Rogue Valley News, Monday 8/8 – Task Force Busts Illegal Grow in Rogue River, Structure Fire in Kerby, Ashland Water Shortage

The latest news stories of interest in the Rogue Valley and around the state of Oregon from the digital home of Southern Oregon, Wynne Broadcasting’s RogueValleyMagazine.com

Monday, August 8, 2022

Rogue Valley Weather

FIRE WEATHER WATCH ISSUED: 3:28 AM AUG. 8, 2022 – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

...FIRE WEATHER WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING FOR STRONG GUSTY WIND WITH LOW RH FOR
PORTIONS OF CALIFORNIA FIRE ZONE 284 AND PORTIONS OF OREGON FIRE
ZONES 621 AND 622...

* Impacts: Strong, gusty wind with low relative humidity and
critically dry vegetation will greatly increase the spread
potential of any new and existing fires.

* Affected area:
In Southwest OR...Eastern Fire Weather Zone 621 and southeastern
Fire Weather Zone 622, including Ashland, Grizzly Peak,
Siskiyou Summit, and Mt. Ashland.

In Northern California, northern and central Fire Weather Zone
284, including Dorris, Macdoel, and Tennant.


* Wind: Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

* Humidity: As low as 10 percent.

* View the hazard area in detail at:
https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mfr/HAZARD

Task Force Busts Black-Market Marijuana Grow; Seizes 438 Plants, 2 Firearms, 1k Lbs. Processed Cannabis, 5 lbs. Psilocybin Mushrooms; Issues up to $37k Fine, Water Violation

Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives along with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies served a search warrant on a marijuana grow site on the 10500 block of West Evans Creek Road in Rogue River early yesterday morning. The property contained approximately 438 illegal cannabis plants, as well as approximately 1000 lbs. of processed black-market marijuana, and two firearms. Investigators also discovered five lbs. of processed psilocybin mushrooms on the property. The illegal cannabis was seized and destroyed on site. On scene, four subjects were detained, interviewed, and released. Detectives identified the primary suspects and charges are pending by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office. 

This case was the result of a month-long investigation of an illegal/black market marijuana growing operation. This location generated multiple complaints from residents. There was no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling, or processing at this location. 

Jackson County Code Enforcement and Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters responded to the scene to conduct independent investigations. Code Enforcement issued citations to the property owner totaling $13,000 for unpermitted electrical work, unapproved storage buildings, unapproved marijuana production and processing, solid waste, and occupation of an RV within a marijuana grow site. For the unapproved greenhouse structures, the property owner faces the potential of up to $24,000 in additional fines. Watermasters issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the responsible parties for using a domestic well for commercial crop without a ground water right. Water violations of this kind are subject to both civil and criminal penalties.

While regulatory agencies investigate permitted cannabis operations, IMET is focusing on the black-market marijuana trade in the Rogue Valley. IMET is a multi-agency task force funded by a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The task force includes personnel from JCSO, Medford Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the DA’s Office. 

Investigations are open and ongoing with detectives working additional leads. No further information is currently available for release. IMET Case 22-12966 Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

Crews Respond to a Structure Fire in Kerby with Wildland Extension

8/7/2022 at call time 1131 hours, IVFD and ODF Southwest Oregon District responded to a two story structure fire with a quarter acre wildland fire on Kerby St, near the powerline Rd. 

A second alarm was activated, due to the fire size and potential increase in the fire. Rural Metro Fire – Josephine County and Grants Pass Fire Rescue responded.

Fire was controlled and the second alarm was canceled. Rural Metro moved up to cover the district. Fire was mopped up. Scene was cleared, with ODF remaining on scene for investigation. Illinois Valley Fire District

Ashland Asks People to Conserve as They Deal with Water Shortage

The hot weather continues which adds to the difficulty of the water flowing through all canals due to the aquatic weed growth. During the heat of the day when the water temperature increases the aquatic weeds raise up in the canal and slow the flow of water.

Overnight when the water temperature cools somewhat, the aquatic weeds tend to lay down more in the canals. We are currently performing mechanical aquatic weed removal operations on sections of the Talent Canal that are most affected to help improve the water flow. We will move these operations to other canals as needed.

