Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 5/24/23 – Bureau of Reclamation Says They’ll Increase Water Supplies; Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips from ODOT; To Be Heavy says Oregon Republicans Plan To End Walkouts

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today,  Sunny and 73 degrees. Overnight, expect clear skies with a low of 46.
 
Thursday,
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Sunny, with a high near 80. Light north winds to 9 mph. A 20% of showers overnight, low around 47.
Friday
A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Sunny, with a high near 78. Cloudy overnight, low of 48.
Saturday
A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76.
Sunday
A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76.
Memorial Day
Sunny, with a high near 81.
 

Today’s Headlines

173rd FW to conduct Memorial Day flyovers in Oregon

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. – The 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon will conduct Memorial Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout Oregon.

F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, May 29,2023. 

10:15 a.m. Reedsport Cemetery, Reedsport, Ore.                                                                                                            10:30 a.m. Gold Beach Veteran’s Memorial, Gold Beach, Ore.

11:00 a.m. Veterans Park, Klamath Falls, Ore.

11:20 a.m. Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Ore.

11:40 a.m. Roseburg National Cemetery, Roseburg, Ore.

12:15 p.m. Riverside Park, Grants Pass, Ore.

All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be cancelled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation’s air defense since 1941.  The 173rd FW is home to the sole F-15C pilot training facility for the United States Air Force.

 

Oregon Senate Republicans said they plan to put an end to their walkout.

Senate Republicans sent out a press release Tuesday saying Democrats and Senate President Rob Wagner are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans don’t return to the legislature.

To address the potential for a shutdown, Senate Republicans said they’ll come back on June 25 to pass “lawful, substantially bipartisan budgets and bills.”

Oregon Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) released the following statement Tuesday, which says, “Democrat leadership including President Wagner are threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get their way. That is no way to govern. We guarantee that we will be back before constitutional sine die to address the issues most important to Oregonians – homelessness, affordable housing, public safety, cost of living, job creation, and fully-funded education. We are not interested in facilitating an agenda that is unlawful, uncompromising, and unconstitutional. This has not changed.

He goes on to say, “Republicans have faced intimidation and retaliation from the Senate President and the special interest groups that installed him as President. In exposing and standing against the culture of corruption perpetrated by top Oregon Democrats, we have requested that an independent investigation into the broad reaching potential wrongdoing of the Democrats be conducted. President Wagner and his special interest supporters are attempting to silence our voices to obstruct the truth from being revealed to the public. We will continue to stand for accountability, transparency, and the people of Oregon. We are the last line of defense to hold the majority accountable.”

 

Increased water supplies will be provided by the Bureau of Reclamation for Klamath Project contractors, but Klamath Basin water users say they remain disappointed and that the increases are lower than needed.

In making the announcement, BOR regional director Ernest Conant said that based on improved spring hydrology and updated forecasts, water supply allocations from Upper Klamath Lake increased from 215,000 acre-feet to 260,000 acre-feet. Allocations from the Gerber and Clear Lake reservoirs remains at 35,000 acre-feet from each reservoir. The updated 2023 allocations are based on analysis of existing hydrologic conditions and inflow forecasts from the California Nevada River Forecast Center and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Paul Simmons, spokesman for the Klamath Water Users Association, downplayed the BOR’s decision.

n making the announcement late Friday afternoon, Conant said the agency has confirmed there are higher water levels in Upper Klamath Lake for endangered sucker fish and that the levels mean larger releases will benefit downstream salmon. In addition to initial water supply allocations for Klamath Project contractors, Conant said $13 million is being provided for drought resiliency, ecosystem enhancement, technical assistance to Tribal Nations, and groundwater monitoring in the Klamath project.

 

Full details of the 2023 Klamath Project’s allocations and operations are outlined in the 2023 Annual Operations Plan, which is available on the Klamath Basin Area Office Operations Planning website.

For updates and information about Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office’s work to manage and protect water and related resources in Klamath Basin communities, and Klamath Project hydrologic and operations visit the website at www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao or contact the Klamath Basin Area Office at (541) 883-6935.

 

There’s a senior party happening this week as local seniors will be celebrating National Senior Awareness Month.

The staff at Klamath Hospice and Palliative Care are inviting the county for Klamath’s first ever Senior Awareness Fair.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 25, the community is invited to 2751 Washburn Way to celebrate seniors with more than 40 community booths, activities such as cornhole, stretching exercises and giveaways, and live entertainment featuring musician Dan Hill.

Jennifer Smith, the community liaison with Klamath Hospice and Palliative Care, explained that they receive calls all the time with questions about, and where to find services.

