‘No Child Left Behind’ spurs questions as congressmen visit Bend

The author of the “No Child Left Behind” bill heard concerns from local educators Monday that mirror national uneasiness about the education reform act that increases federal oversight of public schools beginning this year.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, met with about 35 school superintendents, school board members, teachers, elected officials and business leaders at a morning meeting in the library at Central Oregon Community College in Bend put together by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., whose 2nd Congressional District includes Central Oregon.

Most of the meeting was devoted to No Child Left Behind, which is essentially the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Recently, the last of the 50 states submitted their plans for Department of Education approval.

With Carrie Carpenter, Oregon’s teacher of the year on his right side, and Walden on his left, Boehner told the group that since 1965, when ESEA was enacted, the federal government has spent “$300 billion over 37 years and got no results – none, zero, nada.”

“In that time, the poorer schools got worse,” he said, pointing to the achievement gap between richer and poorer school districts.

Boehner said, “we would blink” at failure and “look the other way.” He added that lawmakers aren’t going to “blink” this time.

“If we’re going to contribute $30 billion towards public education, we should expect something in return,” he said.

According to the Department of Education, No Child Left Behind “is based on four basic principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.”

The law also financially penalizes a school if it does not meet “adequate yearly progress” for three years. The ultimate goal is to have 100 percent grade level proficiency in 14 years.

“The best thing about the bill isn’t even in it,” Boehner said, adding that it will spur “national debate, a healthy debate, about what it takes to educate our kids.”

Congressman admits ‘unintended consequences’

Boehner acknowledged that it won’t be easy to get “everyone on a path to proficiency,” and that there is the “law of unintended consequences” that happens to every bill.

During a question-and-answer session, Doug Nelson, superintendent of the Bend-La Pine School District, seized upon the phrase “unintended consequences” regarding NCLB.

Nelson had four concerns. The first dealt with how federal funds are distributed under NCLB specifically that a Title I program at a failing school could be shifted to a more successful school thus depriving the failing school of much-needed funds.

Title 1 refers to federal funds earmarked for students needing additional help in reading and math. Typically, such students come from a low socio-economic background.

Secondly, should a student’s parents request a transfer from “Mountain View to La Pine,” Nelson said, the federal government would not help with those transportation costs. A recent New York Times article dealt with similar issues in Montana and Alaska, two of the largest states in the country. In Montana’s case, the subject of teacher qualification is an issue, because what Montana considers qualified would be unqualified by the federal government.

Nelson also addressed teacher qualification. He said a teacher with a “transitional license” could be deemed “not highly qualified” under Oregon’s interpretation of NCLB.

Nelson said that a new teacher in the Bend-La Pine district, who was the teacher of the year in Hawaii, would be considered “not highly qualified” because she is still in the three-year process of gaining her full Oregon license. The educator, Nancy Simons, teaches language arts at Summit High School. Nelson said that her students’ parents would have to be notified that she is not considered highly qualified.

Nelson then talked about the “dangerous schools” provision. He said La Pine High School, which had five weapons incidents the past year is considered a dangerous school even though four of the incidents involved pocket knives, a common item, Nelson said, in such a rural area.

In closing, Nelson said he did not disagree with NCLB’s intention, but he did disagree with how it’s carried out, suggesting that maybe the federal government was “micro-managing” a bit too much, a comment that produced some chuckles in the audience.

Boehner defends ‘No Child Left Behind’

Boehner, looking tan and rested from a trip to the coast, responded that Nelson’s concerns appeared to be state interpretations of NCLB and are not the intent of the law. He also said, to the surprise of some in attendance, that no high schools are involved in NCLB. Only grades 3 through 8 are targeted through a test called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also called the “Nation’s Report Card,” which began in 1969.

A recent NAEP in reading showed Oregon’s 4th and 8th graders are doing well.

Janie Teater, a Title 1 teacher at Jewell Elementary in Bend, spoke about the problem of “high mobility schools,” which are schools that have a high percentage of students who move in and out of the school. Often, these students come from a low, socio-economic status.

She said different states have different standards. She said Oregon, which has higher standards, could be penalized if it got a student from a state with lower standards.