As of now, we anticipate shutting the system off sometime between August 17th to 19th. It is possible that the water supply could run out slightly earlier, but we will keep you updated over the next couple weeks. We would like to ask for your continued cooperation and patience as we work to make the best of this extreme drought situation we are faced with.

On August 3, the Ashland began drawing water on the Talent-Ashland-Phoenix Intertie and mixing it with the water treated from Reeder Reservoir.  TAP water is treated by the Medford Water Commission, and includes water sourced from Big Butte Springs and/or the Rogue River.

As of August 6, about 40% of our water supply was coming from TAP, and 60% from Reeder.  TAP was contributing 1.99Mgal/day.  The maximum allowable supply at this time is 2.1Mgal/day from TAP.

Input to the reservoir was around 3.3Mgal/day earlier in the week, but has fallen to about 3.17Mgal/day for the past few days.  Since consumption was running about 5.25Mgal/day, the reservoir level was dropping more rapidly than desired.  That is why we have turned on the TAP.  The reservoir is now just below 79% of capacity. 

The addition of TAP supply has returned the drawdown of the reservoir to the desired rate. Ashland is not using TID water at this time.  TID is scheduled to stop delivery August 17-19.

There has been no measurable rainfall at the water treatment plant since July 5. The drought continues.  Please use water wisely and conserve whenever possible. MORE INFO: https://www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=17338

Blue Heron Park Opens Again in Phoenix After Rebuilding from Almeda Fire Damage

Saturday the City of Phoenix held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Blue Heron Park to celebrate the rebuilding of the playground equipment that was lost during the Almeda Fire.

Members of the community gathered as children fled to the playground to celebrate their city rising from the ashes. Mayor of Phoenix Terry Baker says he couldn’t be proud of the work the community has done to rebuild the park.

“That day of the fire was such a heartbreak, it was such an emotional loss for everybody, there seemed to be no hope. But I would suggest children are our reminder that there is hope for the future and we just gave them a great place to grow and to flourish,” says Baker.

The city of Phoenix used local businesses to help rebuild the playground. Playcraft Systems from Grants Pass were the builders of the original park and was asked to come back to help rebuild.

“We’re part of the community. When something devastating happens, we’re just very very pleased to be part of that revitalization, that brings people right back into the park. parents and children laughing and playing, that exactly why we do what we do,” says Margaret Miller a Direct Sales Representative from Playcraft Systems.

A big factor that went into building this play structure was making it ADA compliment, making it available for children with disabilities. The structure has brail games for the visually impaired and ramps for children in wheelchairs.

“It’s so important that we become an inclusive community and grow in that inclusiveness because the more we can include the more we’ll grow,” says Baker.

According to the Mayor, there were multiple people who played a major role in the rebuild. The City Manager, Parks and Recreation Committee, the Blue Heron Ad-Hoc Committee and donors.

COVID-19 is widespread across Oregon.Enjoying the Oregon summer weather and gathering outdoors is safer than attending indoor gatherings.

But if you are heading into an indoor public place, or to a crowded outdoor setting, consider wearing a well-fitting mask – such as a KF94, KN95, N95 or a cloth mask over a surgical mask – while COVID-19 is still circulating widely.

This is especially important if you or someone at home is at higher risk.The best way to prevent serious COVID-19 illness is to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. To find a vaccine or booster near you, visit getvaccinated.oregon.gov.People who are at higher risk should make a plan with their health care provider for getting tested and treated quickly should they develop COVID-19. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 211.

Wear a mask: COVID-19 symptoms, positive COVID-19 test or exposed to someone with COVID-19. CDC's COVID-19 Community Levels show many Oregon counties at med/high. High: Mask indoors is recommended. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines/boosters. Take more precautions if you're at high risk for severe illness. Medium: Consider a mask and other precautions if you're at high risk. Stay up to date with vaccines/boosters

Recent Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) COVID-19 modeling estimates the current COVID-19 wave peaked July 13.As of August 3, there were 398 COVID-19-positive patients in Oregon hospitals, down from the peak of 464 reached July 17.

Wastewater surveillance data collected through July 14 shows viral concentrations have stopped increasing in most regions, and are either flat or declining.Along with staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, wearing well-fitting masks, particularly when you may be around others in indoor or crowded outdoor settings, can help protect you and those around you.If you need help finding a vaccine or booster, visit http://ow.ly/SNp550Ke7aUTo read the full report, visit http://ow.ly/jCRO50Ke7aV.

