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About The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current | View This Issue
Blue Mountain Eagle
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
omething stands out when
Àipping through the pages
of the Blue Mountain
Eagle from the past year.
As big as the Canyon
Creek Complex ¿re was, it
was dwarfed by something
far greater. Despite the black
cloud that hung over this
county as houses burned,
something uplifting was
illuminated by the blaze.
Despite the differences
of opinion, despite the
inevitable bad news, despite
the devastating ¿re ² when
the community faced its time
of deepest need, people came
together and worked together
When people had nowhere
to go, the community came
together to provide shelter.
When people had nothing
to eat, the community came
together to feed them. When
people were left with nothing
but the clothes on their backs,
the community came together
to provide them enough to get
by. When people needed help,
the community came together.
Watching the story play
out ² even in the two-
dimensional pages of a weekly
newspaper ² provides a
rich portrait of Grant County
¿lled with depth and texture.
Seeing the sadness and despair
give way to unity and hope
was like watching a ray of
sunshine bursting through the
cloud that darkened the hearts
of all those who saw the ashes
that remained of people’s
The ¿re¿ghters fought the
good ¿ght, but they did not
beat the ¿re. The weather may
have dampened the blaze,
but it did not beat the ¿re. By
working together and helping
each other, the community
beat the ¿re.
Homes may have been lost,
but the community persevered.
Mementos may have been
lost, but the memories will be
It is amazing how an
event charred with negativity
can bring out the true grain
and positive nature that is
sometimes buried beneath a
As we turn the page
to another year, we hope
everyone remembers the
beauty possible when people
work together in harmony.
If the community can retain
its unity when it is not facing
a disaster, then it truly will be
a happy new year.
G UEST COMMENT
Beware of FS citation
First they burn you out, and then
they kick you in the gut when you try
to rise up out of the ashes.
On Aug. 14, my wife and I were
burned out by the Canyon Creek
Complex ¿re, a ¿re that didn’t have to
happen and one that should not have
happened. (See “Another bucket of
water” in an earlier edition of the Blue
Am I bitter? You’re damn right I’m
bitter. We lost everything, and I mean
everything. Another bucket of water
delivered by a helicopter would have
very likely saved not only our home
but several others that were burned in
Among my losses were 16 cords
of ¿rewood. In attempting to relo-
cate and start a new life for ourselves,
which at 87 is pretty tough, I dutifully
went down to the Forest Service of¿ce
and purchased wood permits for eight
cords of ¿rewood. Cold weather was
coming, and I did not have enough
wood at our newly established resi-
dence in Prairie City. I am almost 87
years old and my wife is 83, and we
don’t handle chain saws anymore. I
then gave the wood permits to a friend
who cuts wood for me. I didn’t tell him
when to deliver it or even how many
of the eight cords to bring, I just told
him to stockpile enough to get me
through the winter. He delivered one
load, with one of the aforementioned
wood tags attached.
On attempting to get a second
load of wood, which I assumed
was to be mine also, my wood cut-
ter friend was descended upon by a
green and white cop who said, “You
can’t cut this wood for this 87-year-
old man; you don’t have a permis-
sion slip.” Well, the main reason we
didn’t have a so-called permission
slip was that one was not included in
the wood-cutting package I received
when I purchased the wood permits.
After the citation had been written, I
went back to the Forest Service and
was given the permission slip and
was told that they were sorry, but
they had just forgotten to put it in the
This man had my verbal permis-
sion to cut this wood. I asked him to
do it. He had the legally purchased
wood permits in his possession that
would have subsequently been put on
the load of wood had it been loaded. (I
assume the Forest Service cashed my
What more do you need? Isn’t
a man’s word good anymore? My
wood-cutting friend said in the urgen-
cy to get another load before the next
storm he just forgot about any permis-
sion slip, and his word should be just
as good as any that anyone else has to
say in the situation.
The Forest Service said they for-
got. And that’s OK? But if my wood
cutting friend forgets, we get a $275
citation. The green and white cop
would not even let him bring the load
in that he had on the ground. Why?
Why? Why? There is absolutely no
need for this. There are several hun-
dred thousand cords of ¿rewood going
to waste in the forest as is.
So the Forest Service is supposed
to be excused for forgetting to put a
permission slip in my wood-cutting
packet, but we have to suffer a $275
citation or an uncalled-for trip to
Pendleton over roads that you really
shouldn’t be driving on. Wouldn’t you
think that a hard copy permission slip
would have probably been a memory
jogger had it been put in the packet?
