Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
March 22, 2000     Hells Canyon Journal
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March 22, 2000

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35 Per Copy Halfway, Oregon 97834 Hearing On Future Management of Hefts Canyon Draws Small Crowd by Patti Walker cation about the alternatives, at /te/Is C, n.yon,/our l positioned around the room and, manned by Forest Ser- The Forest Service-spon- vice employees. sored public hearing on the Several audiencemembers Hells Canyon National Rec- attending last week's hear- reation Area Management ing asked questions about Plan, held in Halfway last grazing allotments in the rec- week, drew only a small reation area, and raised con- crowd. It was the first of eight cerns about the effects ofgraz- publicmeetingsbeingheldin ing. the rim communities sur- Forest Servicerepresenta- rounding Hells Canyon Na- tive Kurt Wiedenmann ex- tional Recreation Area plainedthat the originalleg- (HCNRA) in the next several islation creatingthe HCNRA months, allows for "traditional uses" About 15 residents such as grazing, mining, and watched a video and slide timber harvesting if they are presentation, developed by compatible with the other the Forest Service, explain- .mandated management ob- ing the history leading to the jectives. The other objectives designation of the Hells Can- call for protecting, maintain- yon as a National Recreation ing, and/or restoring free Area, the regulations requir- flowing rivers, fish and wild- ing a plan to guideits use, the life habitat, archeological, factors driving a plan update, paleontologic and historical and the specifics of five alter- sites and conservation ofwil- natives - including one derness and scenic areas. He dubbed the "preferred alter- reiterated the Forest native" by the Forest Service Service's belief that tradi- -thatarebeingpresentedfor tional uses can be managed public comment. Participants on the HCNRA in a way to were encouraged to visit in- meet the compatibility test. formational stations, provid- "The term 'compatibility,' ingvisual and written clarifi- which seems to be the watch- ANNA RICHARDSON of Halfway studies one on the Hells Canyon National Recreational Halfway. Photo by Patti Walker of the informational boards at a public hearing Area Management Plan held last week in word, is really a very subjec- tives and believes the point of tive term," states Kifar the public process is to get Yosemite, a local environ- comments so that the Forest mental activist. Service can refine a position. Yosemite doesn't support He also predicts that the plan any of the current alterna- will be tied up in the courts due to conflicts over land use, and federal judges ultimately deciding on the management of the HCNRA, which he calls "the jewel of North America". Continued on page 2 by Patti Walker a Long, of t t/o//s nj. nJoun / includes the Brownlee, Ox-Power initially was licensed bow and Hells Canyon dams to operate the dams," Jones Therelicensingofthe Hells on the Snake River, in accor- told the audience. "We apply Canyon Complex of three dance with an operating li- for the opportunity to oper- dams is an enormous, com- cense issued in 1959 by the atethe dams, to make power plex, lengthy, and "high Federal Energy Regulatory available and to sell it. These stakes" undertaking. That Commission (FERC). The li-days, that comes with a higher was made evident to county cense to operate the dam corn- price tag." officials and others attend- plex expires in 2005. Idaho Jones saidthatfederalleg- inga special meeting in Half- Power must have its applica- islation protecting endan- waylast week. Commission- tion to the federal govern- gered species and water has ers from counties around the ment by July, 2003. been enacted, and values and Hells Canyon National Rec- While those dates seem farexpectatibns around the use reation Area received a day- in the future, it will take ev- of public resources have long update on that process ery bit of that time to com- shifted. from Idaho Power, the Bu- plete the process, according "If you use the people's reau of Land Management, to Craig Jones, Idaho Power (government) resources or the Forest Service, andlocal, Project Manager for the have an adverse impact on private non-profit group, the relicensing effort, them, you have to pay in ex- Friends of Brownlee. "The playing field has change," said Jones. "Pay- Idaho Power manages the changed tremendously in the ment comes in the form of Hells CanyonComplex, which last 50 years since Idaho Continued onpage 13 PV Inter-Action Seeks Committee Members Pine Valley Inter-Action (PVIA) is a valley-wide group that has formed so residents of Pine Valley have an oppor- tunity for input into decisions that have valley-wide impact. The purpose of the organization is to provide a method for information gatlaering/dissemination from agencies (i.e. city council, county commission, etc.) to valley residents and to convey back to the agencies the position of valley residents on the issues. Committee members will be assigned to the council/ agency of their choice and will act as liaison between the council/agency and valley residents. Their responsibilities will be: to attend meetings and gather information about issues of importance to valley residents, to pass that infor- mation on through the contact network, to convey the opinions of valley residents back to the council/agency, and to offer alternatives or other ideas that are generated as proposals to the council/agency for consideration. Terms will be for two years and committee members will be elected by valley-wide vote. Attendance at agency meet- ings will be on a rotational basis, in order to share the effort. Ballots will come out in the March 29 issue of the HCJ, giving people another week to get their names in the hat. Give Bobble Mower a call at 742-7018 if you are interested. al