State seeks public input at meetings on Gorge parks

Oregon State Parks is conducting a comprehensive planning process of its 24 state parks in the Columbia Gorge and is asking for comments from the public. Comments received and decisions made will affect Gorge parks for the next decade.

The first step is two public meetings where citizens have the opportunity to share concerns, suggestions and visions for the future of Oregon State Parks in the Columbia River Gorge.

On the west end, a meeting will be held Aug. 14 from 5-7 p.m. at the Gresham Public Library, 385 Miller Ave. On the east end, another meeting will be held in Mosier Aug. 15 from 5-7 p.m. in the meeting hall at the Mark O. Hatfield Trailhead, Rock Creek Road.

Those who cannot make it to the meeting are invited to contribute by visiting www.gorgeparksplan.com and subscribing for email updates, emailing comments and questions to gorge.parksplan@state.or.us, talking to a park planner at 503-986-0723, or sending written comments to Jaime English, OPRD, 725 Summer St. N.E., Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.

A long-term plan is needed to guide future resource management and recreational uses on all these lands. In the planning of these parks, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is taking a comprehensive look at natural, scenic area and cultural resource conditions, park management needs, outdoor recreation trends, community partnerships and any related ideas and concerns identified through public input.

The OPRD wants to know why you visit, what you do while you’re here and what brings you back. Please share why you love the Gorge and what opportunities and challenges you see in the future for the beautiful scenic area.

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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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