Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current, June 19, 2019, Page A8, Image 8

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Wallowa County Chieftain
Bottom: Wallowa Lake
holds ‘interesting things’
Continued from Page A1
investigating the lake
bottom for the past four
years. What they, and the
EPA dive contractors have
found is a bit astonishing.
“There’s a lot of
interesting things down
there,” said diver Lisa
Anderson, who is also
a retired Oregon State
Police Senior Trooper. Up
in the northeast end of
the lake the divers have
found what appears to
be the remnant of an
old lifeguard stand that
was toppled into the
lake. It may date to the
1920s when there was
a swimming area there
rather than closer to the
dam. Several large water
pipes remain under water
on the northwest end,
including three that are
wooden, and two that
have metal bands around
the pipe to hold them
together. There’s also a
two-wheeled horse cart,
or what’s left of it, that
sits in about 50 feet of
water, and the remnants
of a horse-drawn plow.
But much of what’s
on the lake bottom — at
least at dive-able depth
— includes old tires,
rolled-up remnants of
carpet, and some batter-
ies and car parts. “There’s
Fire season starts Monday in Northeast Oregon
By Katy Nesbitt
For the East Oregonian
recent wildfi re starts across
the region, Monday is the
offi cial start of fi re season
for Northeast Oregon.
weather forecasters look
for an average fi re season
for the Blue Mountains, but
dry conditions are attracting
concern for large wildfi res
between the Cascades and
the Oregon Coast.
Dan Slagle, forecaster at
the National Weather Ser-
vice in Pendleton, said there
is no strong signal that the
summer weather patterns
would be unusual, but July
and August are predicted to
be warm.
“We are trending toward
cooler and drier weather the
next one to two weeks, but
longer trends favor warmer
than normal conditions,” he
Lightning storms this
past week started fi res in
Central Oregon, but Slagle
said the storms didn’t come
with much wind so the fi res
were extinguished while
they were still small.
pack stayed around a cou-
ple weeks longer than usual,
what looks on the ROV’s
sonar like an engine
block,” said one member
of the EPA-contracted
Global Divers and Salvage
team. “And the ROV video
also showed a lawn chair,
in not quite a hundred
feet of water, just sitting
there, upright, waiting for
someone to plunk them-
selves down in it.”
Blue Mountain Divers
have also found some
disquieting things
besides the drum that
once held herbicide.
That includes the pipe
bomb that they located
just off shore from the
County Park on the north
end of the lake in 2016.
On their most recent trip
to Wallowa Lake they
discovered a World War
II-era fl are—or at least its
corroded shell, complete
with stamped metal label
that reads “Hot UM-1-
315, 1945.”
But there are also
more benign and useful
treasures to be found. On
Saturday, while diving
at the county park, Blue
Mountain Divers were
quite popular. “We got
fl agged down by three
diff erent people who said
they had lost prescription
eyeglasses off the dock,”
Anderson said. “We were
able to get all three!”
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
E.J. Harris/East Oregonian
A fi refi ghting air tanker drops a load of fi re retardant into a
draw in Harrington Canyon as a large wildfi re burned out of
control Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, southwest of Pilot Rock.
according to Brett Thomas,
fi re staff offi cer for the Uma-
tilla National Forest, and the
latter part of May had cooler
temperatures and a lot of
rain. He said he expects an
average fi re year, as well.
“It could change if June
turns off, but it is supposed
to mellow out to 70s and 80s
for the rest of the month,” he
According to Jamie
Knight, who handles pub-
lic affairs out of Oregon
Department of Forestry’s
La Grande offi ce, dryness
and warming temperatures
at lower elevations warrant
declaring fi re season.
“Typically we go into fi re
season any time between the
middle of June and the fi rst
part of July,” she said.
The state has kept records
of the beginning of fi re sea-
son dates since 1977, when
fi re season started May 1,
Knight said. In recent years,
the date has fl uctuated — in
2014, the offi cial start was
June 11, while last year a
cool, wet spring put it off
until June 28.
