Tag: Josephine County

Protect Pipe Fork

Please, let me use the power of the internet to spread the word!

On the face of it this has nothing to do with dogs. Or does it? Because the stream and the forest will most certainly be favourite walks for people and their dogs. (Indeed a very quick search online brought up the following picture🙂

Why Your Dog Will Love A Trip To Klamath As Much As You Do.

So this post is to drum up support for this critically important area. Please also sign the petition. Thank you.

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Protect Pipe Fork

Pipe Fork is a compelling example of lush, mature riparian forest in the Klamath-Siskyou Bioregion of Southern Oregon. Pipe Fork Creek originates from pure-water springs nestled in ancient forest on the east flank of Grayback Mountain, and flows cold and clear and abundantly year-round through a narrow canyon wilderness into the Williams Valley. There it provides generously for farms and homes as well as for rich spawning and nursery grounds vital to chinook and coho salmon. 

Designated a Research Natural Area (RNA) of Critical Environmental Concern by the Bureau of Land Management, the upper reaches of Pipe Fork have also been nominated for designation as a Federal Wild and Scenic River. Rare Pacific fishers and martens, spotted owls, elk, bear, and many other animals, as well as numerous species of rare plants, live in the undisturbed forests of the RNA. 

Josephine County has had plans to sell a 320-acre parcel right next to the BLM RNA that encompasses both sides of Pipe Fork, and to clearcut 114 acres on the north side of the creek. The devastation that would result from clearcutting on the steep slopes above Pipe Fork would do lasting damage to the sensitive riparian forest and would greatly diminish the quality and quantity of water that flows into the Williams Valley. 

But we will not let this happen! We are determined and optimistic that by all of us working together, this precious place will be saved for the benefit of present and future generations.

Williams Community Forest Project invites you to watch our brand new 7-minute film showcasing the wonders of Pipe Fork and our efforts to preserve it, and to sign the petition at the bottom of the page. Please share this page with like-minded friends and family, allies and colleagues! 

Pristine Waters 4K from Wise Oak Productions on Vimeo.

ooOOoo

Now go to the link below which has what I published above but more importantly has the petition. Please sign it!

Protect Pipe Fork

Thank you!

Picture Parade One Hundred and Seventy-Eight

Scenes of the last week!

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Brandy and Cleo enjoying things!

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Sexton Mountain is somewhere back there.
Sexton Mountain is somewhere back there.

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Ah! There it is!
Ah! There it is!

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Smaller creatures taking a break!
Smaller creatures taking a break!

Larger creatures taking a break!
Larger creatures taking a break!

See what the coming week has in store! (Oh, we live in Josephine County!)

FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEDFORD OR
151 PM PST SAT JAN 7 2017

...HEAVY RAIN WILL COMBINE WITH MELTING SNOW TO CAUSE POSSIBLE
LOCAL FLOODING LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY...

.ANOTHER FRONT MOVES INTO THE REGION LATE TONIGHT WITH MODERATE
TO HEAVY RAINFALL RATES. SNOW LEVELS WILL RISE WELL ABOVE THE
VALLEY FLOORS AND WILL COMBINE WITH SNOW MELT TO INCREASE RUN-OFF
THROUGH THE DAY SUNDAY AND INTO SUNDAY NIGHT.
...FLOOD WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY
EVENING...

THE FLOOD WATCH IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR

* PORTIONS OF THE COOS AND CURRY COUNTY COASTS...EASTERN CURRY
  AND JOSEPHINE COUNTY IN OREGON...AND WESTERN SISKIYOU COUNTY IN
  NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

* FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.

* 1 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN...WITH HIGHEST AMOUNTS NEAR THE COAST AND
  LOWEST NEAR GRANTS PASS...ARE EXPECTED ON SUNDAY. THIS MODERATE
  TO HEAVY RAIN COMBINED WITH SNOW MELT MAY CAUSE URBAN AND SMALL
  STREAM FLOODING. CURRY AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES ARE THE PRIMARY
  AREAS OF CONCERN...HOWEVER...PORTIONS OF WESTERN SISKIYOU COUNTY
  MAY SEE LOCALIZED FLOODING AS WELL.