Boehner said that this “problem stays somewhat consistent” and wasn’t troubled by it.

“A state can dumb down their standards, but the real test is in NAEP,” he said. “It’s a huge indicator.”

Mary Bryant, principal at Rimrock Educational Alternative Learning Middle School or REALMS, a charter school for “at-risk” students,” asked the seven-term congressman if more federal funding could be forthcoming for facilities for charter schools.

He explained the legislative process and how getting money for buildings would be difficult.

Bryant said that federal money for charter schools “is great for two years, but after that, good luck.”

Congressman says teacher skill, not class size key

Carolyn Platt, chairwoman of the Bend-La Pine School Board, contended that schools such as Rimrock, which fulfill a key need in the district, could lose funding if the students don’t show adequate yearly progress.

“Where do they go if we close that school?” she asked.

Boehner felt that it would be easier for a school with low-achieving students to show progress than a higher-achieving school.

In an interview before the meeting, Boehner dismissed the notion that smaller class sizes are an essential component of academic success. Rather, he pointed to the “determination and quality of the teacher as a far better measure” followed by parental involvement.

Yet, most parents appear to want smaller class sizes for their children. Three years ago, voters in the Sisters School District passed a local option tax, a portion which was dedicated to maintaining smaller class sizes. Seven Peaks, a contract school in the Bend-La Pine district touts its smaller class sizes, as did the private school Sunriver Prep before it went out of business this spring. Its replacement, Cascades Academy, also advertises small class sizes.

Boehner said he was quite aware of Oregon’s financial troubles and the cuts it has meant to schools, including ending the school year early in 90 districts because they ran out of money. But he and Walden noted that it’s not just Oregon that is having financial difficulties, but rather most states are facing similar tough choices.

Since most states are in financial trouble, complying with No Child Left Behind could prove costly. The federal government’s investment is about $1 billion more per year. Estimates by Phi Delta Kappa International, the professional print journal since 1915 for education policy issues, show annual costs of at least $84.5 billion up to $148 billion.

Nelson said Bend-La Pine, which last week shaved $9.7 million from its operating budget, should see an additional $500,000 in Title 1 funds, which will “maintain the program, as is.”

In 1998-99, public spending on K-12 education was $347.3 billion, according to the Digest of Education Statistics. The federal government contributed $24.5 billion or 7.1 percent. The rest came from state and local governments.

Feds: More control than funding help?

In the 2001-2002 school year, public expenditures rose to $422 billion, with the federal government’s share still around 7 percent.

For that low percent of financial commitment, some see the federal government as exerting too much control over local public schools.

“They are calling more of the shots,” said Phil Riley, superintendent for Madras-area schools. Four of the six schools there qualify for Title I funds, he said. “We will have a national discussion,” Riley said of NCLB. “He’s right about that. I guess that’s a good thing.”

More money is not likely to spring forth from the federal government, which cut taxes again, thus increasing the federal deficit at a time when states are struggling to raise taxes to keep vital services, like schools, functioning.

Boehner boasted that the federal government has increased funding for special education from 5 percent to 18 percent of the total needed to educate mostly disabled children. Riley noted that the federal government’s share is supposed to be 40 percent. Boehner corrected him by saying the government’s share “is up to 40 percent.”

Boehner did say that legislators are trying to get closer to that 40 percent mark in seven years.

When Carpenter, the 2003 Oregon teacher of the year from Redmond’s Hugh Hartman Middle School, asked the congressman to push for more money to expand a literacy program from K-3 all the way up to 8th grade to reach kids in middle school who can’t read.

Boehner said it wasn’t likely to happen, and by eighth grade, “you’ve almost missed your chance.”

Boehner said spending the money on the early grades is where the focus should be, “so you won’t have to deal with it” in the upper grades.

Additional money also was on the mind of Bob Barber, president of COCC, Oregon’s oldest community college, which has slashed $3 million from a $20 million budget.