Mckinney Fire Effects Far Reaching

It’s now been a little more than a week since the Northern California McKinney Fire sparked in Siskiyou County, torching almost 60,000 acres.

The U.S. Forest Service says one of the McKinney Fire’s fatal victims was a Forest Service employee.It says today Kathy Shoopman died at her home in Klamath River, California from the McKinney Fire.

But while the blaze continues to go, new insight is being provided on the total damages that the fire has caused to surrounding communities.

After weeks of canceled shows due to COVID-19, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival had to pivot once again to move shows indoors due to smoke from the McKinney fire. The McKinney fire blazed north of Karuk tribal homelands in Northern California and destroyed a building in Oak Knoll that housed the tribe’s archives.

On Friday, August 5, Siskiyou County’s Office of Emergency Services released new information on the total number of homes and structures destroyed by the McKinney Fire.

During the last seven days, officials are reporting that out of the 274 structures that were inspected, 87 homes have been destroyed along with 132 total structures (homes, garages, outbuildings, commercial etc.).

134 structures have been unharmed and 4 structures have minor damage.

We’ve also learned that the initial damage assessment for the McKinney Fire is more than 50% complete.

An interactive structure status map is available at Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services webpage: https://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/emergencyservices

The wildfire burning in a remote area just south of the Oregon border appears to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Klamath River fish, the Karuk Tribe said. The tribe said in a statement that the dead fish of all species were found Friday near Happy Camp, California, along the main stem of the Klamath River.

It’s unclear exactly what is causing the fish deaths but biologists with the tribe believe a flash flood caused by heavy rains over the burn area caused a massive debris flow that entered the river, said Craig Tucker, a spokesman for the tribe. The Karuk are working with the Yurok, another Northern California tribe, and state and federal agencies to gain access to the fire zone to get a better sense of what happened and the extent of the problem.

The 2022 wildfire season has fire crews battling blazes all across the Pacific Northwest. This is a roundup of the biggest fires in the region as of Sunday, August 7, 2022.

Despite the challenge of triple digit heat, firefighters announced they’ve made great strides fighting multiple wildfires in Oregon. With assistance from the air, planes dropping retardant on the Miller Road fire were a big part of that progress.

Operations Section Chief Dave Robertson said, “We’re calling it contained.”

The Wasco County sheriff’s office has lifted all evacuation orders for the fire near Maupin, as firefighters say it’s about 95% contained.   They thanked everyone for their efforts, and shut down that fire’s Facebook page.  They will have a mop up crew still looking for hot spots along the 25 mile perimeter. That fire burned an estimated  10,847 acres and one home.

Crews fighting the Windigo Fire near La Pine reported Sunday they had dug lines around the entire perimeter. Ground resources on Sunday went towards mop-up efforts and holding the line.  The Windigo Fire is now about 25% contained on more than 1,000 acres, and firefighters are making progress on that and the Big Swamp, Shelter and Potter fires.  Ryan Sullivan is their spokesperson, saying “The fire looks extremely good.”

Crews also dug lines all the way around the Potter Fire near Toketee Lake, although the fire was still reported to be 0% contained as of Sunday, according to Northwest Incident Management Team 6. The Potter Fire has burned about 185 acres.

Both the Windigo and Potter Fires, were started by lightning strikes, and they’re among 27 known fires across the Umpqua, Willamette, Deschutes and Fremont-Winema National Forests.

State of Oregon Fires and Hotspots Dashboard
Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

Miller Road Fire

On Sunday, officials reported the fire is burning 10,847 acres and is now 95% contained. At least one residence has been destroyed by the blaze.

Evacuation advisories were issued in Wasco County, Oregon as the Miller Road Fire burns through the Pine Grove area, officials announced Tuesday. Since then, evacuations have been downgraded by one level each.

“What does this mean?” the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Friday. “Anyone previously at a level 3 (GO NOW) evacuation order should consider themselves under a level 2 (GET SET) and may return to their property at this time. For the Dodge/Miller Fire this would be residents in the Juniper Flat / Victor Rd / Walters Rd and Hwy 197 area.