* RECENT BROKEN BRANCHES AND OTHER DEBRIS FROM THE HEAVY SNOW
  COMBINED WITH ICE MAY CLOG STORM DRAINS AND CULVERTS IN THE
  WATCH AREA. HEAVY RAIN MAY ALSO CAUSE SLIDES OR DEBRIS FLOWS ON
  THE GAP WILDFIRE BURN SCAR NEAR HORSE CREEK...POSSIBLY REACHING
  HIGHWAY 96 BELOW THE BURN SCAR.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

LANDSLIDES AND DEBRIS FLOWS ARE POSSIBLE DURING THIS FLOOD EVENT.
PEOPLE...STRUCTURES AND ROADS LOCATED BELOW STEEP SLOPES...IN
CANYONS AND NEAR THE MOUTHS OF CANYONS MAY BE A SERIOUS RISK FROM
RAPIDLY MOVING LANDSLIDES. A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A
POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS.

Well at least it isn’t boring!

Caring changes lives

Possibly the most important lesson to be learnt from dogs.

As is the way, a number of separate happenings seemed to be ‘singing from the same song sheet’ in bringing about today’s post.

Earlier yesterday morning Jean and I had a meeting with the executive director of an important charity that is helping the many homeless and disadvantaged young persons in this part of Oregon. For example, Jean and I were told that there were 300-500 homeless teenagers in Josephine County alone (Josephine County is where our home is.)

One of the ideas that was floated in the conversation was how kids are so loving to animals and whether our dogs and horses might help.

Then later, when back home, I recalled that over two years ago I published a post called Sticks and stones.

It wasn’t a long post and is republished now.

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Sticks and stones

I make no apologies for today’s post being more emotional and sentimental. The phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me‘ is well known throughout the English-speaking world and surprisingly goes back some way.  A quick web search found that in the The Christian Recorder of March 1862, there was this comment:

Remember the old adage, ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me’. True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.

So if in 1862 the saying was referred to as an ‘old adage’ then it clearly pre-dated 1862 by some degree. A few days ago, Dusty M., here in Payson, AZ, sent me a short YouTube video called The Power of Words.  I’m as vulnerable as the next guy to needing being reminded about what’s important in this funny old world.

Then I started mulling over the tendency for all of us to be sucked into a well of doom and gloom.  Take my posts on Learning from Dogs over the last couple of days, as an example. There is no question that the world in which we all live is going through some extremely challenging times but anger and negativity is not going to be the answer.  As that old reference spelt out so clearly, “True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.” So first watch the video,

then let me close by reminding us all that courage is yet something else we can learn from dogs.

Togo the husky

In 1925, a ravaging case of diphtheria broke out in the isolated Alaskan village of Nome. No plane or ship could get the serum there, so the decision was made for multiple sled dog teams to relay the medicine across the treacherous frozen land. The dog that often gets credit for eventually saving the town is Balto, but he just happened to run the last, 55-mile leg in the race. The sled dog who did the lion’s share of the work was Togo. His journey, fraught with white-out storms, was the longest by 200 miles and included a traverse across perilous Norton Sound — where he saved his team and driver in a courageous swim through ice floes.

More about Togo another day.

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 One of the comments left to that post back in November, 2012 was from Virginia Hamilton. Her website, Canine Commandos, is about just that: dogs helping youngsters. This is what Virginia wrote:

Our sermon today was about sticks and stones which is perfect timing because my sixth graders are throwing words at each other and it is hurting. So I looked up the phrase and found you. We were shown the video in a faculty meeting and since you tie into dogs I was hoping to find “the answer.” When you look at the website you’ll see out community project where I have twenty schools training in three shelters. One would think that because these kids are so loving to the animals that they could pass that kindness to each other. Any words of wisdom? Also check this out. Thank you, Virginia.

