Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current, July 01, 2011, Page 7, Image 7

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    Smoke Signals 7
JULY 1,2011
iWDDngj tilhxs gjnramidl D spirts
Photo by Ron Karten
Bonneville Powtr Administration lineman from th"liv line crew" place a
new osprey nest (one room, river view) on its new pole, highest in the area,
creating a safer neighborhood for raising the little ones.
Tribe helps PGE, BPA move
bird's nest to safe location
By Ron Karten
Smoke Signals staff writer
For some things it takes a village,
but to raise an osprey, it looks like a
concerned citizen and a Tribal Natu
ral Resources staff member with a
good contact at Bonneville Power
Administration can handle the job.
In Grand Ronde recently, that
concerned citizen was Tresa Mer
rier, a Tribal member who works
in the business office of the Tribal
Health Clinic. Her contact was
Kelly Dirksen, coordinator of Fish
and Wildlife in the Tribe's Natural
Resources Department.
The issue? Osprey were building
a nest on high voltage wires at the
Portland General Electric substa
tion next door to the former Wil
lamina Middle School building.
Dirksen contacted PGE and BPA
to see how they handle this kind
of situation. The osprey started
building their nest and the electric
companies then, coincidentally,
shut off power to inspect the poles.
With the power off, the birds built
out over the wires and ceramic
insulators that would be live when
the power came back on. The ques
tion was: How to handle the birds
and the nest before turning the
power back on?
"We watched them all week,"
said Ben Tilley, a BPA Natural Re
source specialist. "On Wednesday
(June 15), we decided on a plan of
In conjunction with Dirksen, BPA
planned to plant a new pole in the
substation. Osprey favor the high
est post, so a new one, taller than
the 80-foot posts that currently
hold the wires, was recruited from
a BPA storage yard and planted on
Friday, June 17.
Nearly 100 feet up, BPA linemen
on the "live line crew" took a bucket
up to the nest, slid it onto a sheet of
plywood and held it on the bucket.
They moved the bucket over to
the new post, where the nest was
tucked into place on cross beams
and exposed bolts around which,
Tilley was fairly certain, the osprey
would tidy things up and generally
make sure the nest was secure.
The poles with the live wires were
fitted with deterrents to keep the
osprey from moving back there.
Still undetermined, said Dirksen,
is whether the birds will take to
the nest after this human interfer
ence. "There is a very good chance that
the pair will abandon the nest after
the crew tries to relocate it," Dirk
sen wrote to Mercier in an e-mail.
"If they abandon it this year there
is a very good chance they will come
back next year at the new site."
Of course, the local school next
door is also now empty, but osprey
move into neighborhoods for more
than just good schools.
Osprey live almost entirely on
a diet of live fish, Dirksen said,
so their presence in the area "is a
reasonable indicator (of the health)
of this arm of the South Yamhill
"I think it's neat," he added, "that
Tresa reaches out with an e-mail
and in the end there is a new and
safer home for birds. It was hard to
imagine at the start that in the end
BPA and PGE would install an ex
pensive 100-foot pole and platform
that will provide a better and safer
nest for the future. I'm thankful
things worked out this well, (but)
hoping she doesn't call me about
some beached whale." D
State adopts more stringent fish consumption rate
Tribes worked to increase
rate to protect members
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
A highest-in-the-nation fish
consumption rate should eventu
ally translate into cleaner Oregon
waterways after the state Envi
ronmental Quality Commission
adopted a Tribally endorsed 175
grams per day benchmark at its
June 16 meeting in Pendleton.
Since 2004, Oregon Tribes, in
cluding the Confederated Tribes of
Grand Ronde, have worked to in
crease the state's fish consumption
rate. The rate affects Oregon water
quality because the higher the fish
consumption rate, the cleaner any
discharge being put in state water
ways must be.
"I consider it a major victory for
the Tribe, and all Oregon Tribes,"
said Tribal Ceded Lands Manager
Mike Karnosh. "Tribal Council has
played a very active role in sup
porting this increase in the fish
consumption rate."
Karnosh said Tribal Chairwoman
Cheryle A. Kennedy, Tribal Council
member Jack Giffen Jr. and former
Tribal Council member June Sell
Sherer all testified before the Envi
ronmental Quality Commission in
support of the higher rate through
the four- to five-year process.
Karnosh also cited Tribal member
Michael Wilson, who is manager of
the Natural Resources Division,
Tribal Environmental Resource
Specialist Brandy Humphreys and
Tribal member Kathleen Feehan
George, who worked for the Uma
tilla Tribe, for their work getting
the rate approved.
In 2004, the state adopted the
Environmental Protection Agency's
recommended fish consumption
rate of 17.5 grams per day about
a cracker's worth in size. However,
Oregon Tribal leaders objected to
that criteria because it did not pro
tect Tribal members who tradition
ally eat greater amounts of fish.
The Grand Ronde Tribe originally
asked for a safe level of 389 grams
per day while other Tribes asked
for levels ranging from 175 to 300
grams per day. A compromise was
reached at 175 grams per day, spec
ifying that that level would keep 95
percent of fish eaters safe.
In 2005, the state Department of
Environmental Quality started the
process for reconsidering the fish con
sumption rate and in October 2008
recommended the use of 175 grams
of fish per day as the rate. At that
time, the commission instructed the
department to pursue rule revisions
to implement the higher rate.
After almost three years of study
about the environmental and eco
nomic effects of the 175 grams rate,
the Environmental Quality Com
mission approved it on a 4-1 vote.
The new rule of 175 grams per
day is equal to 23 eight-ounce fish
servings per month.
The changes tighten human
health criteria for more than 100
pollutants being placed in Oregon
waterways, including mercury,
flame retardants, PCBs, dioxins
and pesticides.
"People with permits to discharge
contaminants into Oregon water
ways will basically have to comply
with the higher standard of cleanli
ness," Karnosh said. "It's not a sil
ver bullet ... there are issues it will
not address, but it is an important
benchmark that says, 'This is how
clean the water has to be.' "
Karnosh said an important deci
sion in the process occurred when
the Environmental Protection
Agency ruled that salmon and other
anadromous fish would be included
in the fish consumption rate.
"That was a bold landmark deci
sion," Karnosh said.
The new fish consumption rate
will take effect upon EPA approval,
expected in the fall or early in
The commission is a five-member
citizen panel appointed by the gov
ernor for four-year terms to serve as
the Department of Environmental
Quality's policy and rulemaking
board. H
Includes information from The
Grand Ronde
, ; Avenue of Flags
The Grand Ronde Avenue of Flags is an opportunity to honor
the Tribal veterans in your family.
A donation of $100 will go toward the purchase of an
' . American flag. A rawhide feather, with the name of your
veteran, will be attached to the flag.
The flags will be proudly displayed on Veterans Day and
Memorial Day and at the Marcellus "Marce" Norwest
Veterans Memorial Powwow each year. It is an opportunity
to honor your family veteran.
To purchase a flag and feather please complete the applica
tion form and submit it, with your check, to the CTGK Public
Affairs Dept. Please make checks payable to CTGR Avenue
of Flags Project.
Name of Tribal Veteran:
Branch of the Service and Date of Service
Your Name:
Your contact information: (For office use only)
Ad created by George Valdez