Natural link: The current and potential wonders of Powerdale Corridor

Portland might claim the fame of the largest urban park in America, Forest Park, but a new land deal announced this week gives Hood River a resource that could rival that beautiful place.

PacifiCorp has signed over 400 acres of waterfront property lining the lower Hood River to Columbia Land Trust and Hood River County.

“The transfer has been several years in the works and closes another chapter in the long process of decommissioning Powerdale Dam, which was built in 1923 and removed in 2010,” reports Adam Lapierre on page A1.

Congratulations to the Land Trust and its partners, the Hood River Watershed Group and Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District for pursuing and completing this all-important transaction in what is known as the Powerdale Lands Corridor.

It preserves a critical fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation area to the south and east of Hood River, and it runs parallel to the existing county park, the Indian Creek Trail. There exists great potential for a trail and preserve combining the trail route and Powerdale Corridor, with pedestrian access via Indian Creek trail in addition to the now limited Powerdale access off Highway 35.

The physical proximity of the Powerdale corridor to the farms and wineries of the mid- and upper valley suggests recreation and economic development opportunities linking Hood River and the rest of the valley.

Many individuals worked together to help this happen, but it is timely to acknowledge the significant role of Steve Stampfli, who had served as Watershed Group coordinator for the past eight years. The laconic conservationist had a way of bringing people together on many projects, Powerdale included.

A plaque will be placed at the Powerdale park honoring Stampfli. Chuck Gehling read the text Tuesday at Stampfli’s final Watershed Group meeting:

“For Steve Stampfli, who sustained and improved the Hood River Watershed through education, cooperation and stewardship. Thanks Steve, you’ve done it all, and you’ve done it well.”

May that spirit of cooperation endure as the partners continue planning to make the corridor into what it could be: one long link in a chain connecting three key ingredients that comprise the Hood River success story: nature preservation, recreational diversity and agritourism.

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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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