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Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
March 8, 2000     Hells Canyon Journal
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March 8, 2000

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Page '4 Hells cm ay n 8,2000 Vote "Yes" to Annex To the Editor." I would like to encourage Baker County voters to sup- port the annexation oflBaker County into Blue Mountain Community College's (BMCC) district. In recent years, Baker County has contracted for community college services with BMCC The state legis- lature, with a goal of leveling the availability of eommunity college services to all Orego- nians, has changed their policy from these contracts to an effort to equalize service delivery to all Oregonians. The vote in March is our op- portunity to benefit from this change in policy. The benefits of expanded community college course of ferings in Baker County are substantial• The ability of graduating Baker County high school students to re, main in the county [or their first two years o[ classes can bring great cost savings to families that cannot initially afford to send students out of town to pursue their degree. Never before .has a college education meant more to people seeking jobs. The avail- ability of community college classes and specialized train- ing hasproven to be one of the most important factors con- sidered by businesses when identifying expansion oppor- tunities. On apreliminary basis, we are developing some exciting plans to make optimal use of our new National Guard Ar- mory as the ultimate location for community college classes. Ibelieve this willprove to be a very wise use of public re- sources, as we will uttlize the building that is otherwise vacant for most days off the year. l hope you willjotn me in voting ",yes ~ on the Blue Moun- tain Community College mea- sure. Sincerely, Brian 1). Cole, Chair Baker County Board of Commissioners Baker City, Oregon Smith for State Rep Dear Editor." For the past two days, [ have attended the Oregon Cattlemen "s Association Spring Conference in Boardman, Oregon. In that time, [have become more fa- miliar witk a tremendous can- didate [or the Oregon House of Representatives for District 50. Folks, to me, that means the person that will be repre- senting my personal and pro- fessional interests in Salem. " GregSmith has taken this time with our organization to learn the issues that are most important to us. We have toured Me agricultural indus- try that Greg ha~ been instru- menta.l in developing. He has proven to me that he has not only been an avid developer [or our agriculture, but some- one that listens to see how he can cooperate andparticipate in future growth of our natu- ral resources. My family and[ are proud to add our names to the grow- ing list of proud supporters for this campaign. We are con- fident "that Oreg will support our strengths, concerns and Hells Canyon Journal 145 North Main St. P.O. Box 646 Halfway, OR 97834 Phone: (541) 742-7900 Fax: (541) 742-7933 • . email: hcj Editor and Publisher- Steve Backstrom Staff: Sarah Antaya, David Baker, Coco Forte, Myra Rasmussen, Cindy Thayer, Patti Walker and Heidi Young Correspondents: Julie Apple, Marjorie Baker, Linda Bergeron, John Garrigus, Isla Graven, and Sybyl Smith =, The He~Is Canyon Journa/is published weekly for $15.00 (Baker County) or $18.00 (other areas) by Hells Canyon Publishing, Inc. Periodical postage paid at Halfway, OR 97834. USPS Number: 002-953. ~OSt~Ste(: S epq ~res~ phang~s t9 )-//e//q Canyon JoFma(, P;O. Box 646, questions while representing us in Salem• lencourage each and every person to join this important Committee. Their phone number is (541) 676- 5154 or (541) 481-3045. We need Oreg Smith in the. Oregon House of Representa- tires. We need an elected offi- cial that will participate in our programs and have an "open door" policy to the citi- zens. Please join with me in supporting Greg Smith for Oregon State Representative for District 59. Sincerely, John Hays Unity, Oregon Guest Opinion Federal Caucus Releases Draft Report on Conservation of Columbia Basin Fish by Will Stelle A new plan addresses the plight of dwindling species of fish from the North Pacific Ocean to streams flowing from the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains. It is a highly ambitious undertak- ing to save endangered spe- cies of wildlife, and it is now coming to Northwest commu- nities for comment. The plan a's outlined in the so-called "All-H Paper" could cost more than $400 million a year and billions over the next decade. It will affect in some way virtually every resident of the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The Federal Caucus, a group of nine federal agencies with legal responsibility