75 years ago
August 27, 1943
Oregon farmers to play prominent part in third war loan
Oregon farmers will have an important role in the third war loan drive. Plans, which call for the personal solicitation of every farmer in the state, are being formulated, according to E. C. Sammons, state chairman of the Oregon War Finance Committee.
Under the direction of Burt K. Snyder, newly appointed to head the agricultural division, a new farm program is being developed to the point where there will be at least one representative for each ten farms to be contacted. Realizing the farm labor shortage, county organizations will provide farm-to-farm solicitors who will canvass every farmer in the state and enable him to purchase war bonds without the necessity of traveling to neighboring towns to conduct this business.
“The war bond program is made to order for Oregon farmers,” says Snyder. “At present farmers are unable to buy much of the equipment they would like to have on their farms and in their homes. The war bond program offers a safe investment at good interest for all available funds.”
Treasury research indicates that farmers constitute the largest untapped market for war bonds in the U.S.A. In the past the difficulty has been inability to reach the farmer. Under the new program farmers will be called upon personally and given an opportunity to buy bonds.
50 years ago
August 29, 1968
Porky races interests Boise TV
KNOI-TV, Boise, has expressed an interest in filming the John Day Volunteer Fire Department’s sponsored porcupine races on September 7, planners of the event reported this week.
The races will start at approximately noon immediately following the Grant County Fair Parade. Scene of the event will be Gleason Park in John Day.
Dave Traylor, who is helping plan the races, said the full return of all entry fees – based on two dollars per porcupine entered – has stimulated many entries.
First place winner will receive twenty-five dollars in cash, an engraved trophy and seventy percent of entry fees. The second place winner will receive fifteen dollars in cash, a trophy and twenty percent of the fees, while the third place finisher will receive five dollars in cash, a trophy and ten percent of the fees.
Thirty-five John Day-Canyon City business establishments are supporting what the sponsors hope will become an annual event during the Grant County Fair.
Porcupines will race from the center of a 150-foot circle. Porcupine winners will be determined in a series of elimination races.
There’s even an event for the ladies, Traylor said. Ladies who want to race in the Powder Puff Race will be provided a porcupine upon request.
Profits of the race after expenses will be donated to the John Day Elk’s eye clinic fund.
25 years ago
August 26, 1993
County gives OK for a parking lot near fairgrounds
Grant County Court members last week gave tentative approval to a proposal to construct additional parking space that will be used by both the forest service’s supervisor’s office and Grant County Fairgrounds.
The request from Terry Lyons was granted on a 2-1 vote with Commissioner Bob Kimberling opposing the proposal.
Initially, Lyons asked to purchase the three-acre parcel from the county. It is part of an approximately 19-acre site located on the south side of the county fairgrounds, which the county purchased from Lyons about four years ago for $50,000.
Instead of the purchase, however, the county agreed last week to lease the property subject to final design approval and negotiating an annual lease agreement. Any funds collected from the lease would be returned to the county road department, which technically purchased the property.
In answer to Lyons, Kimberling said he had several reasons for opposing the project, primarily because he would like to see the county sell the acreage altogether.
In a letter from Terry Farrell to the court, the board expressed its support for the concept as long as the parking area can be designed to accommodate Lyon’s needs and to provide extra parking for the fair and during other events at the fairgrounds.
Working out an agreement on the parking space is only one piece of the project, which Lyons hopes to present to the Forest Service.
10 years ago
August 27, 2008
Grazing lawsuits spawn talks
Ranchers and environmental activists have taken steps toward a dialogue over grazing on public lands, although the path has been rocky so far.
Concerned about ongoing lawsuits challenging grazing, a few ranchers from Grant and Harney counties approached the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) earlier this summer to see if they could resolve the organization’s concerns.
The outreach came after similar talks brought a compromise in the deadlock between timber and environmental interests over wildfire salvage sales on Forest Service land in Grant and Harney counties.
Ken Brooks, a Fox Valley rancher, said Grant County Judge Mark Webb and the ranchers were seeking ways to prevent ongoing lawsuits from undermining the cattle industry in the region.
“We can’t afford to just keep litigating, so we thought we could try to find some common ground,” Brooks said.
The ranchers met with ONDA representatives in June. They came away from the meeting with the sense that ONDA wasn’t pushing to eliminate all grazing, but did want to “retire” some land considered to be critical habitat for steelhead-salmon runs.
The grazing permittees expected that as a next step, ONDA would review areas that it would propose for retiring, set priorities and identify the grazing allotments that would be affected.
In July, the permittees received a draft proposal from ONDA that they say went beyond that. Harney County rancher Jeff Hussey, a participant in the talks, said the proposal was “more extreme than what ONDA has requested in the court cases.”
The ONDA proposal called for eliminating grazing on 33 percent of the Malheur National Forest land now being grazed, restrict grazing on another 33 percent, and require implementation of conservation plans for the other 33 percent.
“The economic impact of this proposal could be severe,” said Brooks. “Agriculture is the only viable industry left in Grant County and most of Eastern Oregon. Our area is already economically depressed. We can’t sustain any more economic loss.”
Webb also was concerned after viewing the ONDA draft. In a news release, he said the County Court would not support a proposal that eliminates most of the grazing on federal lands in the county, “especially one that lacks scientific credibility.”
The proposal also calls for the Forest Service to permanently close an allotment or area where a grazing permit has been relinquished, and to follow specific National Marine Fisheries Service “mitigation terms” - measures that define stubble height and other factors.
The ranching community has protested the use of some of those standards, contended that they are a “one height suits all” approach that doesn’t account for differences in plant species and specific habitat and terrain.
In a response to ONDA last week, the ranchers said the proposal seems both unfair to the permittees and unrealistic. They questioned the rationale for the reallocation percentages, closure of grazing permits, and other aspects of the proposal.
However, they didn’t close the door on further talks. The response said the county and the permittees would continue to work with ONDA, but only if the litigation over grazing ends. They also want the discussion to deals with other factors - such as wild horses, fishing, and poor forest health - that have an impact on fish recovery.
The ranchers remain critical of monitoring by the Malheur National Forest, contending that it has been inconsistent and that makes it difficult to defend their grazing practices.