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About The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current | View This Issue
LADY PROS ADVANCE TO STATE RANKED FIRST – PAGE A10
Grant County’s newspaper since 1868
W edNesday , o ctober 24, 2018
• N o . 43
• 18 P ages
‘S URVIVING ON
Couple brings adopted daughter
home after lengthy stay overseas
By Angel Carpenter
Blue Mountain Eagle
birthday celebration for
“Wella” Wilson Oct. 14 in-
cluded a small gathering of
grateful family members.
James and Kaylee Wilson, now resi-
dents of John Day, flew to Accra, Ghana,
in November 2016 to adopt Wella.
It was a process that took much lon-
ger than expected. When the Eagle last
reported on the family in February, they
were still waiting for their daughter’s
immigration documents to be approved.
The trio finally landed on U.S. soil
on June 23 this year, a total of 590 days
since first arriving in the African country.
“It’s fun to see her blossom and
thrive,” Kaylee said of Wella.
When James and Kaylee first met
their daughter, she was a malnourished
2-year-old, stricken with malaria, the
parents said. In order to adopt, the couple
was required to take 12 hours of parent-
ing classes and read several books with
topics that included adopting children
with attachment issues.
“Those were things we prepared for,
which we didn’t have to deal with,”
James said, adding their daughter bond-
ed well with them.
Wella is now thousands of miles
away from her birth country, but Kaylee
said, “In her world, nothing has changed
— she’s with mommy and daddy.”
Although their daughter has adapt-
ed well to her new surroundings,
James and Kaylee said they had some
adjusting to do.
See FAITH, Page A18
Wella Wilson blows kisses.
Eagle photos/Angel Carpenter
James and Kaylee Wilson have enjoyed adjusting
to life back in the U.S. after a long process adopting
their daughter Wella, 4, in Ghana.
Forest Plan objections could swamp reviewers
More than 300
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
The Blue Mountains Forest Plan
Revision for the Malheur, Umatilla
and Wallowa-Whitman national for-
ests drew 341 objections before the
filing period ended Aug. 28.
Many issues are shared by objec-
tors, including the size of the allow-
able timber harvest, grazing restric-
tions and combining three forests
into one document.
Published June 29, the plan is
supported by a final environmen-
tal impact statement (FEIS), draft
record of decision and other docu-
ments. According to the manage-
ment planning rule adopted by the
Forest Service in 2012, a reviewing
officer typically has 90 days to re-
The first step is to determine eli-
gibility of objectors and their objec-
tions. Objectors must submit sub-
stantive formal comments and link
previous comments with objection
issues, with exception of new in-
formation that arose after the 2014
comment period ended, according to
Forest Service literature.
Peter Fargo, acting team leader
and public affairs officer for the Blue
Mountains Forest Plan, told the Ea-
gle how a reviewing team typically
addresses a large number of objec-
tions, many of which are lengthy
and complex. The reviewing team
will look for similar issues and place
them into categories that will be used
to inform agendas for resolution
meetings, he said.
“The review team often finds that
it needs more than 90 days to work
through the objection-resolution
process, and that not all issues can be
resolved,” Fargo said. “If more than
90 days are necessary for the resolu-
tion process, objectors and interested
persons will be notified.”
All objectors and interested per-
sons will be invited to resolution
meetings, and public notices for
meetings will be placed in local
newspapers, Fargo said. The meet-
ings will be open to the public as
The reviewing officer will decide
how many resolution meetings will
be held as well as the meeting format
and agenda, Fargo said. Resolution
meetings will likely combine simi-
lar, overarching issues on which the
reviewing officer would like further
dialogue, he said.
“Although not all issues can be
resolved, the goal of the resolution
See FOREST, Page A18
Predator program passes one-year mark
to make up
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
The Eagle/Richard Hanners
USDA Wildlife Services District Supervisor Patrick
Smith and Animal Damage Control Officer Nick
Lulay describe progress and needs for the county’s
predator control program at the Grant County
Court’s Sept. 26 meeting.
Federal animal damage
control agents spent more than
1,000 hours in Grant County
over the past year, controlling
a wide range of predators and
The work primarily took
place on 75,155 acres of pri-
vate land belonging to 25 par-
ticipating landowners, accord-
ing to a data report generated
by USDA Wildlife Services.
Nick Lulay provided nearly
all the predator control work.
Traps, snares and firearms
were used to kill 185 animals
over the past year, including
six badgers, 25 chipmunks,
114 coyotes, two marmots,
four skunks, two rock doves
and 32 common ravens.
In addition, 10 inactive
barn swallow and cliff swallow
nests were removed with hand
The actions eliminated
damage threats to alfalfa and
other hayfields, pasture land,
calves, goats and pets, the re-
Ravens posed a threat to
calves, starlings threatened
pets and ground squirrels and
badgers caused damage to hay-
fields and pasture land, accord-
ing to the report.
When asked about wolves,
USDA Wildlife Services Dis-
trict Supervisor Pat Smith told
the Grant County Court Sept.
26 that wolves were handled
by the Oregon Department of
Fish and Wildlife. His agency
couldn’t touch wolves without
going through an environmen-
tal assessment process, he said.
Grant County had no fed-
eral animal damage control
officer for nearly two decades
when successful lobbying by
See PROGRAM, Page A18