Saturday Summit

Listen to the details of the Walden-Blumenauer vision

December 3, 2005

At the very least, today’s Mount Hood “summit” in Hood River can provide a fascinating geography lesson about the 11,239-foot sentinel’s treasures:

Colorfully named places such as Bull of the Woods, Mazama/Top Spur, Elk Cove, and Roaring River, and Salmon-Huckleberry.

You can stand on any of these natural places and hear the roar of water or the silence of the high altitude.

In nature, and in the making of policy, it pays to listen.

Listening is what the summit, starting at 9 a.m. today (details on page A1) at Hood River Best Western, is all about.

U.S. Reps. Greg Walden and Earl Blumenauer will unveil their plan to blend resource protection on Mount Hood with recreational interests and economic opportunities. This is an endeavor for which they have literally taken a hike in order to better understand the many- faceted human needs, hopes, and expectations for the mountain.

About four million people visit the Mt. Hood National Forest each year, and the slopes in Oregon are the second most climbed in the world, ranking just behind Japan’s Mount Fujiyama.

With the growth of all the counties surrounding the mountain, the human influences will not go away.

One interesting aspect of the plan relates to fees: The legislators have proposed that fees collected through permits and rents on Mount Hood be retained locally to improve existing, and develop new opportunities.

This makes a great deal of sense, offering a buy-in when the time comes to increase those fees. Rather than making such increases unpalatable, the public will be more likely to get behind it, knowing the revenue will remain a local investment.

This is just one part of the plan, but it is the part that acknowledges that with greater and ever-diversifying demands on the mountain, users must accept an increase in pocketbook costs to preserve the mountain’s splendors.

The Walden-Blumenauer plan must be listened to in detail and given a chance to succeed, at least as a starting point to a comprehensive vision for the mountain.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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