But why should it even be necessary?
He had legally purchased wood per-
mits in his possession.
So be careful. Buying wood per-
mits may not mean a thing, and I have
nothing against purchasing a reason-
ably priced wood permit.
I asked Steve Beverlin, Malheur
Forest supervisor, for a stand down on
the citation because the whole thing is
ridiculous, actually ² for what? I was
L ETTERS TO THE E DITOR
W HERE TO WRITE
Grant County Courthouse — 201
S. Humbolt St., Suite 280, Canyon City
97820. Phone: 541-575-0059. Fax: 541-
Canyon City — P.O. Box 276, Canyon
City 97820. Phone: 541-575-0509. Fax:
541-575-0515. Email: tocc1862@centu-
Dayville — P.O. Box 321, Dayville
97825. Phone: 541-987-2188. Fax: 541-
John Day — 450 E. Main St, John Day,
97845. Phone: 541-575-0028. Fax: 541-
575-1721. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
/ong CreeN — P.O. Box 489, Long
Creek 97856. Phone: 541-421-3601. Fax:
541-421-3075. Email: info@cityoÀong-
Monument — P.O. Box 426, Monu-
ment 97864. Phone and fax: 541-934-
2025. Email: email@example.com.
Mt 9ernon — P.O. Box 647, Mt.
Vernon 97865. Phone: 541-932-4688. Fax:
541-932-4222. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prairie City — P.O. Box 370, Prairie
City 97869. Phone: 541-820-3605. Fax:
820-3566. Email: email@example.com.
Seneca — P.O. Box 208, Seneca
97873. Phone and fax: 541-542-2161.
Gov .ate Brown D — 254 State
Capitol, Salem 97310. Phone: 503-378-
3111. Fax: 503-378-6827. Website: www.
Oregon Legislature — State Capitol,
Salem, 97310. Phone: (503) 986-1180.
Website: www. leg.state.or.us (includes
Oregon Constitution and Oregon Revised
State Rep CliII Bent] R-Ontario (Dis-
trict: 60), Room H-475, State Capitol, 900
P UBLISHED EVERY
W EDNESDAY BY
Court St. N.E., Salem OR 97301. Phone:
503-986-1460. Email: rep.cliffbentz@state.
or.us. Website: www.leg.state.or.us/bentz/
State Sen Ted )errioli R — (District
30) Room S-223, State Capitol, Salem
97310. Phone: 503-986-1950. Email: sen.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Email: TFER2@aol.
com. Phone: 541-490-6528. Website: www.
Oregon Legislative Information —
(For updates on bills, services, capitol or
messages for legislators) — 800-332-2313.
The :hite +ouse 1600 Pennsylva-
nia Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500;
Phone-comments: 202-456-1111; Switch-
US Sen Ron :yden D — 516 Hart
Senate Of¿ce Building, Washington D.C.
20510. Phone: 202-224-5244. Email:
http://wyden.senate.gov Fax: 202-228-2717.
US Sen Jeff MerNley D — 313 Hart
Senate Of¿ce Building, Washington D.C.
20510?. Phone: 202-224-3753. Email:
email@example.com. Fax: 202-
228-3997. Oregon of¿ces include One
World Trade Center, 121 S.W. Salmon St.,
Suite 1250, Portland, OR 97204; and 310
S.E. Second St., Suite 105, Pendleton, OR
97801. Phone: 503-326-3386; 541-278-
1129. Fax: 503-326-2990.
US Rep Greg :alden R — (Second
District) 1404 Longworth Building, Wash-
ington D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-6730.
No direct email because of spam. Website:
www.walden.house.gov Fax: 202-225-5774.
Medford of¿ce: 14 North Central, Suite 112,
Medford, OR 97501. Phone: 541-776-4646.
Pending Bills: For information on bills in
Congress, Phone: 202-225-1772.
To the Editor:
A recent letter to the editor re-
lating to the Grant County Court
invoking coordination but snubbing
an invitation to learn more about
an action they endorsed was per-
plexing. When questioned about
the letter, a member of the county
government indicated that if some-
one retired from the Forest Service
“they have fed at the trough too
long” and intimated their opinion
had no credibility.
What kind of thinking is that?