Smith also detailed the excitement and tremendous support from the basin that Klamath Hospice has gathered saying the fair will have information and resources from Sky Lakes Medical Center, Veteran Affairs, Klamath and Lake Community Action Services, Ross Ragland, Rover Place, Crystal Terrace and many more community partners who care about seniors and want to help with planning for the future.  Klamath Hospice and Palliative Care is planning to make the Senior Awareness Fair an annual event. Participation is free and open to all comers. For more than 40 years, Klamath Hospice has maintained a mission to improve the end-of-life experience through compassionate and quality care, advocation, bereavement support and public education.  Basin Lift will be offering free transportation to and from the event with a request of prior reservation. To contact Basin Lift and arrange a time, call 541-883-2877.

 

Fire managers in Klamath National Forest accomplished 15 acres of prescribed burning at the Van Bremmer project on Monday, located about nine miles northeast of Tennant on the Goosenest Ranger District.

Burn personnel will continue with prescribed burn operations today as conditions allow, with up to 230 total acres slated for burning over the course of this week.

Goals of the Van Bremmer project are to reduce hazardous fuels to decrease fire behavior during future wildfire events, improve forage for big game, and to improve stand resilience to insects and disease. Smoke may be visible from Highway 97.

 

Tickets for Ross Ragland’s showing of Hamlet, for June 18th.

Buy Tickets Now
Tickets: Adults: $10 Students & children $5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around the state of Oregon

Bureau of Land Management announces Pacific Northwest fire restrictions to protect local communities

Fire restrictions go into effect on May 23 for all Bureau of Land Management public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. The BLM encourages all visitors to be aware of active restrictions and closures as warmer, drier weather sets in around the Pacific Northwest.

A single-engine tanker makes a water drop on a wildfire in central Washington

Starting this week, the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns will be prohibited. These fire restrictions will help reduce the risk of human-caused fires.

“Although we had a wet winter, we must still be careful with activities that can cause a spark to keep our first responders, local communities, and public lands safe from accidental wildfires,” said Anita Bilbao, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director. “We are seeing more invasive grass due to the wet weather, which dries out quickly without rain. Everyone can help by following fire restrictions and practicing fire safety while out on your public lands.”

Those who violate the prohibition can be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a prison term of up to one year. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression.

May is also ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’. Visit NIFC.GOV for wildfire prevention tips: https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/fire-prevention-education-mitigation/wildfire-prevention.

For more information on Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire. To learn more about fire careers with BLM Oregon-Washington, please see https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire/state-info/oregon-washington/careers.

 

Oregon Senate Republicans Continue Walkout

Tuesday marked the fifteenth day of an Oregon Senate Republican walkout, and with 33 days left until the session is over, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are digging in their heels.

Republicans have vowed to come back on June 25, which is the last day of the session. They say on that day they are only willing to pass the budget and bipartisan bills.

Senate President Rob Wagner has said that he will not allow that to happen, which means we could get to the end of session without passing a budget.

Gov. Tina Kotek has committed to calling a special session to pass the budget if that does not happen by the time the legislative session adjourns.

If that happens, any bills that haven’t already passed the Senate would die.

Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp sent out a written statement that reads in part, “Democrat leadership including President Wagner are threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get their way. … We guarantee that we will be back before constitutional sine die to address the issues most important to Oregonians — homelessness, affordable housing, public safety, cost of living, job creation, and fully-funded education.”

Senate Democratic Leader Kate Lieber also sent a written statement that reads, “Senate Democrats will be here, doing our jobs, ready to pass the budget and act on urgent Oregon priorities today, tomorrow, and every day until session ends. We are upholding our constitutional duty to show up for work and vote on the floor.”

While the stalemate continues on the Senate side, House representatives are still busy at work.

House Minority leader Vikki Breese Iverson, R-Prineville, says the Republican caucuses of both chambers are in communication daily and believe that Senate Republicans will have enough time to pass a budget and bipartisan bills on the final day of session.

“Senate Republicans have said that they will come back on June 25th and take care of the budget business and large bipartisan bills that we can get across the floor for them to consider, and the House will stay here to do the business and that is exactly what we are doing,” she said.

Breese Iverson said her party feels Oregon Democrats have broken their trust before and said this is why Republicans have been standing their ground in negotiations.

“The action of trust is something that has to be earned, not just talked about and that trust happens when we have a conversation and then there are steps forward that all parties agree to,” she said. “The Republicans have been in this place for several sessions now where we have sat at the table there have been opportunities in front of us for bipartisanship and opportunities for trust to be given and accepted, and it has been proven that it didn’t work out so well for us, so there is a big leap to try to have trust on this end.”