Boehner said that he and his colleagues were working on legislation to increase access to higher education to middle and low-income students, partially through Pell Grants. Barber said that all the “Pell Grants in the world” wouldn’t mean greater access at COCC, which is filled to capacity and has an extensive waiting list that includes Pell Grant winners. Barber predicted that in five years, the shortage of space on college campuses will be a huge issue.

He also said that during the expansion of colleges from the 1960s to the 1980s, the federal government was a partner with state and local governments to build more classroom space and help fund libraries and science labs.

Boehner said such a scenario is not on the horizon.

“It’s doubtful the federal government would get in the building business,” he said, noting that K-12 would be right behind asking for similar dollars.

“There’s not enough money in the world” to build all the facilities we want, he said.

Davis Fire update – 9 p.m. Monday

La Pine — Cooler temperatures assisted firefighters as they focused efforts on the east flank of the Davis Fire today. Firefighters quickly contained several slopovers on the west side of the fire, as helicopters made water bucket drops to cool the hot spots near Ranger Butte. Major burnout operations were started along Forest Road 6220 and crews and equipment made good progress with hand and dozer lines. Additional resources continue to arrive, supporting existing crews. Contingency planning is in place with Klamath and Deschutes Counties, La Pine Fire Department and Oregon State Police in the event of evacuations of rural subdivisions. Structure protection groups are in place and on standby, ready to be mobilized on an as-needed basis.

The Davis Fire is currently 40% contained and 14,000 acres in size. Acreage numbers will continue to change as additional intelligence is gathered. A total of 643 personnel are assigned to the fire, including 24 crews, 3 helicopters, 25 engines, 4 dozers, 10 water tenders and 2 camp crews.

There have been no additional evacuations or closures. No structures have been lost and no structures are currently threatened.

Current evacuations and closures in place:

· Wickiup Acres is under evacuation notice
· All campgrounds on Davis Lake and the south shore of Wickiup Reservoir
are closed, including: East Davis Lake CG, West Davis CG, Lava Flow CG, North Davis Creek CG, Reservoir CG, Round Swamp CG and all dispersed campsites on the south shore of Wickiup Reservoir.

Highway Closure Information

· Forest Service Road 44 is closed to westbound traffic where it meets
Forest Service Road 4260, just west of the Wickiup Reservoir spillway.

· Forest Service Road 46 (Cascade Lakes Highway) is closed for 14 miles
between County Road 61 (Crescent Cutoff) to the south and Forest Service
Road 4280 to the north.

· Forest Service Road 62 is closed to westbound traffic where it meets
Forest Service Road 6203 at the Deschutes National Forest boundary.

· Motorists can still use County Road 61 (Crescent Cutoff) between
Highway 97 in Crescent, Oregon and Highway 58 (Willamette Pass Highway).

As information becomes available it will be posted on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests website at the following address: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/conditions/fires.shtml

Citizens for Oregon’s Future hold budget/tax forum in Bend

Bend, Ore. – Bend is the next stop for the non-profit group Citizens for Oregon’s Future, which tours the state educating interested communities about the state budget process and tax system. Citizens for Oregon’s Future is a non-partisan organization that presents the facts about the range of tax reform options, including the pros and cons of each, but does not advocate for or against specific tax reform measures. This forum is open to the public (and media) so that Deschutes County citizens and communities can begin discussing ways to get Oregon back on track so that our future is stable and we don’t have to revisit this budget crisis year after year.

What: Budget and Tax Forum

Who: Citizens For Oregon’s Future
http://www.fororegon.org/

When: Tuesday, July 1, 6:00-8:00 pm

Where: Bend Community Center
1036 NE 5th
Bend, Oregon

C. Oregon private lands under regulated closure due to fire danger

With the recent increase in fire danger, the hot dry weather, and current fire fighting efforts taking place, fire officials have decided to put fire prevention restrictions in place to help prevent the start of new fires.

Beginning July 1, 2003 at 12:01 a.m. (Tuesday) lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will be placed under a Regulated Closure. These prevention measures will affect Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Gilliam, Morrow, Wheeler, Grant, Harney, Umatilla, Hood River, and Wasco counties, and include the following restrictions:

1. Use of FIREWORKS is prohibited.

2. OPEN FIRES are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires,
cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed. Burning conducted in compliance with the conditions of a current and valid Burning Permit is also allowed.