Restrictions in effect
Starting Monday, fi re pre-
vention restrictions on land-
owners and the public go
into effect as do regulations
Firewood: Commissioner pitches in on salvage trip
Continued from Page A1
Ed Staub & Sons
Energy Community Service.
201 East Hwy 82 Enterprise, OR 97828
For the first time in Eastern Ore
9 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
Learn about all of your Federal and State benefits
Under one roof!
Veterans town hall meeting
with odva director kelly fitzpatrick
6 p.m. july 26
 same
W W W. E X P O.O R E G O N D VA .C O M
the group to the ranger sta-
tion on the way to Hoodoo
Ridge, where the group met
up with other USFS employ-
ees, including acting dis-
trict ranger, Katie Richard-
son, who normally serves
as the forest environment
After introductions and
brief talk, both groups car-
avanned out to the ridge
area and examined several
stands of burned trees. At
the fi rst stop, Schmidt asked
Nash, who had brought his
chain saw on the journey,
to fall several to see if the
trees were worthy of sal-
vage nearly four years after
the fi re.
After obtaining permis-
sion from the agency per-
sonnel, Nash fi red up the
saw, felling three smaller
trees, two fi r and one lodge-
pole. Examination indicated
the trees had weathered
well and could be harvested
within the the next few years
while still retaining mer-
chantable value, in this case,
as fi rewood.
As thunder rumbled and
the skies glowered with
more rain, the groups vis-
ited one more site before
disbanding for the journey
Although nothing was
set in stone, the agency
appeared amenable to some
salvage logging on the fi re
complex. They did mention
possible sales would be lim-
ited to 250 acres in size as
it can be harvested without
a NEPA evaluation as their
size qualifi es them for a Cat-
egorical Exclusion, which
allows the sale to proceed
without an Environmental
Impact Statement.
Jon Cleary & the Absolute Gentlemen
OK Theatre
Ural Thomas
& The Pain
Dinner on Main Street &
How the West was Dun
a western melodrama and dinner
Friday July 12th • Tickets $50
Bart Budwig
Caleb Klauder Country Band
Kory Quin
Dom Flemons
Party on Main Street!
$25 per person or $50 per family!
Tickets available at:
eventbrite.com, theoldok.com or by
calling 541-263-0941
Party like it’s
on industrial logging and
forest management activi-
ties on 2 million acres of pri-
vate, state, county, munic-
ipal and tribal lands within
the Northeast Oregon Forest
Protection District.
During fi re season per-
mits are required for burn
barrels, and for all open
burning, except campfi res,
on all private forest and
rangelands. Logging and
road building operators need
to have fi re tools, water sup-
ply and watchman service
when those operations are
occurring on lands protected
by the state.
Knight advised that peo-
ple who burn slash piles in
the winter or spring should
check to make sure they are
completely out — some-
times fi res can smolder for
weeks or months and dry
conditions and wind can
whip them up to an uncon-
trolled burn.
“By going into fi re sea-
son we are trying to reduce
the number of human starts,”
Knight said.
As seasonally employed
fi refi ghters are starting their
training, a few state and fed-
eral fi re professionals have
been dispatched to Arizona
and Alberta, Canada, to help
with early season blazes.
208 W. Main Street, Enterprise, Oregon
Steve Tool/Chieftain
Walllowa County Commissioner Todd Nash falls a burned tree
on the Umatilla National Forest near Troy where the Grizzly
complex fi re burned several years ago.
Richardson said she’s
never taken a group out on
a tour before, but it’s a com-
mon practice at the agency,
especially with groups
interested in Farm Bill CEs.
She enjoyed the experience.
“It was interesting for
me because I wasn’t aware
of what kind of material we
had for the fi rewood indus-
try to use,” she said. “I
learned what’s valuable to
them today.”
She also noted that many
such fi eld trips are open to
the public.
“Some of them are
advertised with our scop-
ing notices, so if they’re
interested, people can check
those out in the East Orego-
nian (newspaper).”
