Oregon Beach News, Monday 4/1 – Oregon Seafood Industry Calls on Governor Kotek to Halt Offshore Wind Energy Development & Other Local and Statewide News…

The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com

Monday, April 1, 2024

Oregon Beach Weather

Oregon Seafood Industry Calls on Governor Kotek to Halt Offshore Wind Energy Development

The coalition said Kotek is the last hope for delaying a federal plan to lease sites off Oregon’s south coast for floating wind turbines

A coalition of independent fishing boat operators, seafood companies and industry groups is calling on Gov. Tina Kotek to ask the federal government to stop a planned auction for floating wind energy projects off the Oregon Coast.

In a letter to Kotek on Tuesday, the more than 100 signatories said she should stop the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from moving forward with its plan to auction offshore wind site leases until the state has finalized its own roadmap for offshore wind development.

That roadmap is part of House Bill 4080, which was signed by Kotek last week. It will create state policies on offshore wind energy development that include community input and labor standards.

“We’re saying no auction until the roadmap is complete,” said Heather Mann, executive director of the Newport-based Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, which signed the letter.

The roadmap must be completed by Sept. 1, 2025, according to the legislation.

The letter noted that developing wind power off Oregon’s coast is an untested idea.

“Offshore floating wind energy does not currently exist anywhere in the world in waters deeper than 300 meters or at the scale being contemplated for the West Coast,” the letter said. “In addition to the roadmap, Oregon would benefit significantly by learning from projects that are already moving forward, such as those on the East Coast and in California.”

Other signatories include more than 80 independent fishing vessel operators and nearly three dozen coastal businesses and business associations, including the Columbia River Crab Fishermen’s Association and West Coast Seafood Processors. Coalition members fear the floating offshore wind turbines would disrupt marine ecosystems and Oregon’s commercial fishing industry, with about $200 million in annual revenue, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

“The roadmap is the only way to ensure a transparent and equitable approach to considering offshore wind energy,” the letter said.

Five Oregon and California tribes also oppose the federal wind power plan. In November, the Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians passed a resolution opposing offshore wind energy development, in part because federal officials had failed to respond to their concerns.

East Coast, California projects moving forward — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has auctioned five areas off the California coast to develop floating wind energy projects, and it approved six projects on the East Coast. They’re  part of the Biden administration’s plan to build up 15 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2035, with a total of 30 gigawatts deployed by 2030.

The two wind energy areas being considered for development off Oregon’s Coast would add 2.4 gigawatts of clean power – enough to power about 830,000 homes – with installations covering more than 195,000 acres in total. One site, near Coos Bay, would span about 61,200 acres and be located more than 30 miles from shore, while the other site, near Brookings, would cover about 133,808 acres and float about 20 miles from shore.

Last year, the Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management gave Oregonians several months to comment on the agency’s plans, and nearly 1,000 people weighed in. Agency officials also visited Brookings, Gold Beach and Coos Bay last fall to talk to fishing groups, officials and residents about installing wind turbines offshore.

The agency recently denied a request by Oregon’s congressional members to extend a 30-day public comment period on the planning and the environmental assessment that needs to take place this summer.

“Fishermen are hoping that a more forceful response from Gov. Kotek will change the tide,” the coalition said in a news release.  (SOURCE)

Governor Kotek Visits the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Governor to visit Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribal nations this year

Thursday, Governor Tina Kotek and First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson kicked off a commitment to visit Oregon’s nine federally recognized sovereign Tribal nations in 2024 by spending the day with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (CTSI).

“It was an honor to spend a day with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, deepening our understanding of their history and rich heritage, and getting to know and appreciate the services and programs that serve CTSI members and the broader community,” Governor Kotek said. “I am immensely grateful for Chair Pigsley and the Tribal Council’s leadership and for the opportunity to build stronger relationships with the Siletz. These conversations will inform the state’s efforts to develop more comprehensive and transparent government-to-government consultation with Oregon’s federally recognized sovereign Tribal nations.”

“The day was spent sharing program information as well as our history and culture with Governor Kotek and her staff,” said Tribal Chairman Delores Pigsley. “It was a special day; the Tribe very much appreciated the all-day visit and looks forward to working with the governor and her staff.”

