Extension hosts bark beetle workshop Wednesday

— White Salmon, Wash. — Pine trees continue to redden and die throughout the Columbia River Gorge. It looks like the bark beetle outbreak will continue through 2014. That’s not good news for foresters and landowners.

The California fivespined Ips beetle was recorded in the Underwood area of Washington state for the first time ever in 2010. This species was unknown to occur at damaging population levels in eastern Oregon or Washington until then.

Now experts have found the beetle as far north as Fort Lewis, Wash., in Thurston County and as far east as The Dalles and Goldendale.

The California fivespined Ips only feeds on pine trees, but can affect ornamental and urban pines as well as those in the forest.

WSU Extension, OSU Extension, Underwood Conservation District and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources are hosting a pine tree health workshop to cover bark beetle outbreaks and management in the Columbia River Gorge. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at the White Salmon Library, 77 N.E. Wauna Ave. in White Salmon.

Entomologists and foresters from both states are studying the problem and adjusting management practices for foresters and landowners to keep the damage at a minimum.

Due to outbreak conditions, experts recommend landowners to wait to do pruning and thinning work until next fall, mid-October. Don’t leave branches, or “slash” material, over 3 inches in diameter in piles. Beetles emerging this spring will breed in this material. If the piles are not cleaned up, the next generation of beetles will attack nearby trees.

To learn more, WSU Extension has developed a factsheet, “Pest Watch: California Fivespined Ips — A pine engraver new to Washington State” which can be downloaded for free at: http://bit.ly/VjRAgQ.

For more information, contact Todd Murray at tmurray@wsu.edu or 509-427-3931 at the WSU Extension office; Whitney Butler at whitney@ucdwa.org or 509-493-1936 at the Underwood Conservation District; and Glenn Ahrens at glenn.ahrens@oregonstate.edu or 503-655-8631 at the OSU Extension Office.

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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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