Hiker-leaders present ‘basalt-solid’ plan for Mt. Hood wilderness

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

March 22, 2006

U.S. Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are on the verge of introducing a long-term management plan for Mount Hood.

The bi-partisan team held a press conference in Portland on Tuesday morning to announce that their “vision” is complete. Next week, they will submit the Mount Hood Stewardship Legacy Act for consideration by their peers.

The master plan was crafted following three years of public discussions and multiple meetings with Oregon’s Congressional delegation.

“Our plan protects and preserves the fragile ecosystems on Mount Hood while providing for better transportation, recreation and cultural uses. Like the mountain itself, it was built from the ground up and the result is as solid as basalt,” said Walden, who makes his home in Hood River.

Blumenauer and Walden are proud to have introduced the only legislation this session that concerns Mount Hood in either the House or the Senate. They believe their bill successfully addresses a multitude of issues, including two local land exchanges, expansion of wilderness areas and preservation of tribal harvesting and cultural rights.

“I can think of no other environmental legislation affecting an area in Oregon that has been as publicly considered and drafted since we wrote and passed the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act in 1999,” said Walden.

U.S. Reps. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., have agreed to co-sponsor the legislation. Walden has scheduled the bill for a hearing before the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, which he chairs, on April 5. He is hopeful that any final adjustments can be made and the measure moved to the House floor by Memorial Day.

The legislation proposes 77,500 acres of added wilderness, a 41 percent increase. Walden said about 2,500 more acres have been added since the preliminary plan was aired last fall. The bill also adds about 23 miles of Wild and Scenic River designations, a 19 percent increase to the current network.

The settlement agreement between the Hood River Valley Residents Committee and Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort is also included. Congress is being asked to approve the deal where Meadows conveys to the U.S. Forest Service its 770 acres of Cooper Spur holdings. In return, the federal government will exchange 120 acres in Clackamas County with Meadows to accommodate housing units.

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Further details of the Mount Hood Legacy plan and the reaction by conservation groups and other stakeholders will be featured in the March 25 Hood River News.

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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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