The Governor, the First Lady, and Governor’s Office staff started their day in Siletz with a morning reception with members of the Tribal Council and CTSI staff in the Tribal Council chambers. They then traveled with the Council and staff to the Tribe’s Siletz Community Health Clinic for a conversation about behavioral health needs of the Tribe and the community at large, the impact the fentanyl crisis is having in their community and the comprehensive approach they are taking to address urgent health needs.

The group then toured the nearby Garden Program, the health clinic’s farm program that seeks to improve the health of the community and Siletz Tribal members by providing access to clean organic produce, outdoor recreation, and culturally congruent activities in a safe space. Next, over lunch, there were presentations and discussions at the Tribal Community Center about housing, education, and natural resource issues.

Following lunch, after a tour of the CTSI museum repository, the Governor and the First Lady were privileged to learn more about Siletz history and culture, including a demonstration of a traditional feather dance by CTSI youth in the Tribes’ Dance House and the efforts behind the creation of the Dance House.

The day wrapped up in Lincoln City at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort, which is owned and operated by CTSI.

UPDATE TEMPORARY CLOSUREWindy Cove Crab and Fishing Dock Repairs

(Winchester Bay, Oregon) The Douglas County Parks Department would like to provide an update on the temporary closure of the Windy Cove Crab and Fishing Dock, located at 936 Salmon Harbor Drive in Winchester Bay, Oregon.  The Parks Department had to temporarily close the Windy Cove Crab and Fishing Dock on February 1, 2024, due to structural damage that occurred during a high-water event in January.  At the time of closure, the Parks Department was hoping that the assessment of damages and repair work to the dock would be a quick process, but unfortunately that is not the case. 

As with any repair project involving a public use facility, there are numerous steps that are required before the location can safely reopen to the public. In this case, based on the initial assessment a thorough evaluation of damage both above and below the waterline must be completed before a repair plan can be put together by an engineering firm.  The Parks Department has already assessed the damage above the waterline, and currently has a diver scheduled to do the underwater assessment on April 1.  As soon as the repair plan is completed, the Parks Department can then apply for an emergency permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the repair work outside the established in-water work period (November 1 through January 31) for the Umpqua River Estuary.  Once the repair plan and permit are in hand, a solicitation for contractors to make the needed repairs can begin.  Additionally, a log was discovered trapped under the dock but attempts to remove the log have been unsuccessful.  The Parks Department hopes to get this log removed next week before it can cause additional damage. 

We know that the Windy Cove Crab and Fishing Dock is a popular destination for both locals and visitors. In the meantime, if you are looking for a place to crab in Winchester Bay without a boat, we suggest checking out Dock 9 near the west boat launch in Salmon Harbor.  Some fishermen have even reported success catching crab off the banks with a fishing pole crab trap. 

This repair project is a priority for the Parks Department, and staff are working diligently to complete the repairs and safely reopen the dock as soon as we can. Unless any unforeseen complications arise, it is our goal to reopen the Dock this summer.  Public use of the Windy Cove Crab and Fishing Dock is not permitted during the closure.  Public notice will be provided when the dock is reopened and safe to use again.  The parking lot, day use area and beach access at the Windy Cove County Park continue to remain open for public use.  Safety is always our number one priority for the recreating public, and we ask that citizens respect this closure and stay off the dock until it is safely repaired. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue working hard to improve and preserve your recreational opportunities in Douglas County Parks.

Conservation Group Sues for Stronger Protection Of Oregon Coastal Martens

A conservation group says it’s going to sue the U.S. Forest Service for failing to protect a rare and threatened species in Oregon.

There are fewer than 400 coastal martens in the wild, according to estimates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The small, weasel-like animal was federally recognized as a threatened species in 2020.

The coastal marten, also known as the Humboldt marten, is federally recognized as a threatened species. Tala DiBenedetto with the Center for Biological Diversity said trapping and deforestation has historically caused its population to shrink.
The coastal marten, also known as the Humboldt marten, is federally recognized as a threatened species. Tala DiBenedetto with the Center for Biological Diversity said trapping and deforestation has historically caused its population to shrink.