Rep. Ricki Ruiz, D-Gresham, said he feels much of the work of the House may be in vain this session.

“Having 10 Senate Republicans hold the session hostage is disturbing to me,” he said. “We cannot move any budgets, we cannot move any House bills because there is no quorum in the Senate. So, quite frankly, it is really frustrating having to navigate that system, having to navigate that situation going on in the Senate. Our Senate Republicans have the obligation to show up and vote.”

The walkout began May 3, ahead of a final vote on House Bill 2002, a controversial reproductive rights bill, and a gun control bill, House Bill 2005.

Among the list of demands, Knopp said they want Democratic lawmakers to kill roughly 20 bills that they say are hyper-partisan.

Ballot Measure 113, passed by a majority of Oregon voters in all 36 counties last year, bars lawmakers from reelection if they have 10 or more unexcused absences on days they are scheduled to vote.
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The measure was intended to prevent tactics like a walkout, which has been used by both parties to deny a quorum needed to vote on legislation. (SOURCE)

 

Early numbers show nearly 70% of Oregonians to keep benefits in first round of renewals

State to send updates third week of the month

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) are committed to transparency and will be sending monthly information about medical coverage among Oregonians as the agencies continue to track the state’s progress in determining eligibility for medical programs.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the federal government allowed states to keep people on Medicaid once they became eligible and did not require annual eligibility renewals. During this historic health emergency, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Oregon’s Medicaid program, grew to nearly 1.5 million people.

In April, Oregon began the process of redetermining eligibility for everyone on OHP.  While most people will continue to qualify for existing benefits, OHA is required to review eligibility for all OHP and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) members by mid-2024.

In April, Oregon began processing eligibility redeterminations for all 1.5 million members receiving OHP and other Medicaid-funded services and supports. The federal government requires Oregon to disenroll any members who are no longer eligible or fail to respond to renewal notices.

All OHP households will receive a renewal notice over the next 10 months. People are encouraged to check that their contact information is up to date so that they can be contacted by the state and receive renewal notices.

Oregon will be able to process many renewals automatically. This means that every OHP member will receive a renewal notice, and the notice will explain whether the member needs to provide additional information or take action to keep their coverage.

Although the state has taken many steps to prepare, the large number of OHP redeterminations, along with renewals of long-term services and supports, is expected to cause greater wait times, delays, and possible interruptions to people’s OHP benefits. OHP members are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible after they receive a request for information to avoid any possible delays. The fastest way members can provide an update is by going to benefits.oregon.gov and logging into their ONE account.

Members losing OHP coverage have other coverage options and will receive at least 60 days advance notice. Many people will be eligible to enroll in health plans through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace (OHIM) with financial help. Other people may be eligible for Medicare or employer coverage.

  • April was the first month Oregon began processing medical renewals, during this reporting period: 133,232 individuals, or 75,436 cases have had their OHP renewed.
  • 46,894 individuals, or 29,072 cases needed to provide more information to complete the process.
  • 13,208 required individuals to review, sign and send back their renewal packet.
  • 8,394 people were ineligible and received a 60-day notice of termination of coverage. When people are ineligible, they are referred to the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace for other options for health care coverage.

Early data for May shows 66% of people will retain benefits.

Members losing coverage should report changes to their income or household information immediately if any of the information used to make the decision is inaccurate. They also should apply for other health coverage as soon as they know their coverage ending date to prevent a gap in coverage.

Two new dashboards became available in April 2023 for the public to track Oregon’s progress.

To get help, people can also:

Get help finding other health coverage at OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp

 

OHA investigating 4 Salmonella infection cases linked to Papa Murphy’s cookie dough

PORTLAND, Ore. — Recent cases of Salmonella infection are being linked to the consumption of Papa Murphy’s cookie dough, Oregon health officials announced today.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) epidemiologists investigated a cluster of four cases with identical strains of Salmonella bacteria. The cases range in age from 20 to 57 and reported onset of symptoms between April 1 and April 21. None of the cases were hospitalized, and there have been no deaths. The Washington State Department of Health has reported matching cases of Salmonella as well.

Eating raw cookie or S’mores Bar dough sold by Papa Murphy’s restaurants was significantly associated with contracting this strain of Salmonella. Papa Murphy’s, headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., sells uncooked or “take-and-bake” pizzas and cookie dough that are intended to be baked at home.

“People should contact a health care provider if they believe they’ve had symptoms of salmonellosis, including diarrhea, after eating raw cookie dough,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at the OHA Public Health Division. “It’s important to remember, though, that most people with salmonellosis will recover without needing medical care or antibiotics.”