Nash said he was some-
what disappointed with
the trip. With more than
80,000 acres burnt, (a por-
tion which was inside the
derness Area) the commis-
sioner said that it sounded
to him that little of it would
undergo salvage. He also
learned that the newly
allowable 3000-acre Cate-
gorical Exclusions allowed
under special circumstances
would not apply to the Griz-
zly fi re.
“Salvage continues to be
an ugly word when we try
to re-purpose anything on
the face of the earth,” he
said. He also stated that he
thought the agency operated
out of a fear of litigation
rather than what was was
best for the economy com-
munity and forest health.
Schmidt said that he
went along on the trip
because he looks at it as
part of his job to know what
timber is out there and let
the agency know what he’s
looking for. Not because the
USFS needs to fi gure out
anything for his company,
but so the agency can know
the market conditions. He
has about 23 employees,
and the mill is dependent to
a certain point on what the
agency has to offer.
“Our two primary prod-
uct lines are fi rewood and
post-and-pole, and post-
and-pole requires a lot of
lodgepole and for fi rewood
our highest value product
is dead or diseased trees,”
he said. “If you think about
these things, they’re on For-
est Service, not so much on
private ground. Our prod-
uct lines were built around
what the Forest Service has
and needs to remove for for-
est health.”
The mill owner said that
he came away from the jour-
ney with the idea that the
agency wants to get work
done regardless of their lim-
ited resources.
“My takeaway is that
they were grateful to get an
understanding of what kind
of product fi ts our market-
place ,” he said. “I was grate-
ful they took the time to lis-
ten to what was important to
our county and our commu-
nity and our business. It was
a good sharing opportunity.”
Hillock thought the
fi eld trip a positive experi-
ence and thought those who
attended would take the
message back to Rassbach
that the county was recep-
tive to the agency’s ideas.
“We’d like to work with
them and do some good
things for both the forest and
the county.”
“I’ve spent the last 40
years trying to help out peo-
ple in the local job force,” he
said. “I felt it was important
to not only help those people
in Wallowa with jobs, but to
conserve natural resources,
and after going out to look
at those trees today, we’ve
got good trees that can be
used at that mill that would
go to waste if we don’t har-
vest them.”
Sculptor: Josephy Center installs bronze
by Nez Perce sculptor Doug Hyde
Continued from Page A1
The name of the sculp-
ture is ‘etweyé·wise,
which means, in the Nez
Perce language, “I return
from a diffi cult journey.”
The artist is Nez Perce
tribal member Doug
Hyde, who was born in
Hermiston and raised on
the Nez Perce Reservation
at Lapwai, Idaho.
He attended the Insti-
tute of American Indian
Arts in Santa Fe at 17
years old, is a Viet Nam
veteran and is now one
of the leading sculptors in
the country.
Almost two years ago
the Josephy Center for
Arts and Culture received
a large “Creative Heights”
grant from the Oregon
Community Foundation
for a bronze sculpture by
a Native American artist.
The Josephy Center
pointed out that although
many bronze statues lin-
ing Joseph’s Main Street
depict Indians, none are
the work of Indian artists.
The Center issued a
call to Plateau Indian art-
ists across the North-
west. Two artist fi nalists
were selected by jurors
representing the Uma-
tilla Reservation in Ore-
gon, the Nez Perce Res-
ervation in Idaho, and the
Nez Perce people on the
Colville Reservation in
Doug Hyde’s win-
ning design, which will
be installed at the Josephy
Center this week, features
a large slab of granite with
the outline of the Wal-
lowa Mountains carved at
its top and the outline of a
Nez Perce woman carved
from its center.
The life-sized woman,
in bronze, is walk-
ing towards the granite,
returning to her homeland
from a diffi cult journey.
This sculpture is a
highlight and reminder of
the many places where
the Nez Perce presence is
strong in Wallowa County,
including the Wallowa
Band Nez Perce Interpre-
tive Center and Tamkaliks
celebration in Wallowa,
the Nez Perce Friend-
ship Feast at Chief Joseph
Days, and the Nez Perce
Fisheries offi ces and res-
toration projects.