“Level 2 (GET SET) can relax a bit more at a level 1 (GET READY) and should just remain diligent for any changes. This includes Tygh Valley, Oak Springs, and Maupin. If you were previously under a level 1 (get ready) you can consider evacuation advisories lifted for your area at this time. This affects residents of The Dalles in the Columbia View Heights subdivision, the Oregon Vets Home, Viewpoint Trailer Park, and the Celilo Inn.”

Windigo Fire

Fire crews report they have gained some ground at the Windigo Fire, with 1,042 acres still burning on Sunday.

Officials said the blaze is 15% contained. The fire is actively burning in timber nearly 20 miles southwest of La Pine near Crescent Lake.

Potter Fire

The Potter Fire, which was first reported on the morning of July 31, stands at approximately 167 acres while containment remains 0%, according to officials .

On Friday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Forestry announced the emergency closure of both the Willamette and Umpqua National Forests due to the blaze.

It is burning near the south side of Potter Mountain on the Middle Fork Ranger District, closing the trail section between OR 138 and Summit Lake.

Cedar Creek Fire

Lightning is being blamed for another new fire, this time in Lane County.

The lightning-caused Cedar Creek Fire in Lane County expanded 500-plus new acres is now burning 1,438 acres west of the Black Creek Trailhead, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center . Officials called this blaze and the Potter Fire significant. On Sunday, officials reported the fire is 0% contained.

The fire forced officials to shut down Forest Roads 2421 and 2424. Trails and trailheads on the west side of Waldo Lake are also closed.

Fly Creek Fire

Good news from the fire lines of The 274-acre Fly Creek Fire burning near Lake Billy Chinook was 95% contained as of Friday morning. Officials say the fire will be downgraded and turned over to a different management team Saturday morning.

As of Thursday evening, the evacuation orders have been lifted for the Three Rivers area, along with Perry South and Monty campgrounds. However, officials say fire crews will still be at Perry South on Friday.

Firefighters have the majority of a bulldozer line built so it doesn’t spread further, but, officials said they are continuing to establish and connect control lines around the edge of the fire.

Beech Creek Fire

The Beech Creek Fire near Long Creek is burning 155 acres and is 40% contained, officials noted Sunday. The fire reportedly threatened nearby structures.

Tolo Mountain Fire

The Tolo Mountain Fire was 75% contained and 41 acres as of Tuesday. Crews will stay in place until full containment is reached.

Oregon’s new wildfire risk map was pulled after pushback from residents, who say state agencies didn’t consider the consequences of the map before its release.

The residents’ main concern with the map is financial. Property owners in areas the map classifies as high risk could be required to fix certain fire hazards on their own dime. But the Oregon Department of Forestry published the map before the rules for that were finalized.

The map breaks down what parts of the state are in residential areas that border wildlands, and it classifies all properties as high, medium, or low risk for wildfires. Some residents say they don’t trust the way those maps are
drawn.

They also feel the map was released without taking possible property insurance increases into consideration.
ODF pulled the interactive map down, for now, but it will not necessarily be going back to the drawing board.

Oregon Will Receive $8.5 Million More In Federal Rental Assistance Funds

Oregon will get another $8.5 million in federal emergency rental assistance money, the state’s two U.S. senators recently announced.

The largest portion of the money – almost $6.9 million – will go to the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, which manages statewide rental assistance programs. The department has paid more than $386 million in rent and utility assistance for more than 51,000 Oregon households since May 2021.

People who fell behind on rent during the pandemic were eligible for up to three months of payments for future rent and utilities and up to one year of back rent and utilities. Applications for assistance closed in March because Oregonians requested more in aid than the department had available. 

An agency spokeswoman said the new federal money will go toward requests that have already been submitted. Under a state law passed in December, the department must finish all pandemic-related rent payments by September. 

The city of Portland, which runs its own rent assistance program, will get the next largest portion of federal funding, $1.1 million. As of June, the Portland Housing Bureau reported spending $90 million to help almost 20,000 households. 

Clackamas County, Washington County and the Coquille Indian Housing Authority will also receive more federal money for rent assistance, at $251,000, $174,000 and $15,000, respectively.

