The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, January 09, 2019, Image 1

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    Prairie City boys off to 12-0 start
The
PAGE A8
Blue Mountain
EAGLE
Grant County’s newspaper since 1868
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
151st Year • No. 2 • 16 Pages • $1.00
BlueMountainEagle.com
Offi cials support ATV use on state highways
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
Eagle fi le photo
Clint Benge, left, and Tim Nelson ride in a Razor side by side
to Chester’s Thriftway on April 19, 2013, taking advantage
of the John Day city ordinance allowing ATVs on certain
city streets. The city council recently gave consensus to
create a work group to determine possible routes ATVs
could travel on state highways within the county.
A local effort is under-
way to get approval for use
of ATVs on state highways
in Grant County.
Senate Bill 344, intro-
duced by Sen. Ted Ferrioli
in 2017 and passed unan-
imously in the House and
29-1 in the Senate, allows
the Oregon Transporta-
tion Commission to desig-
nate specifi c routes on state
highways where ATVs could
travel.
ATVs are currently
allowed to cross state high-
ways at an intersection or at
a place more than 100 feet
from any highway inter-
section. The goal of SB344
was to allow ATV riders to
leave a trail at a highway
and then travel on the high-
way a short distance to the
start of another trail. Drafted
by a work group made up
of ATV users, vehicle deal-
ers and the state Parks and
Recreation and Transporta-
tion departments, the legis-
lation allows a road author-
ity to authorize ATV use
within highway rights of
way in counties with less
than 20,000 people.
While many rural Oregon
cities and counties adopted
ordinances to allow ATV use
on city and county roads,
state highways typically
serve as the main access
road in rural communities.
The legislation estab-
lished a seven-member
All-Terrain Vehicle Access
Routes Advisory Commit-
tee to review applications
for routes. Six members are
appointed by the state parks
and recreation director, and
one is appointed by state
transportation director.
The John Day City Coun-
cil gave its consensus sup-
port Dec. 11 to forming a
working group with other
nearby communities to
identify proposed routes in
Grant County and to con-
sider a joint application for
designation.
John Day City Manager
Nick Green described a pre-
sentation by Ian Caldwell, an
OPRD grants and commu-
nity programs representative
for central and Eastern Ore-
gon, at the Nov. 21 meeting
of the South East Area Com-
mission on Transportation.
The purpose of the legis-
lation is to promote tourism
and local recreational uses
by connecting towns with
trails. Those goals align with
See ATV, Page A16
COMPOSER
CELEBRATES
MALHEUR REFUGE
‘There’s a cacophony of bird
sounds that washes over you’
By Kathy Aney
EO Media Group
A
s the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge unfolded in early 2016, Jay
Bowerman watched with growing incredulity. The feeling escalated as the armed mili-
tants protested federal regulations regarding public lands by squatting for 41 days inside
the headquarters of the federal bird refuge. The occupation, he felt, had tainted one of
Oregon’s most beautiful spots.
“It was disturbing,” Bowerman said. “Malheur
Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman, Jay Bowerman
deserves to be remembered not for its armed occupa-
was U.S. champion in the biathlon in 1969. He served
tion, but for its natural beauty, wildlife diversity and
as executive director of the Sunriver Nature Center and
rich cultural heritage.”
Observatory for 30 years and now researches
After the court verdict in which seven
and writes about such things as amphibi-
occupiers were acquitted, Bowerman
ans, spotted frogs, fungi and leeches.
found comfort in listening to a haunt-
He pitched the idea of the musi-
ing orchestral work called “Cantus
cal tribute to his wife, Teresa, and to
Arcticus” (subtitled “Concerto for
Michael Gesme, music director and
Birds”) by Finnish composer Einojun-
conductor with the Central Oregon
hani Rautavaara. The work has birds
Symphony. Intrigued, Gesme sug-
sounds layered in with the music.
gested composer Chris Thomas for
“I listened to the music over and over
the job.
and over,” he said. “It was so soothing.”
Thomas, a Pendleton native who now
He wondered if music could help the
lives in Bend, composes and orchestrates
people who love the refuge to heal from
for television and movies. Thomas, 36,
Contributed photo was nominated for Best Orchestrator
the occupation. Bowerman isn’t a guy
who thinks thoughts and lets them fl oat Jay and Teresa Bowerman by the Film and TV Music Academy in
helped launch the Malheur
away.
See Malheur, Page A16
The son of legendary University of Symphony project.
Contributed photo/Jen Klewitz
ABOVE: Chris Thomas spent a year and a
half composing the Malheur Symphony as a
way to push aside the Malheur occupation
and focus instead on the beauty of the
place.
TOP IMAGE: Curlews and their operatic call
inspired composer Chris Thomas to write
the ‘Curlew Scherzo,’ the fourth movement
of the Malheur Symphony.
EO Media Group/Kathy Aney
Ranchers upset by wild horse release on Malheur National Forest
By Mateusz Perkowski
EO Media Group
An apparent relocation
of wild horses to Oregon’s
Malheur National Forest has
upset ranchers who say the
area is already overstocked
with the animals.
Rancher Mike Moore
said he encountered a For-
est Service vehicle pulling
a trailer on Dec. 14 in the
Murderers Creek allotment
of the national forest, which
is an unusual sight, espe-
cially during winter.
Responding to ques-
tions, the “sheepish” For-
est Service employee driv-
ing the vehicle admitted
the trailer contained several
wild horses gathered from
the neighboring Ochoco
National Forest that were
to be released in the area,
Moore said.
“I just think this is wrong.
You can’t be taking horses
from one forest to another,
that isn’t right,” he said.
“We’ve got too many horses,
and they’re not helping by
bringing more horses from
another forest to this forest.”
Representatives of the
Malheur National Forest
said they’re coordinating
with the Ochoco National
Forest to understand why
some horses were taken to
the Murderers Creek allot-
ment from the neighboring
national forest and would
soon issue a statement about
the situation.
Wild horses are a con-
tentious subject in the Mal-
heur National Forest, where
ranchers say the animals
trample stream banks to the
detriment of federally pro-
tected fi sh, preventing cattle
from being allowed to graze
on affected allotments.
The maximum “appro-
priate management level”
for the Murderers Creek
herd management area is
140 wild horses, whereas
the most recent estimate for
the actual population is 339
horses.
Loren Stout, a rancher
who grazes cattle on the
Murderers Creek allotment,
said the actual population
See Horses, Page A16
EO Media Group/Mateusz Perkowski
A wild horse grazes near a gravel road in Oregon’s
Malheur National Forest. The recent release of several
wild horses in the national forest has stirred the ire of
local ranchers who say it violates a legal settlement.