The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, February 19, 2020, Image 1

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    DISTRICTS: WRESTLERS PLACE THIRD AS BASKETBALL TEAMS PREPARE | PAGE A9-A10
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
152nd Year • No. 8 • 18 Pages • $1.50
MyEagleNews.com
Old wounds of timber wars take first step toward healing
Landmark deal between timber industry
and environmental community hinges
on legislation around aerial spraying
By Sam Stites
Oregon Capital Bureau
The deal announced last week was
intended to end the war in the woods
that has beset Oregon forestry issues
for decades.
But not everyone is cheering what
Gov. Kate Brown described as a “his-
toric” deal between timber firms and
environmentalists. The critics suspect
something is more at play than the pur-
suit of peace.
Some characterize the agreement
signed by several Oregon timber com-
panies and a coalition of environmen-
tal groups as the first step in healing,
but it also has bearing on much broader
discussions in the Capitol, particularly
over climate change.
“There are people who had the rug
pulled out from under them 30 years
ago, and they never really recovered,”
said Sen. Jeff Golden. “That makes
what we’re trying to do with the cli-
mate bill hard for them to accept. It’s
interesting that all this is coming
together at the same time. The question
environmental community on mov-
ing forward as partners rather than
adversaries.
The governor agreed, mediating
four meetings from Monday, Jan. 27,
to Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Portland and
in Salem. Representatives from both
sides aired long-standing grievances,
explained their views and then consid-
ered how they might proceed together.
What emerged was a memorandum
of agreement signed by 13 of the most
reputable Oregon companies and orga-
nizations on either side of the debate.
It also means both sides will drop
dueling sets of proposed ballot initia-
tives, which seemed destined for an
Oregon Capital Bureau/Sam Stites
Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland, left, and Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr.,
R-Grants Pass, both sit on the Senate’s committee on wildfire, but have
different takes on what the agreement between timber interests and en-
vironmental groups means for Oregon.
for those of us with a gavel is how to
make the most of it.”
The opening came after representa-
tives of the timber industry reached out
to Brown and sat down for a meeting
with her staff on Jan. 9. They requested
that the governor moderate a discus-
sion between industry leaders and the
See Timber, Page A18
THE CHANGING FACE OF
RURAL COUNTY FAIRS
Carnival closure may mark the beginning of the end for that
industry, but the ag-based tradition of county fairs will live on
By Steven Mitchell
Blue Mountain Eagle
E
ating cotton candy. Riding the tilt-
a-whirl. Trying to win a massive
stuffed animal. For years, memo-
ries of most county fairs have been
entwined with their carnivals, but
that could be changing.
The company contracted to provide the car-
nival at last year’s Grant County Fair backed out
at the last minute, and the fair has not yet found
a replacement for this year. As of mid-January,
at least eight other county fairs in Oregon were
also without a carnival.
With carnival company closures and budget
constraints, rural fairs of the future may create
different memories for the next generation of
fairgoers.
The situation
Grant County Fair Manager Mindy Winegar
said the problem is more significant than just
Grant County.
At this year’s Oregon Fair Association con-
vention last month in Roseburg, Winegar said
she met with managers from Lincoln, Baker,
Harney, Union, Malheur, Wasco and Umatilla
county fairs, all of whom were without a carni-
val, to find solutions.
Jefferson and Clatsop county fair officials
also attended the meeting, and were both with-
out carnivals at the time, but have since secured
deals with carnival providers.
In Union County, Fairgrounds Manager Mar-
garet Spence said this year will be the first year in
over 30 years that the county’s fair will not have
a carnival, and she’s not hopeful about the county
having a carnival in future years.
She said the fair will take a big hit without
the carnival, which provides a significant por-
tion of the fair’s revenue. There is also a big
piece of nostalgia that gets lost without the car-
nival, Spence said.
“At night, you would see the lights from
the carnival from the freeway, and that is what
would bring people out and keep them com-
ing back,” she said. “The loss of a carnival will
change the face of small county fairs as we
know it.”
See Fairs, Page A18
EO Media Group file photo
Miguel Rojas pushes a roller
coaster car off of the starting
platform to allow for further
construction of the Davis
Amusement Cascadia roller
coaster during a setup day
for the Umatilla County Fair
in August 2019.
EO Media Group file photo
Jacob Ginn, 5, reaches for
a rubber duck in a carnival
game at the Umatilla County
Fair in 2019.
Lawmakers reconsider banning Oregon coyote-hunting contests
By Mateusz Perkowski
EO Media Group
The Oregon Hunters Association is
willing to drop its opposition to a bill
banning coyote-hunting competitions if
it exempts raffles that don’t reward the
“number, weight or size” of animals
killed.
House Bill 4075 would prohibit any
contest that offers cash or prizes for the
killing of coyotes. It is similar to a pro-
posal that was voted down in the Oregon
House after passing the Senate last year.
An amendment to this year’s pro-
posal would exclude raffles held by
nonprofit organizations, such as local
chapters of the Oregon Hunters Asso-
ciation that exchange raffle tickets for
coyote pelts submitted by members.
At the end of the year, the win-
ning ticket holder receives a prize, but
the contest isn’t directly related to the
“number, weight or size of the coyotes
taken” as specified by the amendment.
Though the Oregon Hunters Asso-
ciation wouldn’t oppose HB 4075 with
that exception, the organization none-
theless didn’t sound enthused about
the proposal during a Feb. 11 hearing
before the House Natural Resources
Committee.
“This bill does not achieve a com-
pelling state interest in our opinion,”
said Paul Donheffner, the group’s legis-
lative committee chairman.
The prohibition against coyote-hunt-
ing contests amounts to an attempt to
legislate a moral or philosophical point
of view, but the U.S. Constitution pro-
tects speech and activities that others
may dislike, Donheffner said.
However, the Oregon Hunters Asso-
ciation understands the “optics” of large
commercial coyote-hunting contests,
which are the bill’s primary targets, and
appreciates the proposed exemption for
raffles that are essential to the culture of
its local chapters, he said.
The Oregon Farm Bureau opposed
the original version of HB 4075 but
hasn’t yet decided whether the proposed
amendment would change its position
on the bill, said Mary Anne Cooper, the
group’s vice president of public policy.
County governments have less
money available for predator control,
and large coyote populations pose a
danger to livestock producers in Ore-
gon, Cooper said. “We want to preserve
any tool available to us.”
Most of the testimony heard during
the legislative hearing supported the
ban, with critics of coyote-hunting con-
tests claiming these competitions are
ethically and scientifically indefensible.
Removing predators such as coy-
otes from a territory will just encour-
age increased reproduction by remain-
ing pack members and the immigration
of coyotes from surrounding areas, said
Robert Wielgus, former director of
Washington State University’s Large
Carnivore Conservation Laboratory.
“The remaining members of the
pack become breeders. That’s how you
end up with more predation down the
road on livestock,” Wielgus said.
Numerous studies have shown that
killing coyotes isn’t effective for live-
stock protection, as even eliminating
three-fourths of the carnivore’s popu-
lation from an area only had short-term
benefits, he said.
“You’re on a never-ending treadmill
of livestock depredation and wild game
depredation,” Wielgus said. “Scientifi-
cally, there is no basis for it.”
Rene Tatro, who identified himself
as a hunter, said he supported the pro-
hibition in part because such contests
reflect poorly on the hunting commu-
nity. The vast majority of Oregonians
don’t hunt, so negative public percep-
tions could have repercussions for the
sport, he said.
“We’re going to lose that privilege,”
he said. “This isn’t about abridging
our rights to hunt, it’s about preserving
them.”