In statements, Wyden and Merkley both said the additional federal money for emergency housing is just part of an ongoing effort to help Oregonians remain housed. 

“The pandemic’s deep economic impact, including the challenges it placed on the consistent need to pay rent, continues to ripple even as Oregonians go back to work,” Wyden said. “Housing is a human right, so I’m glad to see more federal funds come into our state to help renters get extended assistance to cover costs. This is a good step in the ongoing battle to keep roofs over heads, as Senator Merkley and I keep fighting for more permanent housing solutions.”

Merkley added that he and Wyden will work together to get more federal money for Oregon. 

“Everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to call home, but many Oregonians are struggling with the rapidly rising cost of housing,” Merkley said. “This critical emergency rental assistance will help provide a lifeline to many families to help cover the costs of rent.”

More Than $20 Million in Federal Funds Allocated to 11 Oregon Airports For Renovations

The Federal Aviation Administration has allocated more than $20 million for repairs at 11 rural airports in Oregon and to help attract new flights from Salem to California, Nevada and Arizona.

The Federal Aviation Administration allocated nearly $10 million to the airport in Klamath Falls for runway repairs. (Photo provided by Crater Lake–Klamath Regional Airport)

Most of the money – $17.5 million – will go toward reconstructing runways at the Corvallis Municipal Airport, the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton and the Crater Lake/Klamath Regional Airport in Klamath Falls. About $2.6 million will be devoted to upgrades at airports in Hood River, Newport, Eugene, John Day, Aurora, Creswell and Florence.

Another $850,000 is allocated to Salem Municipal Airport to help launch commercial flights to California, Nevada and Arizona, according to a news release by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Oregon Democrats.

“Regional airports serve an important role in supporting Oregon’s economy and by expanding service, they increase opportunities for business and Oregonians,” Merkley said in the statement.

“I am gratified to see these dollars go toward expanding regional air service in Salem, to have a more accessible option for travel in and out of the mid-Willamette Valley,” Wyden said.

The total pot, $20.9 million, will support growth in rural airports that serve thousands of commercial, military, business and state flights a year.

The administration is giving $9.5 million to the Klamath Falls airport, which has had an uptick in business-related flights, according to Jonathan Teichert, city manager and acting airport director. He said the money will allow the airport to reconstruct its second runway and taxiways for use by smaller aircraft. That will free up the main runway for the Oregon Air National Guard and the U.S. Forest Service, which needs to fly air tankers to fight forest fires, he said.

“The runway’s asphalt has passed its useful life,” Teichert wrote in an email. Money will also be used for new lighting and airfield signs.

Last year, the airport served about 35,000 flights. More than half were private flights and more than one-third were military. Shippers including FedEx and United Parcel Service accounted for only 3% of the traffic. The airport has no commercial flights. 

Teichert said he expects the work to be finished in the fall of 2023. 

Besides supporting recent business growth in the area, Teichert said the money paid to Rocky Mountain Construction in Klamath Falls for repairs will fuel the local economy.

“Money paid to RMC will go towards wages, materials and services with other local businesses and have a trickle-down effect throughout the community,” Teichert said.

Nearly $5 million to Pendleton

The Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton is the next big recipient, winning nearly $5 million.

Steve Chrisman, the economic development director for Pendleton and the airport, told the Capital Chronicle the money will be used to fix “hotspots” – unsafe areas for aircraft – and to correct a blindspot for air traffic controllers.

“The airport has been experiencing unprecedented growth for the last several years, which requires safe and structurally sound runways and taxiways,” Chrisman said in a statement.

The airport’s revenues soared from under $500,000 in fiscal year 2014 to an expected $2 million this fiscal year, Chrisman said. Last year the airport served 19,600 flights; that compares with nearly 14,400 flights so far this year.

“We just (passed) the halfway mark, so you can see that we are likely to shatter last year’s high,” Chrisman said.

He said traffic from the airport’s sole commercial carrier, Boutique Air, which flies three roundtrips a day to Portland with eight-seater planes, plummeted when the pandemic hit but is now rebounding. Drones account for much of the recent growth, he said.

Nearly $3 million to Corvallis

The Corvallis Municipal Airport won nearly $3 million to update lighting and reconstruct a runway built in the 1980s. Airport manager Todd Hastie said the runway accommodates 95% of the traffic at the airport, with 50,000 annual flights including military, air taxis and general aviation.