Now I would be the first to admit that there’s a difference between a homeless young person and a gifted young person. Yet the difference may not be so great. In this one sense: that caring for an animal changes lives and what young people, from all backgrounds and circumstances, need to learn is the power of unconditional love.

Not just caring for dogs, horses and cats, by the way.

Wild deer trusting Jean.
Wild deer trusting Jean.

Thank you, Ben!

A thank you to all those that work so hard to stop fires from getting out of control.

I am drafting this post at a little after noon on the 4th., i.e. early afternoon yesterday.

It is yet another dry, hot day in a long run of hot, dry days. Our local online weather service, GrantsPassWeather.com, informs me that the temperature this afternoon (i.e. yesterday) is forecast to be a high of 93 deg F. or 34 deg C.  We last had monthly rain totals of more than an inch back in March.  At the top of the home page of Grants Pass Weather is a bold red banner proclaiming a Red Flag Warning for three counties: Jackson, Josephine and Eastern Curry.  We live in Josephine County and clicking that banner reveals:

Details:

…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 280…281…617…619…620…621…622 AND 623…

* AFFECTED AREA: FIRE WEATHER ZONES 80…281…617…619…620…621…622 AND 623.

* HUMIDITY…MINIMUM RELATIVE HUMIDITY AT 10 TO 20 PERCENT FOLLOWED BY RECOVERIES TONIGHT AT 20 TO 40 PERCENT.

* WIND…NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH THROUGH THIS EVENING THEN 5 TO 15 MPH OVERNIGHT.

* IMPACTS…POSSIBLE PLUME DOMINATED BEHAVIOR ON ACTIVE FIRES AS STRONG WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES THROUGH THIS EVENING WILL CAUSE FIRES TO SPREAD VERY RAPIDLY.

* VIEW THE HAZARD AREA IN DETAIL AT HTTP://GO.USA.GOV/ZYV5

Information:

STRONG WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES WILL CAUSE FIRES TO SPREAD VERY RAPIDLY.

Little after 7am a few weeks ago - looking out to North-East.
Little after 7am a few weeks ago – looking out to North-East. Picture taken from the rear deck of our house near Merlin, Oregon.

Does this focus the mind?  You bet! The trees in the foreground of the above photograph are within our property. Our house is surrounded by tall oaks, pines and fir trees.

Now stay with me through what, at first, may seem like a disconnected change of topic.

Long, long time ago Jean met Ira Weisenfeld, a young vet making his way in the world.  Jean’s passion for rescuing feral street dogs meant that she was a more active user of a vet’s services than the average pet owner.  Jean and Ira became very good friends.

Earlier on this year, we had the pleasure of the company of Ira’s daughter, Amber, who came to see us with the man in her life, Ben Elkind.

Fast forward to the 1st September and Amber sent us the following email:

Hello Paul and Jean!

Hope you guys are doing well. Here is a BBC story about smokejumpers in Redding, CA where Ben works, he is interviewed too. Thought you might like it! Hope you had a wonderful summer. I just finished the boundary water canoe trip with Dad, it was very good.
Take care,
Amber

That BBC story explains:

Forest fires kept at bay in US by elite ‘smokejumpers’

26 August 2014 Last updated at 00:48 BST

The drought that has gripped much of the American West shows no sign of abating – yet despite the tinder-box conditions, so far less land in the region has been lost to wildfires in 2014 than in recent years.

That is partly due to an aggressive strategy to stop smaller forest fires before they become too big to handle.

At the frontline of this effort are the smokejumpers, airborne firefighters who parachute into the wilderness to get the blazes under control.

It’s a dangerous job for an elite group of highly-trained men and women. The BBC spoke to three smokejumpers – Ben Elkind, Gretchen Stumhofer and Luis Gomez – at their base in Redding, California.

Produced by the BBC’s Jack Garland.

Additional footage courtesy of Ben Elkind and Tye Erwin

Here is that film report.