Coastal martens have been found in isolated populations across Oregon and California, including around 70 estimated individuals in the Oregon Dunes between Florence and Coos Bay.

Now, the Center for Biological Diversity says the rising popularity of off-road vehicles in the Dunes is threatening that population, by tearing through habitats and creating disruptive noise.

Meanwhile, the Center accuses federal officials in charge of the area of putting few protections in place to stop the devastation.

“Agencies like Forest Service are permitting huge, annual events like UTV Takeover that bring in thousands and thousands of off-road vehicles,” said Tala DiBenedetto, an attorney with the Center. “And these events occur during times where martens can be sensitive, such as breeding, or when kits are still dependent on their mothers.”

DiBenedetto said coastal martens are vulnerable, with a slow reproductive cycle and a population in the Dunes that’s split by the Umpqua River.

Meanwhile, a study from OSU researchers in 2018 found that if humans caused two to three annual marten deaths, the sub-population south of the Umpqua could collapse.

“The agencies really need to take a hard look at what the impacts are,” said DiBenedetto, “and common sense things they can do, like put up fencing to protect marten habitat, and more signage or enforcement of noise limits that could disrupt the martens’ critical day-to-day behaviors.”

On Mar. 25, the Center sent the Forest Service a 60-day notice that it intends to sue the agency unless it complies with the Endangered Species Act. It also plans to take legal action against the Fish and Wildlife Service for its role as a consultant.

“With such a sensitive population, the martens just can’t afford to wait any longer for the agencies to act,” said DiBenedetto.

The potential lawsuit is one of multiple policy battles over the past decade surrounding the coastal martens. In 2019, Oregon officials banned trapping of the species west of I-5 following pressure from conservation groups.

In an email to KLCC, a U.S. Forest Service representative said the agency couldn’t comment on the Center’s notice ahead of prospective litigation. (SOURCE)

Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office

 We are looking for Search and Rescue volunteers!

Our team consists of a K-9, ground searchers, rope rescue technicians, ATV, water rescue and a FAA-licensed drone pilot. We offer our volunteers training in navigation, search techniques and survival skills to name just a few. If you have any questions about how to apply or want more information about the program please reach out to Sr. Deputy Jeff Decker @ 503-325-8635. You can find the application on our website at https://www.clatsopcounty.gov/media/14981

Respect nesting areas to protect threatened snowy plover March 15 – Sept. 15

OREGON COAST, OR – The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Siuslaw National Forest remind visitors that it is plover nesting season on the Oregon coast March 15 to Sept. 15 ­— visitors can help recovery efforts for the threatened western snowy plover by observing recreation restrictions in designated plover areas.

Sensitive plover nesting areas will be roped off or identified by signs with rules and limits, such as staying on the wet sand, to help protect the small shorebirds and their exposed nests during this crucial period.
Recreation restrictions occur in designated plover management areas: stretches of beach along the coastline where plovers nest or might nest. These areas combined make up about 40 miles of Oregon’s 362 miles of shoreline.

Seasonal recreation restrictions have helped protect these small birds that nest on open sand. Nests, and especially chicks, are well-camouflaged. During the nesting season, human disturbances can flush adult plovers away from their nests as they attempt to defend their young. Left alone too long, or too often, eggs or chicks can die from exposure, predators or people.

Reminders for recreation on designated plover beaches March 15-Sept. 15:

*The following are not permitted: dogs (even on a leash), driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle, camping, burning wood, flying kites or operating drones.

*Foot and equestrian traffic is permitted below the high-tide line on wet, packed sand.

*Respect signs and barriers to protect nesting habitat.

“We’re making great strides in reversing the decline of this species,” said Cindy Burns, Siuslaw National Forest wildlife biologist. “But it takes all of us, so we urge people to do their part to understand nesting season rules and to share the beach this spring and summer.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed western snowy plovers as a threatened species in 1993, when officials counted only 45 breeding adults. The numbers of breeding adults have steadily increased since then due to ongoing efforts. Officials counted 433 during the breeding season survey in 2023.

