Illinois Valley news. (Cave City, Oregon) 1937-current, May 19, 2004, Image 1

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    IVCRT would like to handle welcome mat at visitor center
During the past dec-
ade, thousands of tourists
have been welcomed to
Illinois Valley Visitor Cen-
ter in Cave Junction. How-
ever, budget cuts threaten
to shut it down.
The visitor center is
currently under the co-
management of several
organizations including the
U.S. Forest Service, the
National Park Service, the
Bureau of Land Manage-
ment and the city of Cave
But due to a lack of
funding, the forest service
said that it will be unable
to keep the site open much
However, there might
be a change of luck on the
horizon. Recently, Illinois
Valley Community Re-
sponse Team (IVCRT), a
501cc not-for-profit or-
ganization, submitted a
proposal to take over man-
agement of the visitor cen-
“The visitor center is
vital to the valley’s econ-
omy,” said Dennis Strayer,
site manager. “Our real
goal is to promote the val-
ley as a tourist destina-
tion,” he said.
Strayer, who has
worked at the center for
the past eight years, noted
that an estimated 250,000
people have come through
the site.
“Just last month, we
saw an increase of 400
people compared to the
same time last year,”
Strayer said. “A lot of peo-
ple travel through here, but
don’t know what’s here.
Once they get here, we
bombard them with infor-
mation that helps them
identify a variety of local
tourist attractions, which
helps promote the local
economy, so all the money
is staying here in the val-
However, all this could
change if the visitor center
cash flow runs dry next
“The real threat is not
this season, but next year,”
said Ron Phillips, IVCRT
executive director.
“The visitor center,”
he said, “will have to close
due to lack of funding
from federal agencies. The
center is vital to the Ore-
gon Caves National Monu-
ment (20 miles east of
Cave Junction) and the
local businesses. It’s cur-
rently a non-commercial
operation, and changing
the nature of it would
make it much more ac-
IVCRT recently sent a
proposal to all organiza-
tions involved with the
visitor center, seeking their
interest in management
options. A date for a board
meeting to discuss the pro-
posal has not yet been set.
Under the proposal,
IVCRT is seeking a man-
agement contract to oper-
ate the visitor center under
its organization, Oregon
Caves Outfitters. It already
has a park service contract
for the Oregon Caves con-
cession, including The
Chateau restaurant and gift
“Under the current
management structure
there is very little commer-
cial activity,” said Phillips,
“and by taking it under
concession, we could take
the floor space of a back
room and make it a replica
of the gift gallery that we
(Continued on page 8)
Raffenburg, Brock, Ellis,
Walker win; library loses
It appears that Meas-
ure 17.01 for a library levy
failed in the Tuesday, May
18 primary election; and
that there will be runoffs in
the Nov. 2 general election
for two seats on the Jose-
phine County Board of
Those tentative con-
clusions are based on final,
unofficial results received
Tuesday shortly before
midnight from the Jose-
phine County Clerk’s Elec-
tions Office.
In the race for Position
2 on the county commis-
sion, Jim Raffenburg re-
ceived 5,853 votes. Jim
Brock, who was in Posi-
tion 3 but challenged long-
time Commissioner Harold
Haugen for Position 2, re-
ceived 5,211 votes.
Raffenburg and Brock
will compete in November.
Haugen got 3,684
votes, in third place ahead
of Gayle Shane’s 2,112.
For Position 3 it ap-
pears that there will be a
runoff between Cherryl
Walker (8,198) and
Dwight Ellis (7,906).
Contenders included
Paul Walter (1,773) and
Lance Noble (1,214).
The library levy re-
quest was defeated. Voting
was comprised of 10,003
“yes” vs. 11,055 “no.”
The request was for a
temporary library tax rate
of 20-cents per $1,000 as-
sessed valuation for three
Voter turnout was
46.15 percent, according to
the elections office. The
levy needed a 50 percent
turnout of registered
county voters, and a major-
ity of the votes cast.
Other information
about the election and its
results will be in next
week’s issue.
Cougar softball state playoff
game Monday, May 24 in CJ
WALDO ROAD INJURY ACCIDENT - Illinois Valley resi-
dent Stanley O. Strange, 51, was reported injured when
his pickup truck went out of control and crashed on
Waldo Road approximately two miles east of Redwood
Hwy., said Josephine County Sheriff’s Office. The acci-
dent was reported on Thursday, May 13 at 7:22 p.m.
Illinois Valley Fire District firefighters extricated
Strange from the vehicle. He was taken by American
Medical Response ambulance to Three Rivers Commu-
nity Hospital, where he was reported in fair condition.
Illinois Valley High School, because its softball team is
in second place in the Skyline Conference, will host a state
playoff game on Monday, May 24 beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Admission will be charged with prices for adults and
students. Children 6 and younger will be admitted free.
The girls have a 16-3 mark in the Skyline. On Monday
they will play either Douglas or Brookings, whichever ends
up in third place in the Far West League.
I.V. anticipates victory, and would then travel on
Wednesday, May 26 to the Portland area to play the first-
place team in the Val-Co League.
“We’re looking for an exciting game, and hope that
there will be lots of Cougar supporters at the game,” said
Janie Pope, IVHS athletic secretary.
County fire plan aims for
safe homes, community
Fire District volunteer firefighters participated in a suc-
cessful live fire exercise off S. Old Stage Road on Sat-
urday, May 15. Two structures owned by Les Story
were donated for the training. Training Chief Jeff Gav-
lik directed operations. (Photo by Shane Welsh)
The Josephine County
Integrated Fire Plan has
the aim of increasing
awareness among county
citizens about the risk of
wildfire and how to pre-
pare homes, businesses
and communities for sur-
vival, said Bruce Bartow,
head of JoCo Community
The county fire plan,
he said, is promoting basic
fire prevention messages
through flyers and posters
at fire protection agency
offices. The plan has two
main elements: community
action and family action.
Following are family
actions that the fire plan is
encouraging all families to
accomplish this spring:
*Cut dry grass and
*Clean roofs/gutters.
* Hav e a fa mi l y
evacuation plan.
The Spring Fire Pre-
vention Plan is co-
sponsored by the JoCo
Board of Commissioners
and the JoCo Integrated
Fire Plan Education and
Outreach Campaign. As
part of education, a county
video, “Living in Fire
Country,” is available at
libraries and video rental
stores, Bartow said.
For more information
on fire prevention safety,
contact Illinois Valley Fire
District at 592-2225; or
Oregon Dept. of Forestry,
(541) 474-3152.