3. SMOKING is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on
improved roads.

4. CHAIN SAW USE is prohibited, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00
p.m. Chain saw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following fire fighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one axe, one shovel, and one operational 8 ounce or larger fire extinguisher. In addition, a fire watch is required at least one hour following the use of each saw.

5. Use of MOTORIZED VEHICLES, including motorcycles and all terrain
vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads or for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops. “Improved road,” means “a road maintained for the use of passenger cars and which is clear of flammable debris.”

6. FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT (except when traveling on state and county
roads)

All motor vehicles must be equipped with one gallon
of water or one operational 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher, one axe, and one shovel.

All motorcycles and all terrain vehicles must be
equipped with one operational 2 ½ pound or larger fire extinguisher.

7. CUTTING, GRINDING, and WELDING of metal is prohibited, between the
hours of 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

8. MOWING of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is
prohibited, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except for the commercial culture and harvest of agricultural crops.

9. BLASTING is prohibited.

Every big fire was a small fire and all unwanted human-caused fires could and can be prevented. We need everyone’s help in stopping fires before they start. Remember, Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.

Prineville, La Pine Boys & Girls Clubs to stay open for summer

(Redmond, Oregon)-The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Oregon announced today that both the Prineville and LaPine Clubs have met their fundraising goals and will remain open for the summer months. “We are very pleased to make this announcement”, stated Kirk Utzinger, President and Chief Professional officer of the Clubs. “Both communities stepped up to the plate for kids and we are gratified to see so much community support come forward when the Clubs needed it the most. We are optimistic that both communities will continue to support their Clubs to allow them to remain open in September”, he added.

The LaPine Club met it’s financial pledge goal on June 5, 2003 that included $5,000 in parental/community support, $7,000 from an anonymous donor and $4,000 in matching funds from the LaPine Community Action team. “We were happy to see the varied support of parents, businesses and community agencies”, Utzinger indicated.

Pledges and cash support totaling approximately $46,000 to keep the Prineville Club open included $25,000 in matching funds from anonymous donor and $27,000 from community sources. A vigorous fundraising campaign, led by Sheryl Rhoden, the Chairwoman of the Prineville Club Branch Advisory Council and Advisory Council member, Sgt. Ray Cuellar, of the Prineville Police Department, was conducted in the Prineville community to raise the needed funds by June 30, 2003 to erase current Club debt.

The support in Prineville included contributions from community agencies, parents and businesses including in-kind radio broadcasting advertising support from Horizon Broadcasting Corporation and a $5,000 cash contribution from the Prineville Branch of the Bank of the Cascades. “We were very pleased to be able to contribute the in-kind radio support to help the Club”, indicated Keith Shipman, Chairman of Horizon Broadcasting and President of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Oregon. “We are excited to see them reach their goal”, he added.

“It is crucial that both communities continue their support for the Clubs going forward”, Utzinger indicated. “We are off to a good start in developing the long term community support that will be necessary to operate both Clubs on a sustainable basis”.

Those who wish to contribute can do so at either Club or by calling the Regional Service Center in Redmond at 548-2840.