“We appreciate visitors’ support in keeping these shorebirds safe in the combined 40 miles of protected area along the coast. We invite visitors to enjoy permitted recreation in those areas or to recreate without seasonal restrictions on the hundreds of miles of beaches not designated as plover nesting areas,” said Laurel Hillmann, ocean shore specialist for Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

More information on the snowy plover, including detailed maps of nesting sites, can be found on the Oregon State Parks website https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/pcb/pages/pcb-plovers…. and on the Siuslaw National Forest website https://t.ly/AKPAN

Visitors to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area can review Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) maps at its website to identify unrestricted recreation areas and information on riding motor vehicles on the sand: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw/recreation…

New plover activity — The increase in plover numbers may result in nesting occurring in new or historical nesting sites. For example, visitors to Sand Lake Recreation Area may see small roped off areas near the lake’s inlet to protect active nests, and may encounter plovers on the beach. Beachgoers are encouraged to protect these birds by restricting recreation activities to wet sand areas, avoiding roped off nesting areas, packing all trash out and keeping dogs on leash.

Background on plover protections — Several land managers oversee beach activity for plover protection, primarily the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD).

Habitat loss from invasive plants — as well as human disturbances, including litter and discarded food scraps that attract predators — have contributed to the birds’ decline. The Oregon Dunes Restoration Collaborative, http://www.saveoregondunes.org/ , is working with land managers on a restoration strategy and to raise public awareness about the need to restore the dunes ecosystem for western snowy plovers, rare plants and animals and the unique recreation opportunities offered here.

SOLVE invites volunteers to register for their annual Earth Day celebration: The Oregon Spring Cleanup

SOLVE Oregon Spring Cleanup at Cannon Beach 2023

Portland, Ore., March 12, 2024 – From April 13 to April 22, families, community members, neighborhood associations, and environmental enthusiasts are invited to engage in a signature event in SOLVE’s annual calendar: The Oregon Spring Cleanup, presented by Portland General ElectricRegistration for this environmentally conscious event series is now open.

Participants are invited to join SOLVE, event leaders, and partners from across the Pacific Northwest in a collective celebration of Earth Day. The SOLVE calendar showcases a variety of events throughout Oregon and SW Washington between April 13 and April 22, with the majority of events culminating on April 20. Diverse initiatives address specific environmental needs with opportunities ranging from beach cleanups to neighborhood and city litter pickups. Further activities include restoring natural habitats through native tree and shrub plantings, weed pulls, and mulching projects. Each project contributes to the enhancement of our shared surroundings.

With a variety of projects already online, the Oregon Spring Cleanup invites enthusiastic volunteers to contribute to a cleaner, greener, and brighter planet. Interested individuals can browse the map of projects to find events near them, learn about each opportunityand sign up for a meaningful contribution to the environment. Participating in the Oregon Spring Cleanup provides an excellent opportunity to bond with family members, coworkers, and neighbors, while collectively contributing to preserving some of Oregon’s most stunning locations.

As SOLVE anticipates another successful event, valued partner Portland General Electric, shares their commitment to the cause: ” PGE proudly supports SOLVE’s efforts to make our communities cleaner and greener. In 2023, our employees and their families volunteered with SOLVE for more than 220 hours. We’re excited to join community members again this Earth Day to help improve our beautiful state.” said Kristen Sheeran, Senior Director of Policy Planning and Sustainability, Portland General Electric.

For those inspired to host an event, SOLVE is still accepting new volunteer-led projects. The sooner projects are submitted, the faster SOLVE can care for the rest. Event leaders receive full support, including free supplies, access to project funding, disposal assistance, and help with volunteer recruitment

For more information, please visit solveoregon.org/oregon-spring and be part of the collective effort to create a cleaner, greener planet.

Along with Portland General Electric, other event sponsors include Clean Water Services, AAA Oregon/Idaho, Fred Meyer, Metro, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, KOIN, The Standard, Swire Coca-Cola, Holman, Demarini-Wilson, Trimet, and PepsiCo.

