Oregon, Washington end Sno-Park permit reciprocity agreement

PORTLAND — Oregon and Washington are ending a 35-year agreement to honor each other’s permits for winter recreation areas.

Washington said its more expansive Sno-Park program, which costs more, no longer matches Oregon’s.

“Why are we doing reciprocity when our programs are not reciprocal?” said Pamela McConkey, manager of Washington’s winter recreation program. “Washington pays for much more out of the Sno-Park permit.”

Washington charges $40 for an annual permit, $20 for a daily. Oregon charges $25 a year, $4 a day, The Oregonian reported Friday.

Permits are required to park at cross-country ski, snow shoeing and sledding areas. Oregon also requires them at some downhill ski areas.

Washington uses the money to pay for its entire Sno-Park program, including snow removal, trail grooming, sanitation, education programs and enforcement.

Oregon’s program, which is run by the state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Department, is much smaller, McConkey said. “Reciprocal means they’re the same, and they’re really not the same anymore,” she said.

Washington wanted to end the agreement in 2010 but couldn’t because the governor at the time, Chris Gregoire, had a moratorium on rule changes. The moratorium ended last year.

David House, spokesman for the Oregon DMV, said he understands Washington’s decision. But it means Oregon can no longer honor Washington Sno-Park permits, House said.

“We have no idea how many people this will affect,” House said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation website says Oregon permits will still be honored in Idaho and California.

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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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