Does it mean that after retiring with
years of experience a person’s opin-
ion is relegated to the manure pile?
Perhaps some people at the county
government trough should think
about who is paying their feed bill.
should feature Christ
To the Editor:
There are splinter groups, but for
the most part there are two distinct
groups in the month of December.
There are those of us, Christians,
who honor Jesus Christ and set
aside the Dec. 25 for this purpose
and call it “Christmas.” The world
has essentially hijacked this holy
observation and introduced Santa
Claus, calling their recognition time
of this cartoon character “Season”
or “Holidays” and morphing their
festivities onto Christmas.
Take the Timber Truckers Parade
as a prime example, their theme be-
ing “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.”
I drove half a dozen residents from
Valley View to the parade in the
Nazarene church’s van, and we en-
Grant County’s Weekly Newspaper
P UBLISHER ............................... M ARISSA W ILLIAMS , MARISSA @ BMEAGLE . COM
E DITOR .................................... S EAN H ART , EDITOR @ BMEAGLE . COM
A DMINISTRATIVE A SSISTANT ........ K RISTINA K REGER , KRISTINA @ BMEAGLE . COM
E DITORIAL A SSISTANT ................ C HERYL H OEFLER , CHERYL @ BMEAGLE . COM
C OMMUNITY N EWS .................... A NGEL C ARPENTER , ANGEL @ BMEAGLE . COM
S PORTS ................................... A NGEL C ARPENTER , ANGEL @ BMEAGLE . COM
M ARKETING R EP ....................... K IM K ELL , ADS @ BMEAGLE . COM
O FFICE M ANAGER ..................... L INDSAY B ULLOCK , OFFICE @ BMEAGLE . COM
MEMBER OREGON NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION
joyed the parade; it was beautiful,
and the drivers put a lot of work
into decorating their vehicles, but
it didn’t have anything more to do
with Christmas than Earth Day.
We’ll probably watch it again
next year. I just think the organizer/
sponsors should either include a lit
Cross or “Jesus Christ” in lights or
something Christmas related on a
truck or two if they’re going to call
the parade by the name.
outpouring of help
To the Editor:
Last August, many of us who en-
joyed living in the Canyon Creek area
experienced loss by wild¿re.
There was an incredible outpour-
ing of help, caring and sharing from all
over. We want to acknowledge anon-
ymous gifting that we are not able to
thank personally. We thank the Lord
that we live in a free country where
people can show compassion without
fear. We would like to thank all the
people who put in many hours helping
restore order to our lives.
God bless you.
Gene and Jeanne Freshour
Timber for road
To the Editor:
A new process is working its
way throughout Eastern Oregon that
pits locals against each other. It is
the concept of “forest health vs. mo-
torized access.” The model has been
seen in the West before. Idahoans and
Montanans have seen forests build to
unsafe fuel loads with eager “conser-
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vationists” willing to plan projects that
will relieve the burden of the excessive
fuels, if only we are willing destroy
roads after the projects are completed.
The work is done through service con-
tracts that equate to lawn care services
on our public lands. Companies bid on
these contracts to implement prescrip-
tions for treatment that are written by
the Forest Service, along with road
Two examples playing out in East-
ern Oregon that show this process are
the Grant County Stewardship Con-
tract, a massive, multi-million dollar,
single-source contract to Iron Triangle
that will treat vegetation, and restricts
motorized access to thousands of acres
of land. And the East Face Project be-
tween La Grande and Baker, which is
planning 38 miles of road closures.
Both equate to nothing more than
lawn care service contracts, except in
this case, once mowing the lawn and
weeding the Àower garden are com-
plete, they tear out your driveway so
you cannot access them anymore.
Timber sales do not have to equate
to road closures. Jobs for our families
do not have to mean loss of motor-
ized access. Roads were built to har-
vest these lands, for them to stay the
productive resources we were prom-
ised they would be when set aside in
the early 1900s. Not the multi-billion
dollar drains they have become over
the last 30 plus years under the failed
leadership of the Forest Service, who
no longer serve the people, but serve
their own personal agendas. I support
vegetative treatments, I support log-
ging/mill jobs, and all the services that
come with them, but I do not believe
you have to destroy motorized access
to have jobs or a healthy forest. I ask
that if you don’t support these restric-
tions, you become active in these proj-
ects to speak out against them.
John D. George
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