East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 07, 2017, Page Page 3A, Image 3

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    REGION
Thursday, December 7, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 3A
Climate coalition gains momentum as nonprofit
By GEORGE PLAVEN
EO Media Group
One year after becoming
a formal nonprofit organi-
zation, the Eastern Oregon
Climate Change Coalition is
ready to broaden its outreach
on climate change issues
affecting farms, forests,
businesses and communities
across the region.
The group, which goes
by the shorthand EOC3,
originally formed in 2006 as
the Umatilla County Climate
Change Focus Group, an ad
hoc citizen’s committee to
discuss local climate impacts
and how to adapt moving
forward.
EOC3 filed for nonprofit
status in January 2017, and
its nine-member board of
directors has produced a stra-
tegic action plan outlining
goals and programs. That
plan will be unveiled at the
group’s 2018 annual meeting
Saturday, Jan. 6 from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oregon
State University Extension
Service conference room at
Blue Mountain Community
College in Pendleton. The
meeting is open to the public.
Colleen Sanders, EOC3
board chairwoman and
the newly hired climate
adaptation planner for the
Confederated Tribes of the
Photo contributed by Colleen Sanders
The Eastern Oregon Climate Change Coalition, or EOC3, participated in a clean
energy jobs rally Nov. 4 in Pendleton, organized by Don Sampson and Renew
Oregon to raise support for a proposed Oregon cap-and-invest energy policy.
Umatilla Indian Reservation,
said their primary mission
is to provide education and
understanding about climate
change, especially as it influ-
ences rural Eastern Oregon.
“So much of our human
society has been built on the
predictability of our climate
and the seasonal weather
patterns,” Sanders said.
“What climate change is
doing is completely throwing
a wrench in those.”
Looking ahead to 2018,
Sanders said EOC3 plans
host monthly luncheons and
build a network of speakers
versed in different aspects of
climate change to promote
a greater knowledge of the
issues.
“The idea is to create
a conversation space for
climate change issues,” she
said.
Dave
Powell,
vice
chairman of the EOC3 board
and a retired silviculturist
with the Umatilla National
Forest, gave a climate
presentation Tuesday for
students at Weston-McEwen
High School in Athena.
Though his main topic was
forestry, Powell said the
impacts kept coming back to
one crucial element: water.
“When
you
think
about all of the benefits
and ecosystem services
that a forest provides, it’s
becoming more and more
clear to me that water is the
most valuable,” Powell said.
“The webs that reach out
from that are huge.”
According to one climate
model from OSU, average
temperatures in the Blue
Mountains could increase
anywhere from 1 to 3
degrees Celsius over the next
75 years. The most obvious
impact, Powell said, will be
more moisture falling in the
form of rain instead of snow.
HERMISTON
Lower snowpack, which is
needed to replenish streams
for farms and fish into
summer, means faster runoff
at higher elevations.
Bruce Barnes, EOC3
board member and executive
director of the Pendle-
ton-based nonprofit Flora ID,
said studies show that peak
water flow in the Umatilla
River has comes 30 days
earlier that it did in the 1980s.
“There are so many
different factors to consider,”
Barnes said. “They’re inter-
woven. Each one may affect
several different factors, or
vice-versa.”
Less snow and more rain
has already affected the
timing of timber harvest,
Barnes said, since loggers
prefer to work when the
ground is still frozen.
Don Wysocki, fellow
EOC3 member and exten-
sion soil scientist for OSU
in Umatilla County, said
changes in snowpack and
water availability will drive
changes in local agriculture,
pushing back irrigation
seasons and ripening dryland
crops earlier than usual.
“Harvest will occur
earlier. Winters will probably
get more heat units, so that
changes the growth cycle
of wheat,” Wysocki said.
“We’ll probably favor wheat
varieties that mature earlier
to try to escape drought or
water shortages.”
There is some debate,
Wysocki said, on how
climate change may affect
precipitation during the
growing season, which could
have a positive or negative
effect on regional production.
“I’ve seen projections
going both ways on that,” he
said. “But I suspect there’s
some evidence that we may
have a little better growing
season precipitation.”
Sanders said she worries
that changes in water
availability may exacerbate
existing conflicts between
industries, such as irrigation
and fisheries. The public has
to start thinking about adap-
tation to ensure the long-term
health of those resources, she
said.
Registering EOC3 as a
nonprofit has helped to give
the group a new energy,
Sanders said, and they hope
to give rural Oregonians a
voice on climate issues and
policies.
“We want Eastern Oregon
residents and industries to be
informed and empowered
around climate change,”
Sanders said. “Climate
change is going to impact
everything, and everybody
needs to be involved.”
PENDLETON
Humane society chases taxing district model
By PHIL WRIGHT
East Oregonian
Staff photo by Jayati Ramakrishnan
Jose Muniz, a seventh grader at Sandstone Middle School, was accompanied by
his parents as Lions Club acting president Charlie Clupny congratulated him for his
entry into the Peace Poster contest.
