County finalizes forest land swap

The county is finalizing its controversial exchange of forest land with Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort.

That move has been protested by the Hood River Valley Residents Committee who believe Meadows is making a strategic move to develop a destination resort in the upper valley.

However, Dave Riley, Meadows general manager, said the only problem with the debate over development plans is that there has been no application submitted for any project.

In August, the Hood River County Commission authorized the trade to proceed following an independent appraisal if the county did not have to pay more than $1.5 million to gain about 140 acres in the trade. Meadows has proposed turning 785 acres over to the county in return for 640 acres that lies near the Cooper Spur Inn property it purchased this summer.

Ken Galloway, county forester, said the appraisers have valued the county's property at $1,324,023 and that owned by Meadows at $2,334,908, a difference of $1,100,885.

Both properties are zoned exclusively for forest use and Galloway said any change in that designation would have to undergo a lengthy and complex conversion process by the planning department and planning commission that would be open to public comment.

He said the deal was negotiated because it makes good business sense since the county will gain more land and be allowed access to 100 acres of high yield timber land that can now only be reached for harvest by helicopter operation, increasing logging costs from the standard $50-$75 per 1,000 board feet to between $375-$450.

Galloway said after the county recently completed the exchange of its 1,000 acres of Scenic Area properties with the U.S. Forest Service for about $7 million, he was instructed to seek out other timber land that could replace that revenue base. In addition, Galloway said he routinely searches out parcels that can consolidate property for both landowners to save survey and roadbuilding costs.

To date, Galloway said Longview Fibre Company and Meadows are the only positive respondents to the exchange offer made to 22 parties this spring.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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