The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insurance, your local health and Medicare agents.
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. North northwest winds to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Overnight, cloudy with a low nar 36.
See Road Camera Views around the Basin:
Lake of the Woods
Hiway 97 at Chemult
Hiway 140 at Bly
Hiway 97 at GreenSprings Dr.
Hiway 97 at LaPine
The Bureau of Reclamation, in coordination with PacifiCorp, will increase flows at Link River Dam and below Iron Gate Dam to reduce the risk of disease for salmon in the Klamath River. Through the end of the month, flows will vary on the Link and Klamath rivers.
Releases from Upper Klamath Lake through Link River Dam will increase to 5,300 cubic feet per second the morning of April 19. The increased flows will reach Iron Gate Dam late in the day, resulting in increased flows below Iron Gate Dam from the current 1,330 cfs up to a peak of around 6,030 cfs and that began on Wednesday.
The peak will last for 72 hours. Flows will begin ramping down at Link River Dam Saturday morning, April 22 and that evening at Iron Gate Dam. The rampdown will last through the end of April. The public is urged to take appropriate safety precautions while flows are increased.
Upon completion of the surface flushing flow event, Reclamation will continue to maintain Klamath River flows in accordance with the 2020 Interim Operations Plan. This surface flushing flow is an environmental compliance requirement and was implemented in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, Tribal Nations, and Klamath Project water contractors.
A group of concerned citizens is planning to march in peaceful protest this weekend in opposition to the city’s “jet in the park” project.
Spearheaded by Madeleine Blake and Leslie Lowe, the No Jet Parade will start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22 at the Klamath Commons and proceed to Veterans’ Memorial Park where the Klamath Falls City Council plans to place a static F-15 jet display.
The group is inviting the public to join in the procession. The group will gather at 1 p.m. at Klamath Commons to make signs and hand out carnations.
Blake said the carnations will be placed in a circle outlining the space the project is slated to encompass. Signs made for the march will be planted in the center of the floral outline to symbolize the groups’ “garden of issues,” Blake said.
Due to the size and placement of the decommissioned fighter jet, city records show that some of the trees in the park will have to be removed and others trimmed back. For this reason, the citizen group has chosen Arbor Day for their demonstration.
At the start of the city council meeting Monday, April 17, the city presented a proclamation on behalf of Arbor Day to John Bellon, community relations manager and urban forester for the city’s parks board.
Since the jet project was announced last summer, many residents have spoken up at City Council meetings, both in favor of and against the display. Those in opposition have shared their concerns with Herald & News in interviews and during numerous City Council meetings. The group has emphasized that this issue is not partisan.
In related news, the Klamath Falls City Council is reconsidering the location of a proposed static F-15 jet display.
The announcement came on Monday during the City Council’s regular meeting and before the public comment period began. The city’s jet project was made public last summer and has sparked public outcry from portions of the community at nearly every City Council meeting that has followed.
Citizens have been entering complaints since last July regarding the location of the project as well as the city’s plan to cover the cost using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. But not all residents disapprove of the project. Six community members expressed their support for the jet back-to-back following the city’s announcement. Those in support of the project included Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Harter and her husband, Kevin Harter, board chairman of the South Suburban Sanitary District.
Comments were also entered by retired Kingsley Maintenance Squadron Commander Maj. Richard Schuster and Chamber Vice President Joe Spendolini.
Referring to the use of federal ARPA moneys to fund the project — $300,000 from the city and $300,000 from Klamath County — Schuster said that operations at Kingsley Airfield have “nearly $120 million of direct financial impact.” Because the jet project is listed under public sector revenue, the City Council has said the project is an approved use of funds.
In related council business, City Manager Jonathan Tiechert also presented a funding issue regarding the allocation of ARPA funds. The city’s Washburn Way Pavement and Preservation project was budgeted to receive $3 million at the start of the biennium according to city records. That cost estimate has increased by more than $685,000. Tiechert said he had previously suggested the city should consider reallocating some of the ARPA funding for the sake of the Washburn Way project.
According to the Oregon Department of Forestry with the wet winter we had, it could meet a later start to the Oregon fire season this summer.
That’s the hope although it’s too early to predict when fire season will begin. Traditionally, fire season starts no later than June 1.
Last year, a wet spring led to the season starting closer to June, despite recent trends of it starting earlier. ODF said we will likely see the first fires of the year in the lower parts of the Rogue Valley, due to low snow accumulation.