Construction is slated to be completed by Oct. 15. Hastie said the fixes will allow the airport to boost traffic, especially at night. The broken lights essentially ended nighttime traffic, he said.

Besides these three regional airports, $2.6 million will pay for crucial safety improvements, including weather reporting and snow equipment, lighting, signs and fog prevention:

  • $1 million to the Mahlon Sweet Field Airport in Eugene for snow removal equipment.
  • $600,000 to the Grant County Regional/Ogilvie Field Airport in John Day for runway reconstruction, lighting and signs.
  • $332,260 to the Aurora State Airport for runway rehabilitation and fog prevention.
  • $198,137 to the Crater Lake/Klamath regional Airport for runways and visual guidance systems.
  • $150,000 to the Hobby Field Airport in Creswell for lights and path indicators.
  • $150,000 to the Newport Municipal Airport for tree removal.
  • $100,000 to the Ken Jernstedt Airfield in Hood River for weather reporting equipment. 
  • $100,000 to the Florence Municipal Airport for runways and taxiways. 

The final $850,000 allocated to Salem Municipal Airport is to help the airport attract commercial carriers. In its application, the city of Salem said the money would be used for revenue guarantees for carriers, marketing and fee waivers. Resuming commercial service in Salem could require up to $12 million in terminal renovations and a doubling of staff.

Two carriers wrote letters in support of the application, including Avelo Airlines, a small carrier based in Houston, Texas, and Aha!, a budget airline based in Reno, Nevada, the news site said. The companies are interested in two weekly flights each – Aha! to Reno and Avelo to Burbank, California or Las Vegas, Nevada.

Study Looks at Reintroduction of Sea Otters to the Oregon Coast

A federal study ordered by Congress concluded it would be feasible to reintroduce sea otters to the Oregon and northern California coasts. However, that finding doesn’t mean the super-cute predators will be relocated into their former ocean habitat anytime soon.

A study released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week found reintroducing sea otters into their historical habitat on the Oregon and northern California coasts would be biologically, economically and legally feasible, though there’s still no active plan to do so.

Although sea otters occasionally visit Oregon’s coastal waters — there have been 18 strandings, and 32 individuals have been observed here since 2007 — the state’s last resident sea otter in the wild is believed to have been killed at Otter Rock in 1906.

In its 2021 Appropriations Act, Congress directed the Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct a study on the cost and feasibility of reintroducing the species to the area. Previous reintroductions in southern California, Washington and the nearshore waters of Alaska were successful — the species has multiplied rapidly in the latter, where 90 percent of the world’s sea otters currently live — while an attempt to translocate a population to the Oregon coast in the early 1970s failed (the last individual in that population was observed in 1981).

“There would be multiple substantial biological and ecological benefits to the nearshore marine ecosystem from a reintroduction of sea otters to their historical range in northern California and Oregon,” the executive summary of the newly-released feasibility and cost assessment stated.

Michele Zwartjes, USFWS Oregon coast field supervisor and one of the study co-authors, cautioned that her agency is years away from any decision to carry out a reintroduction plan.

“There’s no recommendation as to whether or not reintroduction should actually occur,” Zwartjes said in an interview. “We are in the very earliest stages of even considering the possibility of reintroduction.”

Zwartjes explained that restoring this keystone species could launch a cascade of positive, indirect effects. Hungry otters would reduce an overpopulation of sea urchins, which in turn could result in healthier kelp forests. More widespread kelp in turn could store carbon and nurse increased fish populations. The presence of sea otters could also spur increased tourism.

However, the federal agency acknowledged there is also risk to shellfish fisheries due to predation by sea otters on crabs, clams and sea urchins. The otters have big appetites because they need to eat heartily to stay warm in the cold Pacific waters.

Therefore, the federal report recommended as a next step that an experienced, neutral facilitator convene stakeholders, agency representatives and scientific experts to hash out reintroduction options “that might present an acceptable level of risk to all parties.”

Sea otters were hunted to local extinction along the Pacific Northwest coast as part of the fur trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. The critters were successfully reintroduced to Washington, British Columbia and southeast Alaska 50 years ago. It didn’t go so well along the southern Oregon coast, where the otters released during the same time period mysteriously vanished after a few years.

