What's New

LEED awardJon Price, Contracting Officer Representative, and Terry Baker, McKenzie River District Ranger, in the general meeting room of the Ranger District

MCKENZIE BRIDGE: The McKenzie River Ranger Station has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is a program that provides a third party verification of green buildings and rates them on a scale from Certified, Silver, Gold to Platinum. The Ranger Station scored 59 points, one point below Gold.

“We are very proud to have a certified green building,” said Terry Baker, McKenzie River District Ranger. “Not only is it energy efficient, but it is composed of Northwest products, built by Northwest labor.”

Vida Post Office meetingPhoto By Walter Wilson
At a meeting last Wednesday, area residents learned that hours of operation will be reduced to six per day - but the Vida Post Office will remain open.

VIDA: “Walk in revenue” from people in local communities again showed support for their area’s post offices, according to Corvallis Postmaster Izaac Rudd. Just like an earlier review of operations in Blue River, a similar study showed Vida’s Post Office was still a viable operation.
In both instances, hours of operation are being reduced - from eight to six per day. And, as is being done nationally, there will be no Saturday home delivey, except for packages.

Trapper timber saleSPRINGFIELD: The Willamette National Forest will host a public meeting on the Revised Trapper Project at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield from 6 to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 2nd. The project, located near Blue River, proposes to harvest approximately 44 acres and use prescribed fire to underburn approximately 36 of those 44 acres.
Officials say the meeting will give the public an opportunity to view maps, ask questions of specialists and hear opinions from other forest users and stakeholder groups.

Leaburg Dam construction

Pile drivers are part of the equipment being used to bolster the base of a concrete fish ladder at the Leaburg Dam.

LEABURG: A Eugene Water & Electric Board contractor mobilized equipment in late February to begin a project to reinforce the fish ladder on the south side of Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River. The area beneath the structure’s concrete foundation has been scoured out and eroded since it was built in the late 1960s, requiring substantial reinforcement to prevent the ladder from tipping.

 

OSU stream researchersA new analysis of river basins in the western United States suggests that climate change will have the greatest impact on summer stream flows in those waterways that might seem less vulnerable – the large, snow-fed rivers that originate in the high Cascades and other mountain ranges.
Though these iconic rivers – including the McKenzie, Willamette, Deschutes, Klamath and Rogue – appear to have plenty of water, they also may be among the most sensitive to climate change, the study concludes.
“These are big rivers fed by snow that enters deep groundwater systems with highly permeable geology,” said Mohammad Safeeq, a post-doctoral researcher at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. “Their response to climate change involves more than just a change in snowfall patterns – the steepness of the terrain and the ‘drainage efficiency’ of the system are just as important to flow rates.

Sheriff Tom TurnerNIMROD: “We’re trying very hard to do the best we can with what we have,” Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner told people at last week’s McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce meeting. “This levy is all people can stand for in these economic times.”
Turner was referring to a property tax levy that will come before voters on the May 21st ballot. It would allow the county to hire staff and reopen 120 beds in the jail, bringing the total space for county inmates to 255 for a five-year period. It would also add 16 beds for underage offenders in the juvenile justice center, including eight for intensive drug, alcohol and mental health treatment.
The “jails only” tax proposal marks the tenth time Lane County will be asking voters to kick in more for law enforcement since 1998. All others have failed.
“This is an absolute minimal request,” Turner said. “It generates enough money a year to open a specific number of beds.”

Releasing a salmonA bill intended to protect salmon from gold dredges could impact property owners in McKenzie Bridge, Rainbow, Blue River and Finn Rock.

SALEM: A move to regulate gold mining could impact area property owners. Oregon Senate Bill 401, recently introduced by Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford/Ashland), would bring 30 more rivers (including additional portions of the McKenzie) into the State Scenic Waterways program. Supporters say the move is in recognition of outstanding scenic vistas, value to fish and wildlife, and the streams importance as sources of drinking water.

Releasing a salmonA bill intended to protect salmon from gold dredges could impact property owners in McKenzie Bridge, Rainbow, Blue River and Finn Rock.

SALEM: A move to regulate gold mining could impact area property owners. Oregon Senate Bill 401, recently introduced by Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford/Ashland), would bring 30 more rivers (including additional portions of the McKenzie) into the State Scenic Waterways program. Supporters say the move is in recognition of outstanding scenic vistas, value to fish and wildlife, and the streams importance as sources of drinking water.

Shed hunters in OregonA growing number of people take to the woods during winter, looking for antlers shed by Oregon’s deer and elk. Deer usually shed theirs from late December through March, and elk from late February through early April.

McKenzie land ownershipLEABURG: The Eugene Water & Electric Board is sponsoring a process that could result in annual dividend payments to landowners in a stewardship zone of riparian forests and floodplains along the McKenzie River. The proposed Voluntary Incentives Program (VIP) may include private landowners, local governments, and non-profit organizations that own land within the designated boundary. Based on EWEB’s preliminary analysis, an estimated 6,500 acres along the McKenzie and major tributaries would be eligible to enroll.
The VIP process is envisioned as a way to maintain and improve water quality within the McKenzie River Watershed, Eugene’s sole source of drinking water.

 

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.