About SOLVE – SOLVE is a statewide non-profit organization that brings people together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. Since 1969, the organization has grown from a small, grassroots group to a national model for volunteer action. Today, SOLVE mobilizes and trains tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages across Oregon and Southwest Washington to clean and restore our neighborhoods and natural areas and to build a legacy of stewardship for our state. Visit solveoregon.org for more information. 

Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay North County News

EVCNB

HAM RADIO TRAINING LEADS TO LICENSING OF 12 NEW TECHNICIANS

Tillamook County now boasts 12 new licensed Ham Radio Technician class radio operators thanks to EVCNB and a group of dedicated ham radio instructors.

On February 16 and 17, EVCNB offered a Ham Radio Technician Training class which was taught by John Beaston and Bruce Maxwell of Manzanita, and Bill Busch of Neskowin. Twelve students from around the county—Bay City, Cape Mears, Cloverdale, Garibaldi, Oceanside, Rockaway, and Manzanita—finished self-study modules and attended more than 10 hours of Zoom training. 

After the Zoom classes, each student registered to sit for the individually-scheduled online FCC Technician exam. We are happy to report that all of them passed with flying colors! These 12 new Ham operators join 415 other Hams throughout Tillamook County, many of whom are active in emergency communication protocols and practices in the county.

Owning a Ham radio comes with the responsibility of proper usage so as not to create unnecessary or unacceptable interference to other users. Just as drivers and pilots must be tested on their knowledge of “the rules of the road,” before being granted a license, so too must ham radio operators show they understand the rules that govern the Amateur Radio Service before becoming licensed. Trainees must demonstrate that they know, among other things, what frequencies, in what modes, and with what power levels they are permitted to operate.

Licensed amateur radio operators are invaluable resources to local CERT teams and emergency response professionals. When nothing else is functioning and the communication grid goes down, Ham radios will still work and Ham operators become front line responders by providing emergency information to and between each other, first responders, and citizens. No matter how remote or chaotic a disaster area is, Ham radios will find a way to bring communications where and when needed. https://evcnb.org/news-updates/ham-radio-training-022024?fbclid=IwAR1CHrvCgLOqLb73mqeQVIPCCdrqw3kcbCa4jVdZQPWVM2GwNr4lHW-S1mI

Learn important communication skills necessary during an emergency. You’ll be able to use your Yellow Radio to keep in touch with neighbors and support services.

Register now! https://evcnb.org/events-and-training/yellow-radio-03162024 —- https://evcnb.org/yellow-radio

Distracted Driving Enforcement Operations Planned During April

The month of April is designated as the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Lincoln City Police Department will be utilizing traffic safety grant funds to conduct enhanced enforcement operations during the month. The Lincoln City Police Department will be joining law enforcement agencies across the state and nation in working together to enforce distracted driving laws in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and deter drivers from using their cell phones while driving. The enhanced enforcement operations will be conducted periodically throughout the month of April.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021 there were 3,522 people killed and an estimated 362,415 people injured in traffic crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted Driving is a dangerous behavior for drivers, passengers, and non-occupants alike, and is a leading cause of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roadways. Distracted driving is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention from the task of driving to focus on other activities, such as using their phones. During the month, drivers will see increased patrol efforts with an emphasis on seeking out drivers who are distracted by talking or texting on their cell phones, or using other electronic devices while they are operating their vehicle. The goal of these enhanced enforcement efforts is to increase the safety of the citizens and visitors of Lincoln City. 

The Distracted Driving Enforcement grant funds are a valuable resource that assist us in improving the traffic safety in our community. Our objective is to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, and to reduce the number of distracted drivers on the roadways to prevent crashes that cause injuries and cost lives. These grant funds were made possible through the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Impact.

Oregon snowpack levels in good shape now, but spring variables still in play

The approach of April marks a key time of the year. It’s when mountain snow usually peaks across Oregon — offering a hint at the severity of the coming wildfire season and about conditions for farmers who rely on irrigation.

Oregon snow water equivalent levels, which compares how this year's snowpack stacks up against the last 30 years.

