The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, March 23, 2018, WEEKEND EDITION, Image 1

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145TH YEAR, NO. 189
spared, but
eggs will
be taken
Agency won’t shoot
fish-eating birds this year
The Daily Astorian
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t plan
to shoot any double-crested cormorants at a breed-
ing colony at the mouth of the Columbia River this
year, but wants to take up to 500 eggs.
The Audubon Society of Portland has asked
that nothing happen until both the Army Corps and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which issues
the depredation permit, investigate why the birds
abandoned Oregon’s East Sand Island in 2016 and
The Corps has shot
more than 5,000 adult
double-crested cormo-
rants and destroyed
more than 6,000 nests
at East Sand Island
since passing a man-
agement plan three
years ago in an attempt
to control the massive
colony. The birds prey
on juvenile salmon
and steelhead, some of
which are listed under
Joshua Bessex/ the federal Endan-
The Daily Astorian gered Species Act.
A double-crested cor-
The agency will not
shoot double-crested
cormorants this year
because of nesting activity in 2017 when thou-
sands of birds abandoned the island and nests full
of eggs for much of the season. Summaries on the
Corps’ website and statements to the media indi-
cated the presence of bald eagles could be to blame
for the birds’ dispersal. A similar situation occurred
in 2016 as well.
“It is simply not credible for the agencies to
ignore the fact that the 2016 colony collapse, in
which more than 16,000 cormorants abandoned
their nests in a single day, followed weeks of relent-
less shooting of adult birds and came days after
federal agents initiated egg oiling and nest destruc-
tion activities in the colony,” wrote Bob Sallinger,
conservation director for the Audubon Society, in a
letter sent to the agencies in March.
This year, the Corps will move into the second
phase of its plan, which still includes the take of up
to 500 double-crested cormorant eggs but focuses
more on nonlethal hazing and restricting available
nesting habitat.
The Corps’ depredation permit application is
under review and has not been approved yet.
East Sand Island’s double-crested cormorant
colony was set to be reduced from over 14,000
breeding pairs recorded in the 2015 management
plan to no more than 5,380 to 5,939. There were
approximately 5,000 to 6,000 individual dou-
ble-crested cormorants on the island at the end of
the nesting season last year, according to Army
Corps spokesman Rick Hargrave.
The birds, one of three cormorant species typ-
ically seen on the North Coast, arrive at the island
in late March and early April and leave in the fall.
The colony on East Sand Island at one point was
believed to account for more than 40 percent of the
entire Western population of double-crested cor-
morants. The island is also home to a large Caspian
tern colony that has been under a management plan
to restrict nesting habitat since 2008.
Colony failure among the double-crested cor-
morants was one of the Audubon Society of
Portland’s chief concerns from the very begin-
ning. In his letter, Sallinger also referenced con-
cerns held by researchers who had spent years on
High school students in Astoria, across
country, step into center of gun debate
Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
Elias Harold helps his fellow students from Astoria High School make signs for a rally on Saturday.
The Daily Astorian
wo days after organizing a walkout at Astoria High School against gun violence,
freshman Elias Harold sat in English class. He had already shifted his attention to
a school choir concert where he was tapped to sing a solo. But a text he received
changed that. “So, would you want to go to D.C.?” Suzanne Harold, his mother, asked.
Motivated by the mass
“It was a little bit of
shooting that killed 17 peo-
a scramble a week in
ple at a Florida high school
advance,” Suzanne Harold
in February, many middle
said. “I’m excited and over-
whelmed. It was kind of
and high school students
like I had drunk too much
have pressed for gun con-
trol in a movement referred
to as “Never Again.” The
Elias Harold said he
latest demonstration will
hopes to make connections
come on Saturday in the
this weekend with other
March for Our Lives, a
national protest in Washing-
“If I manage to get any
ton, D.C., with companion
contact numbers or things
rallies across the country,
like that, then I could see
including one in Astoria.
what their side of the coun-
try is doing. Knowing other
After last week’s school
Elias Harold | Astoria freshman
people around the world
walkout, a local anony-
who will participate in a national
mous donor handed Astoria
and just, sort of, knowing
march in Washington, D.C.
High School Principal Lynn
what their life is like ver-
sus mine is always nice,” he
Jackson $1,000 in the hopes
said. “I think the main end
it would fund a student’s
goal is definitely getting gun control.”
trip to the nation’s capital. Jackson gauged the Har-
old family’s interest.
The Harolds’ will march alongside survivors of
The mother and son decided to drive to Seat-
the Florida high school shooting.
tle right after the concert, stay in a hotel and fly out
See VOICES, Page 7A
College, land trust close in on South Tongue Point
Purchases for
and living lab
The Daily Astorian
Edward Stratton/The Daily Astorian
Clatsop Community College is trying to purchase the land
it leases from the state for the Marine and Environmental
Research and Training Station, its career-technical cam-
pus at South Tongue Point.
Clatsop Community Col-
lege and the Columbia Land
Trust are closing in on the
acquisition of most of South
Tongue Point.
The college in 1996 opened
the Marine and Environmen-
tal Research and Training Sta-
tion, a career-technical cam-
pus along Liberty Lane. The
campus houses welding, auto-
motive, firefighting, mari-
time and historic preservation
The land for the campus is
leased from the Department
of State Lands. A square plot
of land and dock are owned
by the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers. The college moors
its maritime sciences train-
ing vessel, the Forerunner, at
the dock, and Clatsop County
leases land for fish pens.
The college has contracted
architectural and planning
firm SRG Partnership for up
to $100,000 to create a master
plan for the campus as it pre-
pares for an appraisal in June
on nearly 22 acres. The col-
lege’s proposal to purchase the
property could go before the
State Land Board as early as
“I do believe we have suffi-
cient funds,” said JoAnn Zahn,
the college’s vice president of
finance and operations.
The purchase would come
out of the college’s plant fund
containing about $2.5 million,
she said, and would likely hap-
pen next school year.
The state recently awarded
the college $8.1 million in
bonds to add a second floor
onto the college’s adminis-
trative and maritime sciences
See TRUST, Page 7A