Crown Pacific files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization

PORTLAND, ORE.- Crown Pacific Partners, L.P. (OTC
BB: CRPP), an integrated forest products company, announced today that it has filed for
reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Partnership will
continue to operate its businesses during the period of the reorganization process. The
filing includes the Partnership and its subsidiaries.
The voluntary Chapter 11 petitions were filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Phoenix, Arizona. After several months of negotiations with its lenders, the Partnership
has been unable to recapitalize outside the protection of the bankruptcy process. The
previously announced forbearance with its lenders expired today, and Crown Pacific
determined that Chapter 11 reorganization is in the best long-term interests of all of its
stakeholders.
The Partnership expects that its trade suppliers, unsecured trade creditors,
employees and customers will not be materially adversely affected by the outcome of this
process.
As part of the Bankruptcy filing the Partnership has requested that the
Court approve a debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing in the amount of $40 million the
Partnership has arranged with CIT.
“We expect to remain a reliable supplier of our products to our customers,
and we do not expect any interruption to our operations as a result of the reorganization,”
said Peter W. Stott, President and CEO of Crown Pacific. “We will do all that we can to
see that the restructuring goes as expeditiously as possible. We have a very dedicated
workforce and some excellent operating assets. We expect to emerge from this process
as a stronger, more flexible company with an ability to better focus our attention on the
needs of our customers,” Stott concluded.
Crown has engaged The Blackstone Group, L.P. to assist it in exploring
various financial restructuring alternatives, including stand-alone recapitalization and
third-party investment scenarios.
2
About Crown Pacific
Crown Pacific Partners, L.P. (OTCBB: CRPP.OB) is an integrated forest products
company. Crown Pacific owns and manages approximately 524,000 acres of timberland
in Oregon and Washington, and uses modern forest practices to balance growth with
environmental protection. Crown Pacific operates mills in Oregon and Washington,
which produce dimension lumber, and also distributes lumber products though its
Alliance Lumber operation.
Forward-Looking Statements
Information contained in this press release includes “forward-looking statements”
within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including
statements regarding Crown Pacific’s expectations, forecasts, hopes, beliefs, predictions,
intentions or strategies regarding the future that are not purely historical, but are based on
assumptions that in the future may prove not to be accurate. These assumptions include
harvest volumes, species mix, prices for logs and lumber, demand for housing and levels
and amounts received for stumpage and property sales. Crown Pacific’s business and
prospects are subject to a number of risks, including the volatility of timber and lumber
prices, factors limiting harvesting of timber including contractual obligations,
governmental restrictions, weather and access limitations – as well as the substantial
capital resources required to fund its operations and the uncertainty regarding
procurement of additional equity capital. Accordingly, actual results may differ
materially from the expectations expressed in this release.
Additional factors that could affect future performance include our ability to
negotiate and execute a recapitalization with our lenders, environmental risks, operating
risks normally associated with the timber industry, competition, government regulations
and policies, and economic changes in the regions where Crown Pacific’s products or
substitute products are sold, including Southeast Asia and Japan. Other risk factors
include the increase in the value of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, and the
ability of Crown Pacific to implement its business strategy. These and other risks are
described in Crown Pacific’s registration statements and reports filed from time to time
on forms 10-K, 8-K, and 10-Q and reports to unitholders, which are available from
Crown Pacific or the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Teens making pitch for local laws to curb access to tobacco

The three lobbyists who sat down before the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners Monday exhibited poise, confidence, strong speaking voices and a clear grasp of their subject, laying out the evidence from a year-long survey that showed many local merchants don’t do enough to keep minors from falling prey to tobacco.

They ought to know – these lobbyists just graduated from Pilot Butte Junior High.

Commissioners Tom DeWolf and Dennis Luke (colleague Mike Daly was absent) greeted Ken Brooks, 14; Alysha Croak, 13; and Brittney Williamson, 14, with smiles, attentiveness and a few typical good-natured jokes, and gave them Deschutes County pins to thank them for their presentation.

But at least one commissioner wasn’t about to buy their call for an ordinance, similar to some other jurisdictions, requiring that tobacco products be sold only with a vendor’s assistance – in other words, from behind a counter or locked case. Asked after the meeting whether he thought such an ordinance was a good idea, Luke smiled and said (twice), “Isn’t it a nice morning out? It’s so sunny and pleasant.”

The teen trio, members of the middle school’s “Natural Helpers” group, said they got the idea of the survey from the Deschutes County Prevention Office, whose goal of reducing tobacco use has been nicked in recent months by state budget cuts. They were accompanied to the meeting by teacher Pat Roberts, but she let the kids do all the talking. The youths also said they weren’t pushed into the project by adults – it’s something they wanted to do, on their own.

The three teens conducted a survey of 72 stores in Bend, La Pine, Sisters and Redmond (with help from Hugh Hartman Middle School students on the Redmond store surveys.)