Throughout the state, snowpacks are about normal, with some exceptions in northeast Oregon, where levels are below average. The Umatilla-Walla Walla-Willow region is at 83% of normal as of late March.

Snowpack, and more specifically its snow-water equivalent percentage — a measure of how much water the snow contains — is like a natural water reservoir, and the measure gives experts a good idea of water supplies for the spring and summer months, said Larry O’Neill, Oregon’s state climatologist.

O’Neill said weather conditions this year have been erratic. In early January, snowpacks were well below normal levels, then mid-January snowstorms gave Oregon mountain ranges a boost.

”And so it really kind of started to quell our fears a bit about how bad this water season would be,” O’Neill said.

Then in mid-March, warmer temperatures across the Willamette Valley triggered early snowmelt across some areas.

The March snowmelt “wasn’t the worst, but it was definitely way above normal,” O’Neill said. “And the reason that is so critical is because it’s a reservoir of water and it would release that water too early into the system before we can use it.”

Water reservoirs still filling up —- Right now, reservoir levels across Oregon are varied. The Prineville Reservoir in Central Oregon is 96% full, while Wickiup — which feeds several water irrigation districts in areas that produce specialty seed crops, hay and cattle — is at 76%.

Andrews said there’s still time for reservoirs to fill up, though there are a few wildcards, one being that Oregon is still at the tail-end of a yearslong drought. Soil moisture conditions in a lot of the agricultural basins, which don’t get covered directly with snow, are still recovering from drought, especially in Central Oregon. If the soil is still dry it’ll act as a sponge and absorb all the snow melt when the weather warms.

The other variable: It’s uncertain if it will stay cool enough for snow to melt slowly into the summer months and feed into rivers and streams.

“Although things are looking good in terms of drought coverage, we aren’t out of the woods yet, especially as we’re at this time, this critical time, when we’re not exactly sure what’s gonna happen with snowpack and how that’s gonna translate to stream flow,” Andrews said. (SOURCE)

Feds plan to kill half a million barred owls in West Coast states over the next three decades

A federal government plan for hunters to kill thousands of invasive owls to protect the rapidly declining northern spotted owl has ruffled the feathers of dozens of animal advocacy groups.

On Monday, a coalition of 75 animal rights and wildlife protection organizations sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland asking her to scrap what they describe as a “reckless plan” to wipe out half a million barred owls in West Coast states over the next three decades.

Oregon owls

The letter, spearheaded by the Animal Wellness Action group and the Center for a Humane Economy, lambastes the plan for being unworkable and short-sighted, arguing that it will lead to the wrong owls being shot and disruption to nesting behavior.

“Implementing a decades-long plan to unleash untold numbers of ‘hunters’ in sensitive forest ecosystems is a case of single-species myopia regarding wildlife control,” states the letter, signed by Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, and Scott Edwards, general counsel for the Center for a Humane Economy.

Federal wildlife officials believe the action is necessary to control the population of the barred owl — which they consider invasive — and give the threatened northern spotted owls a fighting chance on their home turf.

The proposal is also intended to prevent declines of the California spotted owl, which wildlife officials say is also facing encroachment from the larger, more aggressive barred owl in the Sierra Nevada.

“Extirpation of northern spotted owls from major portions of their historical range is likely in the near future without management of barred owls,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrote in its proposal, citing a recent demographic analysis.

In 1990, northern spotted owls were listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1990. They were listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act in 2016.

There’s broad agreement the native owls are at risk, but the animal rights organizations behind the opposition letter this week say killing barred owls is not the answer. Instead, the groups advocate for nonlethal means to protect the spotted owls, including safeguarding their habitat.

“The plan to kill barred owls is a colossally reckless action … it should be sidelined with all deliberate speed, and non-lethal management actions to protect spotted owls and their habitats should be made the priority actions.”

Not all wildlife protection groups agree, however.

Tom Wheeler, executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center, called the letter criticizing the proposal to beat back barred owls “factually misleading” and “divorced from what’s actually being proposed.”

The letter reports that there will be “mistaken-identity kills,” potentially of the spotted owls they seek to protect, but Wheeler said the proposal outlines a strategy to avoid this.