He added: “We recommend anyone who has any of the potentially contaminated cookie or S’mores Bar dough to discard it and wash your hands afterward.” People who have eaten cookie or pizza dough but not gotten sick do not need to notify a health care provider.

OHA epidemiologists are working closely with the Washington State Department of Health, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the outbreak. Efforts to trace the source of the Salmonella are ongoing.

During 2013–2022 — the most recent 10-year period — Oregon averaged 459 (range, 337–585) reported cases of salmonellosis per year. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps one to seven days after exposure. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.

Although most people recover without treatment, some have severe infections. Infants, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness. Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and, in rare cases, can be deadly.

For general information, visit OHA’s salmonellosis page, or the CDC’s Salmonella page.

Other resources:

  • CDC’s Salmonella FAQ.
  • gov’s Salmonella and Food page and Salmonella page.
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Boating on Oregon’s Waterways – Pay Attention, Be Prepared

Stand up paddler interacting with the Oregon State Police on Lake Billy Chinook

There’s something magical about being on the water and Oregon offers incredible boating opportunities. Regardless of what’s calling you to the water and the type of boat you’re in, be aware of your surroundings, be prepared, and make good decisions.

“Inexperience and solo operation continue to be a growing trend of boating fatalities in Oregon. Planning ahead, boating with others, always keeping a sharp lookout, and wearing a properly fitted life jacket for your boating activity should be at the top of all boaters’ focus,” says Brian Paulsen, Boating Safety Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board. “The Marine Board has many resources to help boaters have a safe and enjoyable experience on all of Oregon’s waterways,” adds Paulsen.

The Oregon State Marine Board advises boaters to plan ahead and check out the Marine Board’s interactive boating access map. The map displays public boat ramps and local rules for boat operations. Also, check the weather forecast, water levels, and tides. See if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for your boating activity. Boaters can also check the Marine Board’s website to find out what equipment is required based on the size and type of boat.

The Marine Board would like to remind boaters:

  • Boat Sober. Abstain from consuming marijuana, drugs, or alcohol, which impair judgment, reaction time, and coordination and cause dehydration. Boating demands sharp situational awareness.
  • All children 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket when underway on all boats (motorized and nonmotorized). All boaters on Class III whitewater rivers are required to wear a life jacket.
  • Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway. Stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area regardless of your boat type. This makes launching faster and everyone around you happier.
  • In Oregon, all boaters must take a boating safety course and carry a boating safety education card when operating a powerboat greater than 10 horsepower. Paddlers of non-motorized boats 10’ and longer are required to purchase a waterway access permit. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity.

For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit Boat.Oregon.gov.

 

Museum Kicks Off Summer with Return of Raptors of the Desert Sky Flight Program

BEND, OR — The High Desert Museum’s signature outdoor flight program, Raptors of the Desert Sky, returns beginning Saturday, May 27. The demonstration takes place daily during the summer at 11:30 am through Labor Day.

2023-05/6924/163649/HDM_Raptors_of_the_Desert_Sky.jpg

Hawks, owls, falcons and even turkey vultures soar from perch to perch directly over the crowd seated in a natural amphitheater nestled in the Museum’s ponderosa pine forest. A Museum expert narrates the action, sharing the hunting strategies and natural behaviors of these spectacular birds of prey, as well as what we can do to help preserve them in the wild.

“The outdoor flight program is a highlight of the High Desert Museum summer season,” says Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “For so many visitors, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the power of these extraordinary birds up close while learning about their incredible adaptations from wildlife staff and volunteers.”

The program takes place weather and air quality permitting. The Museum website will be updated to reflect any time changes, such as an earlier start time to accommodate for high temperatures that might stress the birds.

Tickets are separate from Museum entry ($5 for members, children 3-12 and seniors, $7 for non-members, free for children 2 or younger) and must be purchased at Admissions by 11:00 am. They are not available online. Tickets often sell out before 10:00 am. The Museum strongly recommends that visitors arrive when the Museum opens at 9:00 am to secure tickets from Admissions.

Raptors of the Desert Sky is made possible by Fly Redmond with support from Bigfoot Beverages. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/raptors-of-the-desert-sky.

In addition, the Museum’s summer schedule of daily talks begins Saturday. Visitors can meet a mammal in the popular Desert Dwellers talk at 3:00 pm, and they can also learn about wolves, raptors and other High Desert species in other talks. Daily talks are free with admission. Talk details are at highdesertmuseum.org/daily-schedule.

