CRG National Scenic Area announces new personnel

Lynn Burditt, area manager for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Forest Service), announced new employees in three positions:

Jake Benes, the administrative officer, joined the agency in May. He previously worked on the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, the Olympic NF in Washington, and the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF in Oregon.

Benes served as the acting director with the Blackwell Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Laona, Wis., and joins us from the Anaconda CCC in Montana. He has a Bachelor of Science in pre-professional psychology from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in management from Minot State University. He brings a wealth of knowledge in administrative processes and leadership skills.

Clare Kellett joined the administrative group Aug. 12. Kellett brings a strong set of budget support and analysis skills as well as a strong commitment to customer service. She has extensive experience in the travel industry both in the U.S. and abroad. She previously served as a support services supervisor for the Inyo National Forest’s North Zone

Lynn Oliver, planning and natural resources staff officer since 2009, has accepted a position as the customer services staff officer on the Wallowa Whitman National Forest and will leave at the end of the month.

“I want to acknowledge the extensive contributions Lynn Oliver made during his tenure, including his involvement with the Sandy River Delta Dam Removal and the Horsetail Floodplain Restoration activities currently under way,” said Lynn Burditt. “We wish him well in his new role.”

Robin Shoal succeeded Oliver as planning and natural resources staff officer starting Aug. 26. She currently serves as the environmental coordinator for the Olympic National Forest. Shoal brings strong planning skills and knowledge of ecological principles. She was actively engaged in the development of native plant guidance.

Robin has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental studies from Evergreen State College.

“We have a strong team of committed employees and welcome these three folks to our team,” said Lynn Burditt, “The Scenic Area will benefit from the diversity of skills and experiences they will contribute.”

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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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