Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
December 25, 2002     Hells Canyon Journal
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December 25, 2002

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cal S his tee lu- rid |ed Lol- ep- es- Dn~ aty of tst- [sa rgy tee , on -7 ii Per Copy DAVID MADER drives a team of Belgian horses pulling a full wagon-load of young carolers. Despite primary classes from Halfway Elementary School were accompanied by teachers Sue Rowen and their annual outing to sing Christmas carols on Main Street in Halfway. Forest Service Studies Land Exchange Proposal The Forest Service is be- crease the complexity of ginning to consider an ex- maintaining property change of lands, whereby boundaries, reduce the hum- non-federal inholdings- pri- ber of access permits to pri- vate lands located within vate in-holdings, and ira- National Forest boundaries prove the efficiency of re- -would become National source management by fo- Forest System lands, mov- cusing the Forests' funding ing the Malheur, Umatilla, and staff on consolidated and Wallowa-Whitman Na- ownerships. tional Forests toward land The exchange proposal ownership patterns identi- also addresses goals and ob- fled in their Forest Plans. jectives of numerous land- The project, called the owners of the private lands Blue Mountain Land Ex- to be considered for acquisi- change, involves lands tion by the Forest Service. within Baker, Grant, Mor- Clearwater Land Exchange row, Umatilla, Union, - Oregon, a third party fa- Wallowa, andWheeler coun- cilitator, has been working ties. The proposal will con- for several years to draft a sider the exchange of ap- proposal that meets boththe proximately 20,600 acres of Forest Service and private federal lands in the three land management objec- National Forests for ap- tives. All private landown- proximately 37,000 acres of ers are willing partners in non-federal lands, according the transaction. to Linda Vore, Lands Spe- All the parcels for the ex- cialist on the Wallowa- change are within the geo- Whitman National Forest. graphic area of ceded lands The exchange will be corn- and/or area of interest oflo- pleted on the basis of equal cal tribes. Government-to- values, not equal acres, as government consultation determined by real estate has been initiated with each appraisals, of these tribal entities and The proposed exchange will continue, concurrent responds to a Forest Service with the development of the objective of consolidating land exchange project. federal land ownership pat- Consultation with other terns in the three National local, county, state, and fed- Forests. This consolidation eral government agencies would enhance land manag- will also be completed dur- ers' ability to protect habi- ing the planning process for tat for several threatened, the land exchange. endangered, and sensitive The Forest Service will species, as well as preserv- be preparing an environ- ing segments of the Imnaha, mentalimpact statement on Lostine, Eagle Creek, and the land exchange proposal North Fork John Day Wild to disclose effects on natu- and Scenic Rivers. It would ral, cultural, and social re- also convert the ownership sources. of current private parcels of A legal description of the land within the Eagle Cap, lands to be considered has Hells Canyon, and Wenaha- been published in some east- Tucannon wildernesses and ern Oregon newspapers and the Hells Canyon National can be accessed at this time Recreation Area to federal at an internet website at ownership, http;//www.fs, Additionally, consolida- YJ.91itlli Ja or by call- tion would facilitate public ing John Denne at 541-523- access to federal lands, de- 1246. To Attend Awards uet in City Governor-elect Ted Kulon- goski plans to attend the an- nual Baker County Chamber of Commerce Honors Banquet January 18, according to Dave Noble, Director of Baker County Unlimited. Highlights of the evening will include presentation of several awards: Man of the Year, Woman of the Year, Legacy Man of the Year and Legacy Woman of the Year, and Excellence in Agricul- ture. A Halfway-based busi- ness - Tami's Pine Valley Fu- neral Home - has been nomi- nated in the award category of Business of the Year. Mike Nelson will be Master of Ceremonies: Wayne Overton will preside over the auction of items donated for the evening. Tickets are $24 each and may be purchased at the Baker Chamber or from any beard member. The event will be at the Elk's Club in Baker City with a no-host bar at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Photo by David Baker the unusual absence of snow this time of year, the Karen Endersby, as well as a number of parents, on Precipitation, Snowpack Show Major Deficiencies Although it's still early in the season, there is an emerg- ing cause for concern in the mountains of eastern Oregon. The thus-far puny snowpack is beginning to point toward another substandard water year. And while traditional- ists will bemoan the absence of a white Christmas, the lack of major snow accumulation in the mountains points to- wards more serious conse- quences than bare ground visible on December 25. As of Monday, December 23, sensors at the Snotel site at Schneider Meadows showed a 27-inch-deep snow- pack containing the equiva- lent of six inches of water - less than half of the histori- cal average water content for that date. Since October 1, precipitation at the site has totaled 8.5 inches - just 55 percent of the average of 15.4 inches between October 1 and December 23. With only limited precipi- tation in the long-range fore- cast, would-be snowmobilers and skiers and next year's irrigators watch the skies and hope for better, wetter days to come. And as 2002 winds to a close, it is all but certain that this year will go into the record books as the driest year ever in the Panhandle. Join us in celebration of the season! The annual com- munity Christmas Eve candlelight worship service will be held at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, December 24, at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to enjoy the special music, message, and communal fellow- ship in prepara- tion for this most blessed of holidays. New Bridge Photo by Sherrle Kvamme