The state of the glaciers

Rocks and crevasses ripple the surface of the receding Eliot Glacier on Mt. Hood’s north face.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Rocks and crevasses ripple the surface of the receding Eliot Glacier on Mt. Hood’s north face.

Portland State University geologist Dr. Andrew Fountain will speak Sept. 25 on “Mt. Hood Glaciers, Trends and Future Water Supplies,” with an emphasis on the mountain’s north-side glaciers.

The meeting is free and open to the public, and is co-hosted by the Hood River County Planning Department and the Hood River Water Resources Planning Group.

Scheduled during the regular monthly meeting of the Hood River Watershed Group at 7 p.m., Fountain will offer a 30-minute presentation at the Hood River County Commissioner’s Room at 601 State Street in downtown Hood River.

Fountain’s research highlights the interactions between water and glaciers, and glacier changes that are observed in response to climate, according to Steve Stampfli of the Watershed Group.

“Much of his current work has focused on Mt. Hood’s glaciers, and how flows in Hood River tributaries such as Eliot Branch are being impacted by reduction in the size of glaciers,” Stampfli said.

The presentation will provide a context for understanding changing glacial patterns in the Pacific Northwest, including the retreat of Mt. Hood’s glaciers, and overall regional trends toward higher winter and lower summer runoff patterns.

Fountain’s presentation will also address investigations on declining stream flows as a result of glacial recession and other factors.

“Present and future stream flows are critical to the economy and ecology of the Hood River valley, since water for agricultural use is an essential component to the largest segment of our economy, and adequate stream flows are critical to aquatic and land-based animals and plants,” Stampfli said.

Finding ways to accommodate the water supply needs of both humans and aquatic life is a major focus of the Hood River Watershed Group, a large coalition of basin water users, fish and wildlife interests, recreationists, and others who are working to cooperatively solve the valley’s most pressing natural resource challenges.

The planning group has been working since 2008 to develop a comprehensive inventory of the valley’s surface and ground water supplies, and proactively plan for the future use of those supplies.

For details call Stampfli at 541-386-6063 or Mike Benedict at 541-387-6840, and go online to http://www.hood to view the agenda.

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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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