The INDEPENDENT, December 1, 2005 Page 5 Business Noble fir for Capitol tree FEMA says it’s time for flood insurance The Oregon Department of Forestry delivered a 25-foot no- ble fir from the Tillamook State Forest for the holiday tree in the rotunda of the state Capitol. The governor will oversee the lighting of the Capitol’s hol- iday tree tomorrow, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the 30-minute pro- gram, which marks the 24th an- nual “Holidays at the Capitol.” “We’re proud to provide the tree this year for the enjoyment of all Oregonians,” said Bob Gustavson, acting Forest Grove District forester. “And we’re proud of the way the Tillamook State Forest has again become a productive forest – through careful management – after the fires from 60 to 70 years ago.” The tree was delivered by a crew from the South Fork Camp, an inmate work camp located in the Tillamook State Forest. “It’s a daunting task to find the so-called perfect tree, but I think we have a good one picked out,” said camp supervi- sor Gordon Dana. The 364,000-acre Tillamook State Forest is located about 40 miles west of Portland in north- west Oregon. The forest re- planting after a series of devas- tating wildfires in the 1930s and 1940s turned the “Tillamook Burn” into the Tillamook State Forest. Following the fires, thou- Snow, rain and windy weath- er up and down our coasts and winter storm warnings for the Cascade mountains herald more to come in the Pacific Northwest. According to U.S. Department of Homeland Se- curity Federal Emergency Man- agement Agency (FEMA) Re- gional Director John Penning- ton, it’s time for flood insurance policyholders to review their policies and consider increas- ing coverage, and for unin- sured homeowners and renters to think seriously about buying flood insurance. “Our region is prone to a va- riety of natural disasters, rang- ing from seasonal flooding and winter storms to wildfires, earthquakes and volcanic ac- tivity, but flooding tops the list for disaster-driven property loss,” said Pennington. “Nation- al flood insurance offers solid protection from future flood losses, and pays off whether or not there is a federal disaster declaration. But there is a thir- ty-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect, so don’t wait!” National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies are available to communities that agree to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management practices, and according to Pennington, virtually every community in the Northwest qualifies. “By aggressively managing their floodplains, lo- cal officials guarantee access to affordable coverage, and that’s important,” said Penning- ton. “While the very act of qual- ifying to join the NFIP reduces flood damage, by joining NFIP’s voluntary Community Rating System (CRS), commu- sands of Oregonians, many of them school children and vol- unteers, helped plant more than 72 million Douglas-fir seedlings across the black- ened landscape. Though still relatively young, the Tillamook State Forest has already begun to provide the economic, environmental and social benefits envisioned for this publicly owned forest. The Oregon Department of Forestry manages the forest, using har- vesting to produce revenue for local governments and schools; to develop habitat for native fish and wildlife; and to pay for recreation projects such as trails and campgrounds. The rich history of the Tillam- ook Sate Forest and the poten- tial it holds as a sustainably managed public forest in the fu- ture are the key themes of the soon-to-open Tillamook Forest Center. The 13,500-square-foot center along the Wilson River Highway will be filled with ex- hibits that invite visitors to learn about the Tillamook State For- est and about sustainable forest management. The center will open to the public in early 2006, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for Oregon Arbor Week April 1-8. Visit the Tillam- ook Forest Center on-line at www.tillamookforest.org Some improvement in unemployment rate for Columbia County workers Columbia County’s unem- ployment rate was essentially unchanged at 6.0 percent in October, according to Oregon Employment Department fig- ures. This was still a bit higher than the statewide unadjusted rate of 5.4 percent and higher than the national rate of 4.6 percent. Total employment in the county grew by 216 from September, and the number of unemployed people decreased by 16. Columbia County’s revised unemployment rate for Sep- tember was 6.1 percent. The rate was 8.0 percent one year ago in October. Total employ- ment was 21,704 in October and 1,380 people were unem- ployed. Total employment was 570 greater than one year ago. Columbia County is processing waivers From page 1 County Measure 37 claims un- til the Supreme Court issues a final ruling. This will allow cur- rent claimants to avoid invest- ing time and money on their claims until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of Measure 37. For additional information about Measure 37 claims or to discuss the County’s stay agreement option, contact Todd Dugdale, Director of Land Development Services, at 503- 397-7207. Please support the advertisers who make your free community newspaper possible. nities can earn rate reductions for policyholders by adopting stronger management prac- tices. You don’t have to live in a high risk flood zone to be vul- nerable.” Flood insurance covers structural damage and con- tents for all insurable residen- tial and non-residential build- ings. Policies can be pur- chased from any licensed in- surance agent or broker. Maxi- mum coverage for single-family homes is $250,000 for the structure itself, and $100,000 for contents. Renters can also insure their personal belong- ings for up to $100,000. Busi- nesses can insure buildings for up to $500,000 for the struc- ture, and contents for up to $500,000. The NFIP is self- supporting, with all claims and operating expenses paid from policyholder premiums, not tax dollars. For more information about the NFIP, contact your in- surance agent, or call toll free: 1-800-427-4661. FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national in- cident. FEMA also initiates mit- igation activities, trains first re- sponders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. Seasonall Loans ‘Tis the season of gift-giving. If you’re finding yourself short of cash to please those on your gift list, relax. Wauna Federal Credit Union has a variety of loans to help you give special gifts while you remain on budget. Call or visit a lender today to determine which type of loan is best for you. 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