Those opposing the plan also decry lead poisoning that could result from the shot used by hunters. According to Wheeler, the plan calls for the owl carcasses to be removed from the area where they’re shot. California has banned hunting with lead ammunition.

The proposal — which remains a draft — would not result in the immediate slaughter of barred owls.

Instead, it removes the permitting burden for others to remove the birds, Wheeler said.

Public land managers, such as the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service, as well as private landowners, “will be able to more expeditiously engage in this activity,” he said.

Wheeler said he recognized the issue was morally fraught, but doesn’t feel there’s an alternative. If nothing is done to control the barred owls, he believes the northern spotted owl will go extinct in his lifetime.

His organization wants federal wildlife officials to take even more aggressive steps to stop the forward march of the invasive owls.

“We have a functional choice, which is the extinction of one species, or we could have both species continue to exist on the landscape,” he said. (SOURCE)

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Bridge Condition Report Provides A Snapshot Of The Condition Of Bridges In Oregon

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s annual bridge report says the agency is “losing ground” to manage the state’s bridge system, as many are nearing the end of their life spans and planners are trying to keep up with new safety measures and seismic standards.

“With only an average of three bridges replaced annually ODOT
continues to lose ground in the eff ort to manage the system. Although a significant
portion of these bridges are in fair condition at this time, in the following decades, the
agency will be burdened with a huge responsibility to maintain or replace the 40% of
the inventory built between 1951-1970, as they continue to deteriorate.”

The 2023 Bridge Condition Report provides a snapshot of the condition of bridges in Oregon that are on state highways. Condition information is measured by Oregon’s Bridge Key Performance Measure and by the National
Bridge Performance Measure. In addition to condition information, there is information on bridge programs that are in place to manage and preserve state highway bridges. These include Major Bridge Maintenance, Bridge Preservation, the Seismic Program, and Load Rating. Eff orts to maintain and preserve existing bridges are critical, as an average of just three bridges are replaced each year. With adequate funding, approximately 27 state highway bridges could be replaced annually which is consistent with a 100-year service life.

According to ODOT’s 2023 Bridge Condition Report, a significant number of the more than 2,700 bridges in Oregon are in “fair” condition, but likely to transition to “poor” condition in the future.

40% of the bridges across the state need to be replaced in the coming decades, as a majority of them were built between 1950 and 1970 according to the report.

According to the report, there has been a “steady decline” in Oregon’s bridge conditions since 2016. There was some slight improvement in 2023 when nine bridges in “poor condition” were replaced, but ODOT does not have the funding to keep up with bride replacement. With adequate funding, ODOT could replace 27 bridges a year, but current funding levels pay on average for only three bridge replacements a year. At this rate, a bridge will need to stay in service for over 900 years, well beyond the expected service life of 75-100 years.

One of the serious causes of bridge deterioration is “scouring” or erosion of the bridge’s foundation due to fast moving water and gravel. ODOT officials said there are nearly 500 bridges that are unstable due to scouring.

ODOT officials said that as standards are constantly changing, and costs continue to rise, the bridges’ needs outpace their resources. READ MORE: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Bridge/Documents/2023BCR.pdf

Oregon becomes fourth state with a “right to repair” law for technology

Oregon is now the fourth state in the country to enact a “right to repair” law to make it easier for consumers and independent shops to fix electronic gear.

With Gov. Tina Kotek’s signing of Senate Bill 1596 on Thursday, manufacturers will be required to offer any necessary documentation, parts, tools or any device needed to repair electronic equipment at a “fair cost” and on “reasonable” terms.

“This is a win for consumers and will help bridge our digital divide and support small businesses across our state,” Kotek said in a statement.

The bill takes effect in January. It was championed by state Sen. Janeen Sollman, D-Hillsboro, who first started pushing for the legislation in 2021. She won approval this session with support from Democrats and several Republicans, including Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher of Keizer. The minority of lawmakers who opposed the bill were Republican.

“Our new right to repair law is a reasonable, common sense step to lower costs and put more power back in the hands of consumers,” Sollman said in a statement.

