass King,
Lyman Prolific, Kensei, Har-
lamowski, Joy’s Delight and
Marlin Stephens.
“Most of these, you
wouldn’t know what they are,”
Cooper said.
So far, volunteers have cop-
ied about 3,000 of the estimated
4,000 varieties in the collection.
The USDA maintains an
apple variety collection in Ge-
neva, N.Y., but the Botner col-
lection holds some that aren’t
found there. Cooper said the
conservancy has a different
“They have a collection, but
their goal is not to save every
heirloom variety,” Cooper said.
“Ours is.”
The work wins cheers from
Joseph Postman, who curates
the USDA’s pear collection out-
side of Corvallis, Ore.
Grocery chains primarily
sell four or five apple varieties,
and lack of diversity is a genet-
ic vulnerability, Postman said.
Having access to hundreds
opens the market to local prod-
ucts, he said.
The alcoholic fruit drink in-
dustry is pushing the renewed
interest in varieties that aren’t
widely grown commercially,
Postman said. Over the past
dozen years, most of the re-
quests Postman’s received for
pear cuttings come from “per-
ry” makers. Perry is to pears
as cider is to apples.
At Bull Run Cider in For-
est Grove out side of Portland,
Mulligan and partner Galen
Williams make hard cider,
maintain their own orchard
and sell trees to other orchard-
It’s critical the industry
grow its own cider varieties
as soon as possible, Mulligan
said. Some cideries now make
do with juiced dessert apples,
he said.
Cooper, the nonprofit Tem-
perate Orchard Conservancy
founder and owner of Almaty
Farm, said her interest began
when she realized the rural
property she owned years ago
near Amity, Ore., had remnants
of an orchard planted in the
late 1880s. She sought identi-
fication and was entranced by
the long-forgotten varieties.
She’s transplanted that fer-
vor to her new farm, Amaty.
The farm name comes from a
city in Kazakhstan and report-
edly means “full of apples.”
The region is often described
as the birthplace of modern
apples, and so the name ap-
peals to Cooper.
“That’s what I call it,” she
El Nino’s warm and wet winter could impact 2016 prune crop, insider warns
YUBA CITY, Calif. — El
Nino conditions are already
threatening prune production
in Chile and could do the same
in California, an industry in-
sider warns.
Along with fueling Hurri-
cane Patricia’s recent assault
on the Mexican coast, El Nino
has brought ongoing rain and
cloudy weather in Chile during
the spring growing season,
notes Greg Thompson, general
manager of the Prune Bargain-
ing Association.
The weather phenomenon
marked by warm southern
storms casts doubt on Califor-
nia’s 2016 crop, as warm and
wet conditions increase the
likelihood of disease problems
in fruit production, Thompson
California and Chile to-
gether account for 80 percent
of the world’s dried plum pro-
duction. While a downturn in
production could push prices
up, “we found out this year
that things can happen globally
you didn’t expect,” Thompson
told the Capital Press.
“Several of the internation-
al markets for South America
— like Russia and Brazil —
are having economic problems
and imports are way off,” he
said. “Prices were up last year
because there really was a
global shortfall in production.
When prices go up, there’s
a shift in the supply-and-de-
mand curve.”
Scientists have said this
winter’s El Nino could turn
out to be as strong as 1997-
98, which resulted in severe
weather and flooding in many
areas of the United States.
Prune producers that season
were expecting a 170,000-ton
crop, but the rain and gloomy
skies that extended into the
summer led to a crop of only
102,000 tons.
A warm early spring this
year diminished fruit sizes in
California, leading to an esti-
mated 100,000-ton crop, down
4 percent from the 104,000
tons pulled from dryers in
2014, according to the Na-
tional Agricultural Statistics
A big crop in South Ameri-
can in 2014-15 combined with
the economic slump to put
downward pressure on prices,
Thompson said. If money is
tight, some growers may want
to cut back on “cultural inputs”
such as pruning, fertilizers and
fungicides, but such cutbacks
could lead to disaster in a
warm and wet winter, he said.
Grower should “just try to
keep a good, healthy orchard
as best you can and try to
weather the storm,” he said.
Formed in 1968, the Prune
Bargaining Association is a
that negotiates with buyers to
establish the industry’s raw
product price for prunes.
The heavy duty, hydraulically powered horizontal
Bale Reclaim system, with “Vertical cut positioning”
• The HB System 2000 comes complete with hydraulic cylinder and
controls for powered cut depth adjustment through the cut.
• Automatic bar oiler system is a standard feature on this unit.
• This saw splits bales using an L-M DE-68 inch saw bar running .404
pitch chain designed for parallel cutting through any type of hay or
Capital Press