But record snow packs in the higher elevation areas could help reduce wildfire risks to begin the season. ODF believes there won’t be an early start this year, unless weather conditions in April change dramatically.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has granted $25.6 million to 18 western Oregon counties — including Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Curry counties.
According to a BLM news release, the funds were rewarded under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and came from timber harvest and appropriated funds. They will go towards local services such as public safety and education.
Here are the numbers:
- Jackson County: $3.6 million.
- Josephine County: $3 million.
- Klamath County: $757,857
- Curry County: $947,609
In addition to the $25.6 million payments, roughly $2.3 million will also be available for cooperative projects designated under the Secure Rural Schools Act,” the release said. “Authorized by the Western Oregon Resource Advisory Committee, these are projects meant to improve the health of public lands, and can include wildfire hazard reduction, stream and watershed restoration, forest road maintenance, road decommissioning or obliteration, control of noxious weeds, improvement of fish and wildlife habitat, and opportunities for youth training and employment.”
The Pacific Power Foundation is announcing $203,500 in new funding to directly support community organizations across the three states it serves.
Like Pacific Power, these organizations are deeply invested in their communities and intent on making them more vibrant and resilient.
Throughout the region, local organizations deliver countless services and programs that increase access to healthy food, safe and stable housing, healthcare and mental health support, disaster relief and public safety programs. Every day, these neighbors who support and show up for each other are making our communities safer and stronger.
These safety and wellness grants are made through one of four grant cycles offered by Pacific Power’s nonprofit arm each year. The following four grants totaling $9,000 were given to local Klamath Falls organizations:
Bonanza Big Springs Park & Recreation District for the purchase of new, energy-efficient appliances for the park’s cook shack, which the community uses year-round for public and private events.
Klamath County CASA Program to train 30 new volunteer court-appointed special advocates to serve as voices for children in court hearings, child welfare and school meetings and to assist as advocates for services.
Klamath Senior Center to help provide 78,000 on-site meals, Meals-on-Wheels services and other assistance to area seniors.
Pregnancy Hope Center for an infant car seat program and a safe-sleep program that helps families experiencing low incomes access the equipment and education they need to keep their babies safe.
The Pacific Power Foundation is part of the PacifiCorp Foundation, one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created by PacifiCorp, an energy company that serves over 2 million customers across a diverse six-state region in the West as Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho) and Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California).
Klamath Community College will host its second annual Open House and Career Fair on Wednesday, May 3, providing a wide assortment of program demonstrations and interactive experiences, as well as a Career Fair with employers onsite, and assistance for those seeking new career opportunities.
Last year’s events drew hundreds of visitors to KCC, including many high school students, for several hours of hands-on experiences connected to KCC programs such as learning CPR, basic construction skills, truck driving, robotics, firefighting skills, chemistry experiments, and how to fly an airplane, among others.
This year’s activities expand those offerings with more opportunities to learn new skills incorporating all of KCC’s Career and Technical Education programs, as well as KCC student club presentations, games, and food trucks onsite. Activities will be both inside and outside around campus providing insight into programs such as auto/diesel, commercial drivers license, fire science, health information, accounting, business management, and more.
Open House demonstrations will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, with the Career Fair continuing until 3 p.m. inside Building 4. Around 40 employers are expected to attend, offering information for careers available in the Klamath Basin. KCC staff will be present to assist with job search tools and support resources for job seekers.
Employers at the career fair will include government agencies, construction and financial sales businesses, as well as arts and community support organizations. Additionally, the KCC Bookstore will be offering Badger Bucks redeemable toward select purchases.
The Mazama Senior Parent Club is hosting its biggest fundraiser of the year this weekend.
Tomorrow on Saturday, April 22, the Mazama Senior Parents Club is hosting a banquet dinner in hopes of raising funds for an end-of-the-year party for the Mazama 2023 graduating class.
The dinner is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a happy hour at Linman Hall at the Klamath County Fairgrounds. The dinner will be catered by PourHorse Cantina.
A silent auction with 45 items is scheduled as well as a 10-item live auction. A dessert auction is scheduled featuring both homemade and local artisans’ sweets.
All proceeds from the dinner will go toward an overnight party planned for the graduates taking place later this spring at Mike’s Fieldhouse. The Senior Parents Club is slated to offer games, raffles and cash prizes all within a safe and sober setting.