for fish and wildlife recovery in the Columbia River Basin, re- cently released this impor- tant document to the public. The plan presents options and alternatives intended to stimulate public discussion about what the region can do to recover salmon, steelhead and other aquatic species. The All-H Paper focuses on four human activities that have caused the decline of fish populations in the Co- lumbia Basin: habita[, har- vest, hatcheries and hydro- power. The draft paper is not a decision document and pre- sents no preferred option or alternative. Instead, it out- lines basic alternatives un- der each of the Hs that com- bine the available options identified through scientific research. Thd report looks at imple- mentation issues, perfor- mance measures and key uncertainties under each H. It also provides a preliminary quantitative analysis of the biological effects of some of the alternatives. While not conclusive, the analysis con- cludes that to prevent extinc- tion and recover listed spe- cies, major martagement de- cisions will be necessary in habitat in much of the Co- lumbia Basin have declined dramatically in the last 100 years. Without substantial improvements in land and water use, habitat conditions across the basin will continue to erode and undercut progress in salmon recovery efforts in the other Hs. Op- tion 1 would moderately in- crease federal efforts to pro- tect and restore habitat. Un- der Option 2, state, tribal, local and federal entities would significantly increase coordination and effort. Op- tion 3 is similar to Option 2, but also includes increased federal regulation of nonfederal activities. Harvest Options: His- torically, over-fishing has contributed to declines in fish populations. Fish are caught by commercial fishing opera- tions, by Tribes with treaty rights to catch salmon, and by sportfishers. Since the 1960s, fishery manages have been cutting harvest rates to protect salmon runs. The har- vest options presume that harvest reforms of recent years will continue. Option 1 allows harvest rates to in- crease in the future as abun- dance increases. Option 2 re- flects 1999 &arvest manage- ment, in which harvest rates would be frozen until recov- ery goals are achieved. Op- tion 3 reduces harvest on listed populations to conser- vation crisis levels for ten years and seeks further re- ductions in ocean and in-river fisheries. Hatcheries Options: More than 80 anadromous fish hatcheries have been built in the Columbia Basin as mitigation for hydroelec- tric development and habitat destruction. Today, more than 80 percent of the basin's salmon and steelhead are raised in hatcheries. Some sci- entists now believe that hatcheries have contributed to the decline of wild salmon in the basin. All options in- each H. Here, in a nutshell, is clude numerous hatchery re- what it says. forms already underway in Habitat Options: The the basin. One hatchery op- quality and quantityoftribu- tion would expand those re- I : - fresh v f x a/ d 2o t i Fy' seoov optio#l pands and accelerates the first option, and the third option calls for sharp reduc- tions in hatchery production. Hydropower Options: Dams create barriers to salmon and steelhead migra- tion. The reservoirs that back up behind dams alter river flows and temperature, and provide habitat for fish preda- tors. The base case option con- tinues present operations and ongoing improvements to the hydro system. Option 2 is more aggressive, going be- yond the current level of in- vestment to improve passage through the existing system. Option 3 calls for breaching four Snake River dams. The Federal Caucus' as- sessment is that current lev- els of activities in the four Hs do not produce confidence that salmon and steelhead will recover. In its report, the Federal Caucus-combines the options under the four Hs to arrive at "integrated alterna- tives." All alternatives are intended to improve survival of Columbia Basin fish over the long term. The alterna- tives are presented to stimu- late public discussion. They describe broad policy choices and do not represent the only combinations of options• Through March 2000, the Federal Caucus is sponsor- ing a series of public meet- ings throughout the North- west to ask the public what the final All-H plan should look like. Meetings have been or will be held in Spokane, Paste and Seattle, Washing- ton; Portland and Astoria, Oregon; Boise, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls, Idaho; Kalispell and Missoula, Mon- tana; and Sitka and Juneau, Alaska. In May 2000, thSFed- eral Caucus plans to release its final report. Watch your • newspape or go to the web at for information about the meeting in your area. (Will Stelle is the National Marine Fisheries Service Ad- ministrator[or the Northwest, Region.)