Students envision a future of peace
By JAYATI
RAMAKRISHNAN
East Oregonian
Four
students
were
honored Wednesday for their
thoughts on peace, and the
way they encourage others to
think about it, too. The Herm-
iston Lions Club recognized
the local entrants of the Lions
Club Peace Poster contest:
four students from Armand
Larive and Sandstone middle
schools. Students were asked
to depict the theme “the
future of peace.”
Jose Muniz, Moises Reyes
Purcell, Robby Shea and
Amy Wooster were invited,
along with their families, to
the Lions’ meeting where
they were treated to lunch and
got to display their posters
for the club members. Each
student received a certificate
for their participation.
Wooster’s poster was
the winning piece, and will
now be submitted to the
multi-district competition.
She received $25 for her win.
Lions President Pro
Tempore Charlie Clupny
said the contest has local,
state, national and interna-
tional levels. The winner of
the international contest is
invited with their family to
accept the award with the
United Nations.
“Our dream is that one
day we hear that one of our
entries had made it to the
international competition,”
Clupny said.
Wooster’s drawing, done
in colored pencil, depicted a
missile turning into a dove.
Wooster, a seventh-grader
at Sandstone Middle School,
said the piece took her a few
The Pioneer Humane
Society wants Umatilla
County voters to support
a taxing district for animal
control.
Ben DeCarlow of Herm-
iston, Pioneer Humane
Society board treasurer,
made the pitch Wednesday
morning to the Umatilla
County Board of Commis-
sioners. He said a special
taxing district with a rate
of 10 cents per $1,000
of assessed value would
generate around $500,000
for the organization to
cover the cost of services.
Pioneer
Humane
Society operates the no-kill
Pendleton Animal Welfare
Shelter, which took in 860
dogs and 1,430 cats in 2015
and 2016. DeCarlow said
the society also operates
programs to provide pet
food for lower income pet
owners and transportation
for pets that need to be
spayed or neutered.
He also told the board the
nationwide animal control
model is for counties to
support humane societies.
Without the steady stream
of tax revenue, he said
Pioneer Humane Society
“would not be headed in a
positive direction.”
Marjorie Iburg, former
EO file photo
In this January 2016 file photo, Cuttie and Cuddles
share a pen at PAWS animal shelter in Pendleton.
Pendleton city councilor
and former PAWS board
member, told commis-
sioners the population of
unwanted animals “could
be overwhelming” for the
county if not for the Pioneer
Humane Society. She said
that a taxing district would
include Hermiston, and
the animal shelter there
would receive tax revenue,
possibly through a contract
with Pioneer Humane
Society.
Commissioners
Bill
Elfering
and
George
Murdock voted to allow
the group to proceed
and seek the approval of
local city councils. The
commissioners noted that
was how the Oregon State
University
Extension
Service District had to get a
resolution on the May 2018
ballot to consider forming a
new taxing district.
On that note, the board
held the first of two public
meetings on the Extension
Service District.
Dan Dorran of Herm-
iston, former Umatilla
County
Fair
Board
member, was among the
handful of people who
spoke in favor of the exten-
sion service district, along
with local wheat producer
Greg Goad. No one spoke
against.
The board of commis-
sioners approved a coun-
ty-wide boundary for the
extension district and set
the second public hearing
on the matter for Jan. 3.
Staff photo by Jayati Ramakrishnan
A drawing of a missile turning into a dove was the
winner of the local Lions Club Peace Poster Contest.
The piece was drawn by Amy Wooster of Sandstone
Middle School.
weekends of work. This is
her second year entering the
contest.
She said she was happy to
move on to the next round.
“I don’t know if I’ll win,
but it’s fun,” she said.
Wooster’s parents, Sandy
DeBano and David Wooster,
said the whole family
enjoyed thinking up potential
ideas for posters, but this one
was Amy’s.
“We wish there was an
adult contest,” DeBano said.
The Lions Club also
honored two community
organizations and awarded
them with donations from
a recent auction. The Blue
Mountain
Community
College Foundation received
$11,068 from the Lions Club
to be used for the Precision
Irrigated Agricultural Center.
The Lions also donated
$500 to Made to Thrive, a
local organization that funds
activities for students whose
families can’t afford them,
such as sports and music. The
program is tailored to each
student and more than 300
kids in the community have
participated in the program.
The donation was from
the Don Horneck Memorial
Fund. Horneck was an
agronomist who worked at
the Hermiston Agricultural
Research and Extension
Center. He passed away
unexpectedly in 2014 at age
56.
Phil Hamm, a Lion’s Club
member, said a scholarship
to help an Oregon State
University agronomy student
was set up in Horneck’s
name after his passing. The
scholarship is now worth
more than $100,000, Hamm
said.
–——
Contact
Jayati
Ramakrishnan at 541-564-
4534 or jramakrishnan@
eastoregonian.com
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