Tickets for the banquet dinner are being sold for $30 and can be purchased from Homedale Mini Mart or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Henley Senior Parent Committee is inviting the general public to dinner Sunday, April 23.
To raise money for a planned senior class trip happening in June, the Henley Seniors Parent Committee is providing a catered dinner and silent auction for attendees at the cost of $20 for those older than 13 years old and $12 for children younger than 13; entrance is free for senior citizens.
According to a press release provided by the Henley Senior Parent Committee, a themed-basket silent auction, dessert auction, table raffle and door prize giveaways are planned. A slideshow display featuring Henley’s 2023 class throughout the years will be shown during the dinner catered by Jalapeno’s.
The event is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at Mike’s Field House located inside Steen Sports Complex.
The Klamath Falls Community Band, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is seeking players for the 2023-2024 concert season.
Our all-volunteer band seeks to promote band music as a traditional community art form through performances, music education programs, and community partnerships. The group performs an average of three concerts per year and provides an opportunity to make music, have fun, and build community in the Klamath Basin.
Any musician with at least a high school level of experience on their instrument is welcome to join the band, no auditions necessary. High school students are welcome at the recommendation of their band teacher. The band is especially looking for clarinet and saxophone players at the moment, but all instruments are welcome.
Rehearsals are currently underway for a July 4 concert and a Halloween concert to be held in October. Regular rehearsals are held once a week on Thursdays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in the band room at Mazama High School. Interested musicians can sit in on a rehearsal or contact email@example.com for more information.
KLAMATH COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
HERE’S THE PLANNED MAJOR WORK FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 24-28th, 2023
Klamath County or Utility Companies will have work crews at the following locations. Please use caution when in these areas and watch for flaggers. If you are able to avoid the work zones, please use an alternate route for your safety and the safety of Klamath County employees and our contractors.
UTILITY WORK WITH INTERMITTENT LANE CLOSURES
Vicinity of Stearns Elementary School
Crest Street: Clinton to Denver
Laverne Avenue: Crest to Altamont
Avista Gas Company – relocating gas mains and services
Pacific Power – relocating power lines and services
Bobs Excavating – waterline construction
Traffic control measures will be in place for guidance. Motorist should use alternative routes if
possible. In general, flagging stations will be set up at the end of the work zone and delays will be up to 20 minutes for the motoring public. Our goal is to minimize the delay to the motoring public. Other minor work is occurring through the county but we are only listing the major items in this announcement. There may be adjustments of work schedules due to weather or other items
outside of the County’s control (breakdown of equipment, material/resource availability, etc.)
Please do not contact the County if you do not see work occurring, it could be finished already or will be rescheduled.
Klamath County Public Works and the Board of County Commissioners appreciate the motoring publics’ patience during the repair season for our local roads and bridges. If you have any
questions regarding work, please contact the Public Works Department at (541) 883-4696.
Around the state of Oregon
Detectives Discover Rural Jacksonville Homicide Suspect’s Vehicle, Suspect Still Not Located
UPDATE: 6:30 p.m. The suspect is still on-the-run. He is considered armed and dangerous, do not approach, instead call 911. JCSO deputies will continue extra patrols and presence in the area.
Earlier today, investigators discovered the suspect’s vehicle near the crime scene next to the Applegate dam. JCSO SWAT and K9 teams responded and searched the vehicle and area, but the suspect was not located. If you have any information on Michael Wayne Ray’s whereabouts call ECSO Dispatch at (541) 776-7206.
Detectives Investigating Rural Jacksonville Homicide, Suspect On-the-Run
JCSO Case 23-2239
APPLEGATE, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detectives are on-scene of a homicide that occurred early this morning in rural Jacksonville. ECSO dispatch received a call at 2:26 a.m. for a shooting at a residence in the 14000 block of Upper Applegate Road. JCSO deputies responded, discovered the scene was a homicide, and notified Criminal Investigations Division (CID) detectives and Medical Examiners. A primary suspect has been identified and is on-the-run. The victim identification is pending next-of-kin notification.
The suspect, Michael Wayne Ray, 64, of Jacksonville, is described as a white male with blue eyes and grey hair, 5’9” tall, weighing 190 lbs. (pictured here). He is considered armed and dangerous. If you see the suspect, do not approach, instead call 911 immediately. This case is active and ongoing with detectives following additional leads. Oregon State Police (OSP) and Medford Police Department (MPD) detectives are assisting as part of a Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) call out. There is no further information available for release.
