75 years ago
High water causes some damage and stops bus service
Grant County was not exempt from the flood conditions prevalent throughout the state last week. The most damage was at the Blue Mountain Mills properties in John Day where high water flooded the edger plant damaging two motors and forcing suspension of operations for several days. In the main mill and machine shop water was 18 inches deep.
Some damage to property was reported at Dayville.
Mail and bus service for the past week has been hampered due to road conditions. The stage from Condon was unable to get through for a couple of days on account of a washout of the road between Service Creek and Fossil, and there has been no bus service from Prineville all week as several bridges between the Ochoco summit and Prineville were washed out. Bus passengers have been routed by the way of Burns. The rainfall during the month of December, according to the report of the government weather observer, P. A. Retrum, Canyon City, was 2.86 inches; snowfall 4 inches; there were 13 rainy days, and the coldest day was the 18th when the mercury dropped to 3 degrees above zero. It is interesting to compare this report with that of December 1944 when the rainfall was 1.84 inches, snowfall 2.2 inches, and the coldest day 6 above zero.
50 years ago
Game management program set to embark in new directions
Big game resources have fared quite well in Grant County this past year. Deer numbers continue to increase. Though official figures are not yet available, it is estimated that hunter numbers exceeded 22,000 people this past fall, and for the first time in history deer hunting provided over 100,000 man-days of recreation in Grant County.
Elk numbers appear to be increasing slightly, and this increase is estimated to provide a total of nearly 50,000 man-days of recreation (a total of over 8,000 elk hunters).
The total harvest in 1970 is estimated to be in excess of 9,000 deer, 900 elk, plus 12 buck antelope taken in Bear Valley.
Upland bird and waterfowl hunting has been poor to very good during the year, depending mostly on weather conditions. Early chukar hunting was excellent this year, while pheasant hunting was poor, but better than the past few years. Quail hunting has been good as usual. Duck hunting has had its good and bad days this season, but should be classed as better than average. The first turkey season was held north of Highway 26, and a few hunters were rewarded their first wild turkey.
Habitat improvement funding has increased in the past year and is showing up in cooperative range rehabilitation projects on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. Over 2,500 acres have been revegetated with wildlife preferred legumes and browse plants.
Additional spring development, artificial water devices and food plots are being made for the improvement of habitat for upland game birds. Fencing of river banks is a new habitat project being undertaken this year. It will be three-fold in its effects — to provide food and cover for wildlife, to provide shade for cooling water temperatures and to provide much needed stabilization of our stream banks.
The coming year offers increasing challenges to maintain game numbers to provide an opportunity for success for the ever-increasing number of hunters. To provide for these needs, habitat improvement will be the primary objective. A total inventory of what we have, and what the needs will be, in the form of a wildlife management plan will be developed. Continuation of protection programs for endangered birds and animals and introduction of new species will be an endeavor to provide more and varied recreational opportunities, not just for hunting but for viewing by the public. Proposed legislation to authorize this department to manage all non-game species of birds and animals will be introduced. This will add to the challenges of wildlife management.
These challenges must and will be met for the benefit of all the citizens of the state of Oregon.
Ralph Denney – Game Biologist – Oregon Game Commission
25 years ago
Learning the basics
More than 30 Mt. Vernon Middle School 5th and 6th grade girls wrapped up their intramural basketball season Dec. 20 with a round-robin tournament in Mt. Vernon. The teams started up the first week of November and practiced for five weeks, four days a week, learning the fundamentals of the game. The coaches who volunteered their time were Art Thunell, Bill Thomas and Dorman Gregory.