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Oregon’s dusky tree vole under study as possible endangered species

November 13, 2008 --

By US Fish and Wildlife Service,

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it will begin a year-long study to determine whether the dusky tree vole, a small tree-dwelling rodent that occurs in the north Coast Range in Oregon, qualifies for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The status review will seek to determine whether the dusky tree vole qualifies as a subspecies of the red tree vole and if so, whether it requires protection. As appropriate, the status review will also evaluate the north Oregon coast population of red tree vole and the red tree vole throughout its range.  For the next 60 days the Service is seeking information that will help the agency make these determinations. Public comments must be received by December 29, 2008.

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NW Tree Assoc. makes enviornmental pitch for Christmas tress

November 12, 2008 --

By Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association,

PORTLAND–Like Santa’s elves readying toys for Christmas, farmers in the Pacific Northwest are already preparing another holiday essential – real Christmas trees.

Beginning in mid-November, sustainable farmers in the Pacific Northwest – which supplies the majority of real Christmas trees purchased in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and other Southwestern states – will start harvesting for Christmas by selecting those trees that have reached maturity. Many growers will employ the help of helicopters to ensure the freshness of each tree collected.

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South coast cranberry farmers benefits from record setting price

November 11, 2008 --

Oregon Department of Agriculture — Just a few short years ago, Oregon’s cranberry industry faced devastating market conditions that paid growers as little as eight dollars per barrel. This year, thanks largely to the quality and desirability of Oregon’s version of the berry, many producers along the southern coast are receiving as much as $150 per barrel. The cranberry revival is a boost to a local economy that has been hoping for some good news ever since the decline of the timber and fishing industries in recent years.

“It’s exciting to see how well our cranberry growers have rebounded after some challenging conditions earlier this decade,” says Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “Like many of our state’s commodities, we think we produce a premium cranberry that commands a top price. Oregon may not grow as many cranberries as Wisconsin or Massachusetts, but I’m sure no other state produces a better quality cranberry.”

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Chetco and Winchuck Rivers Re-open to Chinook Angling

November 10, 2008 --

Guest Submission

GOLD BEACH, Ore. – The Chetco River re-opened Nov. 5 to chinook angling upstream of the Harbor water intake tower at river mile (RM) 3. The Winchuck River also re-opens to chinook angling Nov. 5th.

Low flow closures were in effect on the Chetco and Winchuck rivers to protect fall chinook that were stacked up in tidewater. Chinook holding at the head of tide were extremely vulnerable to legal and illegal fishing.

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Farm Bureau promotes agriculture education in Tillamook schools

November 8, 2008 --

Oregon Farm Bureau Press Release: Despite the fact that kids living in Tillamook County are familiar with the sight of black-and-white dairy cows grazing in pastures and red barns dotting the region’s countryside — there is still a surprising lack of understanding by children about where their food comes from and why agriculture is important.

“A lot of kids know that mom goes to the store and buys the food that they eat for breakfast, but they don’t comprehend where that food began,” said Carol Marie Leuthold, a dairy farmer and president of the Tillamook County Farm Bureau.

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Fish & Wildlife Commission to Meet Later This Month

November 7, 2008 --

Guest Submission

SALEM, Ore.–The Fish and Wildlife Commission, created by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will meet Friday, Nov. 14 in Salem to consider disease-testing requirements for elk ranches and a management plan for black-tailed deer.

The Commission will be asked to adopt a Cervid Disease Surveillance List (CDSL) developed by ODFW and the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture that will require the state’s elk ranches to test for Chronic Wasting Disease, Bovine Tuberculosis, and brucellosis.

All are highly infectious diseases that could be devastating to both wild and captive deer and elk and Oregon’s growing moose population. Bovine TB and brucellosis could also be very harmful to cattle and Oregon’s livestock industry.

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Census Bureau data shows Oregon Xmas tress = 23% of market

November 6, 2008 --

$493.3 million = Sales by U.S. Christmas tree farmers in 2007.
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

$114.3 million = Sales by Christmas tree farmers in Oregon in 2007.
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

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It’s time to winterize tools and off-road vehicles

November 5, 2008 --

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is encouraging users of power tools, all-terrain vehicles, boats, and other off-road vehicles and tools that are used on a seasonal basis to winterize their equipment, especially if they have been using ethanol-blended fuel.

“Winterizing equipment properly is always a good idea, whether you’re using straight gasoline or an ethanol blend,” says Stephanie Page, ODA renewable energy specialist. “Most manufacturers recommend preparing equipment before storage over the winter, or any extended period of time. But it’s especially important to do this if the fuel is 10 percent ethanol.”

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Input needed on Big Look task Force

November 4, 2008 --

By Oregonians In Action Education Center
Looking Forward Magazine ,

With the “Big Look” Land Use Task Force “looking” at Oregon’s land use system, it’s time for all Oregonians, especially rural Oregon land owners, to take a big look at the system, and get involved in reforming it.

Let’s start back in 1973 when the land use system was launched.  This is the year Senate Bill 100 was enacted.  It created the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) and empowered it to impose mandatory statewide land use controls over every acre of private land in the state.

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Temporary Beach Closures for Oregon Coast

November 3, 2008 --

Guest Opinion

Oregon Coast – The number of young western snowy plovers fledged on the Oregon Coast this year was the lowest since 2003.

In 2008, 71 young birds survived long enough to learn to fly and become independent of their parents. This number is down from the 124 young that survived during the same period last year.

There are eight plover nesting sites on the Oregon Coast from Sutton Beach to New River on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service managed land. “It’s normal for species populations to fluctuate from year to year over the long term,” said Dave Lauten, plover monitor with Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center. “Luckily the plovers have had a string of successful nesting years that got us through this tough year.”

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