As Brooks told the board, they began the project after learning that most grocer stores without their tobacco products locked up report that cigarettes are the most-shoplifted item. They cited a survey that said almost half of all teen smokers admitted stealing cigarettes, and another study that said 10 percent of teens questioned admitted their main method of getting cigarettes was shoplifting.

The surveyed establishments ranged from gas stations to convenience stores, small markets, supermarkets and variety stores.

Almost one-third of the stores surveyed didn’t keep all of their tobacco or tobacco products locked up or behind a counter. Fifteen of the stores placed tobacco logos on or near kids’ products, they said, while 45 stores sold tobacco look-alike candy or gum – the old-fashioned bubble-gum cigars, chocolate cigarettes, or candy in tobacco can-like containers.

Also, they said, 44 of the 72 stores had tobacco ads less than three feet off the floor, while 34 placed tobacco ads outside their stores.

“Adults don’t normally stare at the ground,” Brooks said. “Why are ads for cigarettes down there?”

Students win endorsements from local groups

Croak said: “Think about this: Cigarettes are an easy item to steal and resell, and kids are easily addicted.”

“Think about this: Twenty kids start smoking each day in Oregon,” Brooks said, “and current statistics say 13 percent of eighth-graders and 28 percent of 11th-graders in our county smoke.”

Brooks said, “It is time for our county to join other counties and the state, and pass a law” requiring vendor-assisted tobacco sales. A sample ordinance attached to their written material included a fine of up to $250, with offenses to be tried before a municipal court judge, without a jury or lawyers.

“I haven’t seen candy cigarettes since I was a kid,” DeWolf told the teens. “I used to love them – but I never smoked.”

After hours spent doing the survey and compiling the results, the teens presented their findings to nine local groups and health organizations, and say each endorsed the idea of a county ordinance. In fact, they claim 30 total endorsements from groups and individuals, ranging from nurses and others at the Bend-La Pine School District to the KIDS Center and Pilot Butte Middle School’s site council and PTSA.

Nevertheless, after their presentation, the three youths said they weren’t surprised and didn’t expect an immediate endorsement by commissioners of their proposal, just wanting to make them aware and think about the idea.

“My parents smoke, and I’m really concerned – I don’t want kids to get addicted,” Williamson said.

Brooks said he didn’t realize the scope of the problem “until we actually looked for it. Then I realized wow, this stuff is so easy for gets to get a hold of.”

Croak said that while Pilot Butte has “good smoking control on our campus,” she sees the smokers outside Mountain View High, where they will be attending next fall.

“I feel really, really strongly about this,” Brooks added. “We worked really hard. It wasn’t the adults saying, `Do this, do that.’ I feel if we can cut down on the percentage of teenage smoking in Bend, it’s going to benefit them greatly.”

The youths aren’t through yet. They also are scheduled to present their findings and make their pitch at the Redmond City Council’s July 8th meeting, Roberts said. They have yet to contact Bend or Redmond officials about a similar presentation, having been urged by Redmond Mayor Allan Unger, who heard an earlier presentation, to make their case to the council.

“At first, we were approached (by the prevention office) to just do a survey, and the kids agreed to do that,” Roberts said. “It was a real eye-opener for the kids to realize there is no uniformity. It is a voluntary issue. Most stores are moving toward putting (tobacco) items behind counters or in locked cases, but they saw it was not mandatory.”

Crook County seeks witnesses to drive-by fireworks-sparked brushfires

Crook County sheriff’s officers and Prineville fire investigators are turning to the public for help in hopes of finding whoever threw fireworks out of a vehicle southeast of town Saturday night, sparking two brushfires that could have threatened nearby homes, if not for a fortunate spotting by a marine deputy.

The blazes were reported around 10:15 p.m. along Southeast Juniper Canyon Road and Lower Davis Loop Road, said sheriff’s Sgt. Russ Wright. The two fires, about 300 feet apart, were contained after burning about a quarter-acre, Wright said.

Investigators determined that fireworks, thrown from the road, started the two fires.

“It was right across the road from a residential subdivision,” Undersheriff Jim Hensley said. “It’s in a rural area, with a lot of juniper trees and brush. It could have turned real ugly.”