The historic High Desert Ranger Station will be open weekends from 10:00 am — 3:00 pm starting Saturday, as well. The U.S. Forest Service ranger station was built east of the Sierra Nevada in 1933 and moved to the Museum in 2008 in partnership with the Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association of Forest Service retirees (known as the Old Smokeys). Old Smokeys staff the station to engage with Museum visitors. The ranger station will be open daily starting July 1. The building’s history is at highdesertmuseum.org/high-desert-ranger-station.

And an immersive art exhibition that evokes the High Desert history of vaqueros and braceros, Vistas del Cielo, Views from the Sky in Spanish, also opens May 27. Artist Justin Favela uses piñata paper to create immense, colorful murals. The exhibition is open through November 26. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/vistas-del-cielo. The exhibit is made possible by Gold 107.7 with support from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

Learn more about visiting the Museum at highdesertmuseum.org.

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 FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

 

ODOT Travel Tips For Memorial Day Weekend

Summer travel season is coming fast and as you make your plans, there are a few things to know before you hit the road. Make sure all of your travels will be safe and enjoyable this holiday weekend and beyond by knowing what the road ahead will bring.

Memorial Day weekend

Expect heavier traffic over Memorial Day weekend. Consider other ways to reach your destination that mean you don’t have to sit behind the wheel in traffic. Public transportation, buses and trains are all great alternatives. Plan to stay local? Think about how to get around town without driving to reduce the number of cars on the road.

Planning ahead

Tripcheck.com has live cameras all over the state so you can see what the conditions look like along your route and at your destination. To check for construction delays, look for traffic cone icons on the map.

While a lot of our construction work will pause over Memorial Day weekend, some impacts and delays will remain. Here are some areas that could see extra congestion.

In Portland, work along the OR 217 for the auxiliary lane safety project could cause minor delays. Work will be scaled back through the holiday weekend.

In Bend, four new roundabouts are coming to U.S. 20 on the north end of Bend. Expect some delays traveling through this area.

On U.S. 26 between Mount Hood and Warm Springs, a 15-mile stretch of highway with poor pavement condition recently had a speed reduction to 45 mph.

If you plan to recreate or travel between Bend and Eugene, remember that McKenzie Pass, OR 242, is still closed. The earliest opening date for everyone is the third Monday in June. If you plan to take OR 58 over Willamette Pass, there are several work zones to keep an eye out for around Oakridge.

For more information on construction projects around the state check out our Project Tracker and see what we have planned.

Following Memorial Day weekend, summer travel and construction begins to ramp up. We want to ensure your entire season of travel is both safe and enjoyable. As you plan your adventures, make use of our summer travel tips and resources website. On this site, you’ll find valuable insights to navigate through Oregon’s construction and wildfire season, and safety and preparedness tips for all the ways you travel Oregon’s transportation system. Bookmark this resource to become a seasoned summer travel all-star!

Drive safe!

The month of May highlights many national transportation safety messages. The big takeaway from all of the campaigns is to drive, bike, and ride thoughtfully. Watch out for fellow road users and for our maintenance and construction crews. Remember to slow down and move over to give our emergency responders space to safely do their jobs.