OREGON’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 4.4% IN MARCH
Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4% in March, down from 4.7% in February.
For the past 20 months since August 2021, Oregon’s unemployment rate has remained relatively steady and near historic lows. The unemployment rate averaged 4.3% in that time, while ranging between 3.5% and 4.8%. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5% in March and 3.6% in February. In March, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2,400 jobs, following a revised loss of 2,700 jobs in February.
In March, gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+1,600 jobs) and professional and business services (+1,200). The only major industries to cut a substantial number of jobs were retail trade (-900 jobs) and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-500).
Health care and social assistance added jobs at a rapid pace over the past year. Since March 2022, it added 8,300 jobs, which was a 3.1% increase. Nearly all of the gains over the year were in social assistance, which added 5,400 jobs since March 2022 and is now 2,500 jobs above its pre-pandemic high. Hospitals added 800 jobs in March, following little gain during the prior 11 months.
Professional and business services grew rapidly over the past three years. It added 8,900 jobs, or 3.4%, since March 2022. One of its component industries, administrative and waste services, was a primary driver of jobs expansion lately, as it added 4,400 jobs, or 4.2%, in the past 12 months. Employing 110,400 in March, this large industry makes up one in 20 nonfarm payroll jobs in Oregon. It includes firms such as temporary help services, janitorial services, landscaping services, and telephone call centers.
Retail trade hovered close to 210,000 jobs throughout the past two years, with a slightly downward trend over the past year. Since March 2022, the broad retail trade sector lost 1,600 jobs (-0.8%). Most retail components cut between 100 and 600 jobs. The only published component industry expanding in that time was food and beverage retailers, which added 900 jobs.
To file a claim for unemployment benefits or get more information about unemployment programs, visit unemployment.oregon.gov.
Memorial Service For Joseph Johnson, The Nyssa Police Reserve Corporal Murdered On Duty, Is Scheduled For Saturday, April 22nd, 2023.
A memorial service for Joseph Johnson, the Nyssa police reserve corporal murdered on duty, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, April 22nd, at Nyssa High School.
An overflow crowd is expected and organizers are preparing additional venues to watch the ceremony.
A law enforcement procession will wind through Ontario and end at the high school but route details have yet to be announced. Organizers are urging people to line the route to show support for Johnson’s family, which will be in the procession.
As friends and colleagues share memories, a portrait is emerging of a man dedicated to his community, willing to help out on many fronts.
Johnson, 43, worked as a behavioral specialist at Snake River Correctional Institution, served as a reserve police in Nyssa for five years, worked as a therapist and served as a volunteer firefighter.
He died Saturday, April 15, while on patrol in Nyssa. He responded to a disturbance at a home well-known to police for domestic violence calls. Johnson was shot to death after pulling up behind a man reported to be on a rampage who had led the officer on a short pursuit.
The grief of law enforcement was evident during a news conference in Ontario on Tuesday, April 18. They did not use the defendant’s name, instead referring to Rene Castro, 36, only as “the suspect.” He is in jail, charged with aggravated murder and four other felonies.
Nyssa Police Chief Don Ballou said it would take a long time for his team to recover from Johnson’s death.
“I don’t think it’s ever going to be fully recovered,” said Ballou, who last December had presented Johnson his agency’s Outstanding Performance Award.
The chief thanked police agencies for their swift response to the murder and the subsequent tracking and arrest. He also said his team appreciated the community’s response.
“I’m overly humbled to see the support we have,” Ballou said.
Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe shared that the suspect in Johnson’s killing, Rene Castro, 36, of Nyssa, was in custody and had been charged with aggravated murder and four other felonies and was in custody.
He said police worked “tirelessly” to find the suspect.
“It really has been a great team effort to enact swift justice,” said Malheur County Sheriff Travis Johnson.
Mike Iwai, Ontario police chief, said the murder and investigation had taken a toll on officers and asked for continued public support for police.
“They will definitely need it,” Iwai said. “Now is not a time for us to rest.”
Earlier in the day, a procession of about 50 police, fire and medic rigs formed on Stanton Boulevard, falling into line to escort Johnson’s body the final miles back to Ontario, to the Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel on Southwest Fourth Avenue.
There, law enforcement officials saluted as the flag-draped coffin was moved into the chapel.