The law is expected to make repairing electronic devices, like smartphones and computers, cheaper for consumers and independent repair shops. It is also expected to stem emissions and electronic waste. Rep. Courtney Neron, D-Wilsonville, who presented in the House, said that Oregonians toss nearly 5,000 cell phones every day and that if they held onto them another year, it would be the equivalent of removing 8,100 cars from the road.

Supporters say the law will also be good for marginalized communities that are often left on the sidelines in the digital world. A 2021 report from the Federal Trade Commission to Congress said consumer products are becoming increasingly harder to fix and maintain and that communities of color are heavily affected.

The bill had wide support from small businesses and consumer advocates, including OSPIRG, a statewide public interest group.

“No longer can a manufacturer use anti-consumer software to prevent third party repairs,” said Charlie Fisher, OSPIRG’s director in a statement. “Now, small business vendors will be able to fix consumer technology without threatening the performance of a device.”

Only one major manufacturer opposed the bill – Apple. An Apple representative who testified against the bill said it would undermine the company’s security efforts, a claim lawmakers questioned. The company has come under mounting regulatory scrutiny, with the European Union recently fining it nearly $2 billion and 15 states, including Oregon, joining a U.S. Department of Justice suit this month that accuses Apple of trying to illegally corner the smartphone market.

Besides Oregon, Minnesota, New York and California have right to repair laws on technology. Massachusetts has approved a right to repair law on vehicles and Colorado has adopted one for wheelchairs and another for farmers. (SOURCE)

Wolf Creek Man Arrested for Kidnapping Woman and Stealing Vehicle

GLENDALE, Ore. – A Wolf Creek man has been arrested and lodged in the Douglas County Jail on a number of charges including kidnapping.

Wolf Creek man jailed after kidnapping woman, Douglas County deputies say |  News | kezi.com

On Thursday, March 28, 2024, shortly after 1:00 pm, 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call from a male who said his mother had been taken against her will. The victim was able to send information to her son, which he relayed to deputies.

Deputies learned the male suspect, 35-year-old Richard Goodin of Wolf Creek, OR, was in a 2006 Chevy Silverado pickup which had been reported stolen earlier in the day.

During the investigation, the victim was able to get away and called 9-1-1 allowing deputies to get an approximate location. Deputies converged on the area, locating Goodin and took him into custody without further incident. The victim was located and taken to safety.

Goodin was lodged in the Douglas County Jail on the following charges:

Kidnap in the Second Degree
Possession of a Stolen Vehicle
Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle
Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine – Violation Level

Oregon Offers Electric Car Rebates Again – Apply Now Until June 3rd

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Due to high demand and limited funding, OCVRP will be open for a short time in 2024. Vehicles must be purchased or leased between April 3, 2024, to June 3, 2024, to be eligible for a rebate.

Applicants have six months from their date of purchase or lease to apply. Low- and moderate-income households can prequalify for the $5,000 Charge Ahead rebate by completing the application now at https://apps.oregon.gov/DEQ/Voucher/apply.

Oregon to Honor Fallen Law Enforcement Officers May 7th, 2024

Every year, the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony honors the state’s law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. This year’s ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 7 at 1 p.m. at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.

The annual event commemorates the more than 190 fallen officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the state of Oregon since the 1860s. This includes law enforcement, corrections, and parole and probation officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training is proud to host the ceremony in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and various statewide law enforcement associations.

 

83-year-old Clarence Edward Pitts walked away from his home in Bandon on Tuesday, January 31 at around 1:00 p.m. Pitts is described as:

  • 6′ 00″
  • 150 lbs
  • Gray hair
  • Brown eyes
  • Last seen wearing an orange beanie, plaid jacket, tan pants and white shoes
  • May have a walking cane
  • Has dementia and PTSD

Pitts may be in a vehicle that was also found to be missing from the home:

  • 1999 Toyota Van
  • White
  • Oregon license plate: WYN 788

If you see Clarence or have any information pertaining to where he may be, please call the Coos County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 541-396-2106 or the Bandon Police Department at 541-347-3189.

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Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com

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