Source: ODOT

JUN 3 AT 5 AM – JUN 4 AT 9 PM

Free Fishing Weekend, June 3-4, 2023

Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend of June.
No fishing/shellfish licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required on those two days (June 3-4, 2023). Both Oregon residents and nonresidents can fish for free. Oregon State Parks also offers free parking and camping on Saturday, June 3.
All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations (https://www.eregulations.com/oregon) for rules. Remember to check for any in season regulation changes at the Recreation Report (https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report) especially for salmon and steelhead fishing. Click on the zone where you want to fish and then click the “Regulation Updates” tab to see the in-season changes.
The Recreation Report is updated weekly and features the best bests for fishing for the upcoming week.
Expect lots of extra rainbow trout to be stocked in Oregon’s lakes for the weekend; more fish are stocked during the next two weeks (for Memorial Day and June Free Fishing Weekend) than at any other time of year. See the trout stocking schedule (https://myodfw.com/fishing/species/trout/stocking-schedule) for more information.
It’s also a great weekend to try clamming or clamming. This year, June free fishing days coincide with a minus tide (with low tides on the coast getting below the average low water mark by one or even two feet), creating ideal conditions for clamming. MyODFW.com has all the information you need to get started clamming or crabbing including maps of locations and how-to’s.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat. As of today, razor clamming is open from Tillamook Head (just south of Seaside) north to the Washington border but closed south of Tillamook head to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Crabbing is open coastwide.
Closures can happen quickly and may change before Free Fishing Weekend. Remember to call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check their Shellfish page (https://www.oregon.gov/…/pages/shellfishclosures.aspx) before you go.
ODFW staff and a number of fishing organizations will host events throughout the state on Free Fishing Weekend, bringing all the gear beginners need to get started. Staff and volunteers will hand out fishing equipment and be available to teach how to bait, cast, land and clean your catch.
Events are being held at following events and times, see the Family Fishing Events page (https://myodfw.com/…/family-fishing-events-free-fishing…) for more information.
Saturday, June 3
• Alsea, Oregon Hatchery Research Center, 7 a.m-2 p.m.
• Camp Sherman, Wizard Falls Hatchery, 9 a.m.-noon (for ages 10 and younger)
• Enterprise, Marr Pond, 8 a.m.-noon
• Estacada, Small Fry Lake, Promontory Park, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (for ages 17 and younger)
• Eugene, Alton Baker Park, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Gaston, Henry Hagg Lake, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Silverton at Silverton Reservoir, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Sutherlin, Cooper Creek Reservoir, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Toledo, Olalla Reservoir, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Ukiah, Twin Ponds, 9 a.m.-noon. Note trophy trout will not be stocked for this event due to disease concerns with these trout; other legal-size trout will be stocked.
Sunday, June 4
• Lake Marie, Reedsport, Noon- 5 p.m.
Salvage harvest in the Santiam State Forest from the 2020 wildfire.SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) seeks peer-reviewed scientific journal articles about post-disturbance timber harvest — also known as salvage logging. ODF will use relevant articles to conduct a literature review.

Oregon Senate Bill 1501 directed ODF to make rules related to post-disturbance harvest. A disturbance could be a wildfire, a natural disaster, an extreme weather event, an insect infestation, or a disease outbreak. As part of the process, the Board of Forestry will determine if current post-disturbance harvest rules meet the requirements of Oregon Revised Statue (ORS) 527.714(1)(c) and the Private Forest Accord report.

The literature review will help inform the board about post-disturbance harvest rulemaking needs. As part of the literature review, the department is: 

  • Reviewing the best possible science.
  • Reaching out to experts in the field for additional information.
  • Ensuring the public has an opportunity to provide relevant scientific information.

The three main topics ODF is asking the public to send peer-reviewed journal articles about are:

  • The effects of post-disturbance harvest on streamside areas and aquatic systems.
  • Post-disturbance ecology.
  • Post-disturbance natural regeneration.

The public can submit articles from June 2 through June 22 via email at odf.frdrules@odf.oregon.gov or via postal mail to: Attn: Elise Chiba, Oregon Department of Forestry, 2600 State Street, Salem, OR 97310. 

After completing the literature review, ODF will report the findings to the board in early 2024. The board will then determine whether to start drafting rules or decide that the current rules suffice.

See ODF’s webpages for more information on the Private Forest Accord and Forest Practices Act.

 

Grants Pass Getting Ready for Boatnik this weekend!

Boatnik 2023 Grants Pass, OR
May 26th – 29th
May be an image of crowd and text
In planning for the 2023 Memorial Day / Boatnik celebration, the Grants Pass Police Department and the Active Club would like to make our citizens aware of the following information:
BOATNIK PARADE ON SATURDAY, MAY 27th:
• 6th Street will be closed to all vehicle traffic (except for parade entrants) from “A” Street to the River. The road closure will be from 8:00 am until after the parade, approximately 1:00 pm. During the parade, traffic will be diverted from 6th Street at “A” Street to Beacon, then onto the Grants Pass Parkway. Traffic can then divert to I-5 or onto the Parkway.
• The 6th Street (Caveman) Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic during the parade. The closure will be on Saturday, May 276h from approximately 8:00 am until 1:00 pm. Those persons wishing to travel south of the Rogue River need to leave earlier or plan to use the Grants Pass Parkway Bridge.
ACCESS ACROSS THE RIVER WILL ONLY BE ON THE PARKWAY BRIDGE OR THE 7TH STREET BRIDGE (northbound only).
• No parking will be allowed at the following locations from Friday, May 26th at midnight until after the Boatnik parade on Saturday, May 276h:
-6th Street from just north of “A” Street to the Caveman Bridge
-Voorhies between 6th and 7th Streets
• Dogs are discouraged along the parade route.
• Parade Attendees must stand/sit no closer to the parade than immediately adjacent to the curb within the parking stalls on 6th Street. This will ensure the safety of the attendees, keep pedestrians out of the roadway and allow everyone to see the parade from a good vantage point.
TRAFFIC AROUND THE PARK AND THE BRIDGES:
• East Park Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6:00 am Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 29th at 9:00 pm. Vehicles with a Boatnik parking permit or Handicap parking permit will be allowed to enter East Park Street via the Parkway entrance only.
• Baker Park will be closed to vehicle traffic and boat launching from Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 28th.
 