David Peterson, a Bend police officer and board member of the Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, said the nonprofit group is covering expenses for the memorial service.
“Nyssa police and the Johnson family will not pay for any of these services,” Peterson said.
He said the foundation is collecting donations to support Johnson’s family. Donations can be made online, by check or at any U.S. Bank branch. He said the foundation should be considered the “official” conduit for contributions for the family.
DEQ Responds To 1,200 Gallon Railroad Diesel Spill in Cottage Grove
A piece of railroad equipment punctured a tank causing a 12-hundred gallon diesel spill in Cottage Grove on Tuesday.
The train didn’t derail and no waterways are affected. The spill happened near South 6th Avenue and Highway 99 in Cottage Grove, just southwest of Bohemia Park.
Crews will excavate and remove diesel-contaminated soil. The train is operated by Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad which is paying for the clean up. Oregon DEQ is overseeing the operation.
Governor Tina Kotek Marks 100 Days in Office, Urges Legislature to Invest in Housing, Homelessness, Behavioral Health, Education
—Governor Tina Kotek today marked her 100th day in office by highlighting the progress made – and the investments that are needed this session – to deliver on her top three priorities: housing and homelessness, mental health and addiction, and early literacy.
“Our 100-day sprint has laid the foundation to improve the lives of all Oregonians,” Governor Kotek said. “We have an abundance of people in our state who are willing to try things they have never done before to solve our greatest challenges, all because they believe in Oregon’s potential.”
Governor Kotek praised the work legislators have done so far to support her executive order declaring a homelessness state of emergency, which aims to keep nearly 9,000 people from becoming homeless, move at least 1,200 people into permanent housing, and add at least 600 more shelter beds by the end of this year.
She called the Housing Emergency Response Package a “down payment on an investment that Oregonians are owed,” highlighted the work the state and local leaders are already doing to deliver specific outcomes and said “more must be done going forward.”
Specifically, the Governor is urging the Legislature to approve at least another $1.3 billion before this session is over: $1 billion in bonding to build and preserve more affordable housing, and at least $300 million in general funds to continue work on housing and homelessness.
Oregonians also need a stronger, more accessible behavioral health system. Governor Kotek reiterated her commitment to disrupt the harmful and expensive homelessness-jail-hospital pipeline, decrease preventable deaths related to a person’s substance use or mental health issue, and stabilize and support the behavioral health workforce.
On education, the Governor highlighted the progress on the Early Literacy Success Initiative outlined in House Bill 3198. The bill has bipartisan support to develop students’ reading and writing skills, with funding going to schools, community-based organizations, and Tribes to do this work. While her recommended budget targeted $120 million for this investment, today she said that Oregon’s early literacy rates are “intolerable,” and $120 million is the minimum that the state should invest this session.
Governor Kotek also spotlighted the direct conversations she is having with Oregonians across the state. She is visiting all 36 counties in Oregon during her first year in office as part of her One Oregon Listening Tour. She has visited six counties so far: Yamhill, Douglas, Columbia, Benton, Lincoln, and Polk.
“I’ve met with families in Yoncalla, educators in Vernonia and students in Philomath who are determined to build success in their communities,” she said. “I’ve heard from behavioral health providers in Newport and housing providers in Dallas who are dedicated to helping their most vulnerable neighbors in their time of greatest need.
“I take these stories home with me to Salem, to enrich and refine our shared vision for the Oregon we know is possible.” You can read her full remarks here. (https://www.oregon.gov/newsroom/pages/NewsDetail.aspx?newsid=87937)
BEND, OR — A male bobcat kitten, approximately 8 months old, is now in the care of the High Desert Museum. The public will begin to get to see the yet-to-be-named kitten periodically in the Museum atrium across from the permanent Spirit of the West exhibition.
The bobcat arrived at the Museum in October weighing less than 3 pounds. Individuals near Portland, Oregon removed the kitten from the wild and reached out to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Biologists with ODFW informed them that animals will often leave their young for a period of time to feed, only to return later. The officials placed the bobcat back where he was found in the hope that his mother would return. The kitten was brought back into ODFW six days later by another individual, prompting ODFW officials to consider other options.
It is unknown whether the bobcat was truly orphaned or was simply separated from its parents by a well-meaning citizen. In either case, the kitten could not be returned safely to the original location, and rehabilitation of bobcats is not generally allowed in Oregon to avoid releasing human-habituated predators on the landscape. Seeking other options, ODFW then placed him at the High Desert Museum.