Fortunately, however, “one of our marine deputies driving down the road spotted it and called it in,” Hensley said.

The case is being investigated as a crime, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Crook County Sheriff’s Office at 447-6398.

Klamath Tribes say major changes are needed in Klamath Basin water management

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Klamath Tribes said today that the Bureau of
Reclamation’s shifting water directives regarding allocation of Upper
Klamath Lake water to the Klamath Irrigation Project are evidence that major
change must come in the management of waters that flow through the Klamath
Basin. Klamath Tribes Chairman Allen Foreman said, “The Bureau of
Reclamation has shown once again that their management plans can’t work for
Project irrigators, for agriculture above Upper Klamath Lake, or for the
fisheries that are supposed to be protected under federal law and U.S.
government treaties.”

“President Bush and Interior Secretary Gale Norton are clearly correct in
saying that the Klamath Basin needs a water settlement that brings more
rational management to a limited water supply,” Chairman Foreman added.
“Even in a fairly decent water year, there simply isn’t enough water to meet
the demands of competing upstream and downstream irrigators, much less the
needs of the Klamath Tribes’ fish and other natural resources, which must be
restored to abundance and not simply kept hovering at the brink of
extinction.”

Klamath tribal fisheries have been closed for 17 consecutive years. They
were originally closed in 1986 because fish populations were declining at an
alarming rate. The Lost River and short-nose suckers were listed under the
Endangered Species Act in 1988. Pollution of Upper Klamath Lake and its
tributaries, along with agricultural withdrawals from the lake and streams,
contributed to the decline.

Chairman Foreman concluded, “In response to Secretary Norton, the Klamath
Tribes have been willing to discuss settlement terms that could help bring
more stability to water management in the Basin. Recently, we have been
encouraged to see some agricultural irrigators start looking at ways they
could use less water and contribute to a water settlement. We hope these
latest problems in the Bureau of Reclamation will persuade everyone to
abandon the illusion that the Bureau’s current system can be made to work,
and to focus instead on building a real future for everyone in the Klamath
Basin.”

Davis Fire update – Monday at 9:45 a.m.

Prineville, Ore.-Fire managers estimated the Davis Fire to be at 16,000 acres Monday morning as 626 firefighters and 150 support personnel battled the blaze burning on the Deschutes National Forest, 12 miles southwest of LaPine.
Firefighters expect to have containment lines around the Wickiup Acres seasonal recreation area later this morning. They worked through Sunday, preparing structures in the area that is surrounded by national forest land. No structures losses or injuries have been reported
The Davis Fire made northeast runs yesterday over Davis Mountain, moving toward the southern tip of Wickiup Reservoir and Wickiup Acres. It also burned over the northwest slope of Hamner Butte, which is southeast of Davis Lake.
Wickiup Reservoir lies between the north flank of the fire and Deschutes National Forest land north of the lake.
Fire managers ordered evacuations for Wickiup Acres Sunday afternoon, as a safety precaution. They have contained 30 percent of the fire and expect to have it completely contained by evening on July 5. No other evacuations are planned.
Recreation sites on the south shore of Wickiup Reservoir have been closed, including Round Swamp, Reservoir and North Davis Creek Campgrounds. Fire managers do not know when they will be re-opened.
The Central Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team is directing Davis Fire suppression efforts from the LaPine High School. The incident commander is Chris Hoff who is leading interagency fire crews composed of contractors, rural fire districts, state and federal agencies.

Cascade Lake Highway closure information:

Forest Service Road 62 is closed to westbound traffic where it meets Forest Service Road 6210. Forest Service Road 6203 is also blocked where it crosses the Deschutes National Forest boundary.

Deschutes County sheriff’s are staffing a roadblock on the north end of the fire on the Cascades Lakes Highway and Forest Service Road 42 junction. Klamath County sheriff’s deputies continue to halt northbound traffic at the Cascade Lakes Highway and County Road 61 junction. Motorists can drive west on County Road 61 to Highway 58. No additional roadblocks are planned for Monday.
Websites: Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center www.fs.fed/us/r6/centraloregon/fire/firenews.htm