OHA encourages mpox vaccination as state marks Pride Month in June

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon public health officials want to raise awareness that getting vaccinated with both doses of the mpox vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves and their community, especially in advance of Pride and related summer gatherings and travel.

Tim Menza, M.D., Ph.D., senior health adviser for Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) mpox response, said that while the number of mpox cases in the state has decreased dramatically since last summer, the outbreak that began in June 2022 is not over.

“There are reports of increases in cases in the United States (Chicago) and across the globe, including in France and South Korea,” Menza said.

Oregon still sees one to three mpox cases reported per month, although that’s a significant drop from the 10 to 15 cases reported per week when the outbreak peaked in early August 2022. The state’s total count of mpox cases now stands at 280 in 12 counties since the start of the outbreak, including 278 adult cases and two pediatric cases. There have been no deaths.

That the mpox outbreak is not yet over is a sentiment shared recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On May 15, the agency issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory, warning health care and public health partners of ongoing mpox community transmission in the United States and internationally. The HAN informs clinicians and public health agencies about the potential for new clusters or outbreaks of mpox cases, and provides resources on clinical evaluation, treatment, vaccination and testing.

“We have the tools to prevent a resurgence in Oregon, including testing, vaccination, treatment, strong community partnerships and data to guide our response,” Menza emphasized. “As we gather and travel for Pride celebrations in Oregon and around the country next month, we can use these tools now to help us avoid repeating the outbreak of 2022.”

The JYNNEOS mpox vaccine is free and readily available to anyone in Oregon who wants to be vaccinated. As of May 15, 20,972 doses of JYNNEOS have been administered in Oregon, including 13,084 first doses and 7,703 second doses. Menza believes there are many more people who could benefit from vaccination who have not yet received their first dose and that there are about 5,381 people who remain eligible for a second dose but have not yet received it.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is highly effective. According to a study published Friday (May 19) in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the vaccine was found to be 75% effective for those receiving one dose and 86% effective for those who had two doses.

“People with two doses of the vaccine can feel confident in their protection, but breakthrough cases are possible, so if you’ve been vaccinated and notice a new spot or rash, talk to your health care provider,” Menza explained. “We are still learning how long vaccination protection lasts, but we know that vaccines make getting and spreading mpox less likely, and help make symptoms less severe.”

Mpox spreads primarily through close, skin-to-skin contact. Most often, it has occurred through intimate or sexual contact, and during contact with the lesions of an individual with mpox through a caregiving relationship, such as a parent caring for a child or an adult caretaker of another person.

Infection rates are highest among people living in Multnomah County, those ages 30 to 39, and members of the Latino and Black/African American communities. Most cases were men who reported having sex with men, and most identified as gay or bisexual men.

People who suspect they have mpox should contact their health care provider to let them know before going in to be seen. The provider may recommend testing for mpox. Those who don’t have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 or their local public health authority for help finding a clinic or health care provider.

For more information about mpox in Oregon, visit OHA’s mpox website. Vaccination clinics can also be searched by ZIP code with an mpox vaccine locator tool at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Monkeypox/Pages/vaccine.aspx or at https://mpoxvaxmap.org/.

 

Officials Warn Dangerous River Conditions in Southern Oregon

Springtime recreationists on the Rogue, Applegate, and Illinois rivers are being warned of colder-than-average water conditions, river CFS of above 4550, and new strainers/hazards. May be an image of text that says 'Grants Oregon PRESS RELEASE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ROGUE, ILLINOIS, AND APPLEGATE RIVERS'

“The water temperature in the Rogue River is currently in the low 50s, which is significantly colder than average for this time of year,” said Wayne Nelson, Battalion Chief with Grants Pass Fire Rescue. “This cold water can cause hypothermia, even with experienced swimmers.

In addition, the river CFS is currently above 4550, which is considered high water. This high water can make it difficult to control a boat or raft and can also increase the risk of strainers.”

Strainers are submerged objects that can trap swimmers and boaters. They can be trees, logs, or even man-made objects like bridge pilings. If a swimmer or boater is trapped in a strainer, they can quickly drown.

Please take the following safety precautions:

•           Wear a life jacket.
•           Check the river conditions before you go.
•           Be aware of your surroundings.
•           Don’t swim or boat alone.
•           Be prepared to get out of the water quickly if necessary.
•           Always let others know your river plan, including time in and place and expected time out and location.