The bobcat currently weighs 15 1/2 pounds and is thriving in his new environment. The wildlife team at the High Desert Museum has expertise in caring for feline predators, and staff are training him to voluntarily crate and to participate in husbandry and vet care.
It will take about another year for the bobcat to reach a full size of 20-25 pounds. Wild bobcats eat a wide range of prey including birds and small mammals. The Museum wildlife team does its best to mimic a wild diet for the animals in its care, and the bobcat enjoys meals that include rats, mice, rabbit, quail and other whole-animal foods. He has done well so far and is a smart animal who has taken quickly to training and working with wildlife staff.
“The best thing to do when discovering baby or injured wildlife is leave the animal there and contact the local ODFW office to report it,” said Museum Curator of Wildlife Jon Nelson. “The best outcome is always to locate the mother so the animal can be raised and live in the wild, but ODFW is well-equipped to determine if the animal is legitimately abandoned or otherwise requires long-term human care.”
Bobcats are very common in the High Desert and are remarkable hunters. They are solitary animals that can thrive near humans and can be seen at times in suburban habitats. We encourage people to learn about, appreciate and coexist with our native wildlife.
“Caring for young wildlife is work that requires total dedication, and once again our wildlife team has risen to the challenge to give the bobcat the best possible home,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “Although not generally a danger to humans, bobcats are also not housecats. Our team is working with him daily to ensure he will thrive here.”
For the coming weeks, the bobcat will periodically be visible in the atrium where Gert the gray fox presently resides. They cannot be in the atrium at the same time, so they will rotate and visitors will have the opportunity to view and learn about a gray fox or a bobcat, both with important stories and lessons we can take home to help conserve their habitats.
The opportunity to name the new bobcat will be auctioned off on Saturday, August 26 at the High Desert Rendezvous, the Museum’s largest fundraising event of the year.
The Museum cares for more than 130 animals, from otters to raptors. All the animals are nonreleasable, either due to injuries or because they became too familiar with humans. At the Museum, they serve as ambassadors that educate visitors about the conservation of High Desert species and landscapes.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM:
THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North
America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Oregon License Plate Funds Safe Animal Crossing
The “Watch for Wildlife” license plate is available for purchase at all DMV locations in Oregon.
For more information about Oregon specialty license plates and how to get your own Watch for Wildlife plate, please visit www.oregon.gov/odot/dmv.
Proceeds from a new license plate in Oregon will fund two projects meant to help wildlife make it safely across busy highways.
More than 13,000 of the plates have been sold since the new option was unveiled last May. The Oregon Wildlife Foundation says an initial disbursement from the fund will go toward a crossing for mule deer and elk across Highway 20 near Sisters. A second project will help coastal martens get across Highway 101 at a still-to-be-determined location.
Tim Greseth, the Executive Director of the OWF, said the projects were created with help from ODOT’s Wildlife Passage Program.
“We can create more opportunities for habitat connectivity in the state of Oregon,” Greseth said. “Wildlife passage structures are not inexpensive, and so this is an important source of revenue.”
The Oregon Wildlife Foundation said each year, almost 6,000 drivers in Oregon alone are involved in a collision with a deer, elk, bear, or other wildlife species.
MORE INFO: https://www.myowf.org/watchforwildlife
Silver Falls State Park will host its annual Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival May 13 and 14.
Come see the migratory birds and spring blooms at the park this time of year. The event coincides with World Migratory Bird Day.
The festival includes guided birding and wildflower hikes, a wildflower show, live raptor presentations, a native plant sale and educational presentations and discovery tables. The birding guide is a woodpecker expert so visitors are likely to spot a few of the birds in addition to these frequent fliers: Wilson’s warblers, Pacific wrens, varied thrushes and American dippers.
“It’s a great time of year to visit because the migratory birds should be here in force,” said Silver Falls Park Ranger Matt Palmquist.
If you’re all about the blooms, the park will be filled with trilliums, bleeding hearts, violets and some calypso orchids. The wildflower show features at least 100 species of flowers on display as well.
Most activities will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an early bird hike each morning at 7:30 a.m. All activities take place in the South Falls day-use area, with the exception of some birding walks.
All activities are free, but a $5 daily parking permit or Oregon State Parks annual parking permit is required to park at Silver Falls State Park.
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