Now, a key federal agency has wrapped up a detailed look at whether it is worth trying again in Oregon. The bottom line according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is, yes. One of the study co-authors, cautioned that her agency is years away from any decision to carry out a reintroduction plan, explaining that restoring this keystone species could launch a cascade of positive, indirect effects. Hungry otters would reduce an overpopulation of sea urchins, which in turn could result in healthier kelp forests.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is missing-in-oregon-tab.png

Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 between Medford, Grants Pass and Roseburg per Oregon State Police

MAKENNA KENDALL                                   5/3/2022
ERICA LEE  HUTCHINSON                          5/26/2022                          
MARIAH DANIELLE SHARP                          6/12/2022          
KAITLYN RAE NELSON                                  6/14/2022                 
BROOKLYN JOHNS                                     6/14/2022
DONNA LEPP                                               6/27/2022  
BARBARA  DELEPINE                                    7/4/2022                     
****KENDRA MARIE HANKS                              7/7/2022 FOUND MURDERED 7/21/2022
CORI BOSHANE MCCANN                             7/8/2022
SHYHAILA SMITH 7/12/2022
ALEZAE LILYANNE MARTINEZ 7/13/2022
RAVEN RILEY                                                7/13/2022
TAHUANA RILEY                                        7/13/2022
DANIELLE NEWVILLE 7/14/2022
CONNIE LORAINE BOND 7/19/2022
KARIN DAWN RUSSELL 7/19/2022
CHEYENNE SPRINGS 7/19/2022
KAREN ANNETTE SCIORTINO 7/22/2022
MARLENE HICKEY 7/23/2022
MAKAYLA MAY VAUGHT 7/23/2022
WENDY JEAN HAZEN 7/26/2022
SHAHE SOPHIA CATRANIDES 7/27/2022

Women Missing Since May 1st 2022 in Lane County per Oregon State Police

REISA RAQUEAL SIKEL                            5/3/2022
HANNAH MARIE RHOTEN                             5/17/2022
MARISSA ALEESA DAMBROSIO                  5/18/2022
ISABELLA BROSOWSKEYOUNGBLOOD    6/7/2022             
LOUISA DAY AVA                                           5/28/2022             
AMY CHRISTINA SULLIVAN                          6/1/2022
NIKKI ELIZABETH  ZEREBNY                              6/6/2022
SHADOW STAR SEVIGNY                               6/17/2022
SHAUNA LEAH HOGAN                             6/17/2022
AIRIONNA CHEALSEY RHODES                    6/27/2022           
KARISSA RENEE ADAMS                                7/6/2000
VERONICA ESSYNCE DELERIO                    7/6/2022
AUBRIE HANNA STEPHENS                           7/10/2022     
LARA IVEY STEINMETZ                                 7/11/2022
SARA LINDSAY SCHAEFER                            7/12/2022
ANGELINA MARIE NAZAR 7/16/2022
LUCIA MARTHA PANNIER 7/17/2022
MALINA LINN COATS 7/20/2022
KATHY A VERNACCHIO 7/23/2022
LILLY ANNE WARMUTH 7/28/2022
MALINA LINN COATS 7/29/2022
JORDYN CLARA GOHL 7/31/2022
QAVAH ALAH TILLILIE 7/31/2022

As of 8/2/2022, there are now 44 women missing between Medford and Eugene. Sadly Kendra Hanks has been found murdered, though that takes her off the list. We send thoughts and prayers to her family as well as the families of all missing people in our area.

44 women missing in 3 months. That averages out to 14+ missing per month. Something needs to be done.

This is just a small compilation of missing women’s pictures in the area. There are of course women missing all over Oregon and men and children missing too. We don’t mean to dismiss that, however, there is an inordinate amount of women who go missing each week and there could possibly be a connection with an anomaly or two here and there. Sadly most of them never get any attention. Family and friends must keep any information going and lead investigations so that they aren’t just forgotten. https://www.oregon.gov/osp/missing/pages/missingpersons.aspx

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https://www.facebook.com/pg/Have-You-Seen-Me-Southern-Oregons-Missing-People-161249961222839/posts/

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