“By following these safety precautions, you can help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable springtime on the river.”

Current Rogue River data

Current Applegate River Data

Current Illinois River data

 

How to make the most of your Vacation Budget. Tip from Umpqua Bank

Create a solid saving and spending plan for your upcoming travels this season

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer: a time for outdoor activities, evenings spent grilling with friends and family and, of course, summer vacations.

Whether you’re planning to hit the road or take to the skies, there are some important financial considerations when planning your next trip. As you dream about your next vacation, Umpqua Bank is offering tips to help you make the most of your trip with a solid plan to save and spend this summer season—and avoid falling victim to a vacation scam.

“We all deserve to take time to rest, relax and rejuvenate when the weather gets warmer,” says Neal Brown, Southern Oregon & Siskiyou Market Region Manager at Umpqua Bank. “But to make the most of your time away, it’s important that you create a plan and stick to it so you stay on budget, maximize your trip and return without vacation guilt.” 

Here are Neal’s top tips heading into travel season:

  1. Set a budget and plan your trip around it. Take a good look at your finances and set realistic expectations for what you can afford without accruing vacation debt. For example, if you have your heart set on a specific location, consider traveling in the “shoulder season” (outside of peak travel times, typically in spring or early fall). Or, if you’re just looking to get away, research destination options that may help you save. Remember: Your budget should include everything—not just the flight and hotel. Think about costs for meals, transportation at your destination and any excursions you’d like to go on. This will give you a far more realistic expectation of the total cost.
  2. Start a dedicated vacation fund. It’s never too late to start saving for your next vacation—even if it’s already booked. If your travel fund is mixed in with your general savings account, it can be tempting to dip into the fund for other expenses. Consider opening a separate savings account specifically for your vacation fund, which will help you keep an eye on exactly where you’re at financially. You can even set up recurring automatic payments from your checking account to this savings account to contribute regularly. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up!
  3. Use credit sparingly—but to your advantage. It can be easy to fall into the trap of using your credit card to pay for a vacation without paying it off right away, but that sets you up for fees and interest that add up long after your trip is over. You can, however, use a credit card to your advantage. Many credit cards offer perks such as earning rewards for everyday purchases that can be redeemed for airfare, hotels and more. And, a credit card often offers additional (and significant) advantages like trip cancellation coverage or no foreign transaction fees. Just be sure to read the fine print of what a credit card offers!

And, with these tips in mind, it’s also more important than ever to keep an eye out for scammers trying to take advantage of the increased interest in hotel, flight and vacation bookings. 

“Scammers are incredibly opportunistic, and increasingly savvy,” says Jon Stockton, Umpqua Bank’s Director of Fraud. “They are always inventing new ways to make something seem legitimate when it’s not—which means it’s important to stay extra vigilant.” 

Here are some helpful tips to avoid turning your dream trip into a nightmare—and a big headache—due to a vacation scam:

  1. Verify Your Booking Site: Before you book your ticket, do some research. Does the website have a verifiable physical address and phone number? Do they have any Better Business Bureau complaints that might make you pause? When in doubt, booking directly from an airline or hotel is your safest bet—but remember, scammers are getting more and more clever, so double check that the website URL is the verified site of the company you are intending to book from.
  2. Use Reputable Vacation Rental Services: Scammers often fabricate or even steal real rental property information to create fraudulent booking sites in an attempt to steal your information. If possible, call ahead to confirm a rental’s availability and speak to an actual person. And, use reputable vacation rental services that offer fraud protection.
  3. Utilize Your Credit Card: Using a credit card often offers you more peace of mind because they have additional built-in protections against fraud, including things like vacation protection. Be wary of the payment methods your booking site is requesting; if they require you to wire the funds or provide a cashier’s check, it’s likely a scam.
  4. Protect Yourself While You’re Out: Always keep your purse or wallet on you and in your possession when you’re traveling. Even a quick stop at a gas station or rest area is an invitation for an opportunistic scammer to snatch it. And, be sure to take note of any numbers or records you may need in the event you have to report a stolen or lost card to your financial institution. Remember: If you find yourself a victim (or suspected victim) of a scam, be sure to call your financial institution right away to start the process of reporting a stolen card or compromised account.

“Every year, we see scammers taking advantage of people trying to find a good deal,” Stockton says. “Just remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is—whether it’s a flight deal or an ultra-cheap vacation rental. Be extra careful and perform your own due diligence to verify their authenticity.” 

With these tips in mind and a plan in place, you can be confident that you’re maximizing your next big trip—and feeling good that you won’t come back with vacation-related guilt. 

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