Local News – School Budget – BLM Forest Plan – National Trails Day – Forest Babies

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Local News

School Budget Work Session Set

The 2012-13 draft budget for Siuslaw Schools has already received approval from the budget committee.  This evening the school board will review the document and hash out some possible changes on just how to spend the $13.6-million in revenues.

The big question will be whether or not to set aside more cash for the future than was recommended by the budget committee.  Earlier this month that body opted to restore funding for athletics in the middle school and increase the amount of money spent on sports at the high school.  At the same time, they said “ok” to a new technology program and the hiring of three additional teachers.

Some board members are concerned about the future… A local option tax levy that provides just over $1-million a year will expire in 2014 and it’s estimated that by the time that happens Siuslaw schools could be facing as much as a $2-million deficit.

The school board will meet at 6:30 this evening at District Offices on Oak Street to discuss their options.

BLM Seeks Input on Forest Plan Revisions

Three meetings in the region this week will give residents a chance to provide input to the Bureau of Land Management on how to best manage 2.6-million acres of forest land in Western Oregon.  Revisions to the “resource management plans” could be made based on testimony received about endangered species; clean water; fire management; timber production; and recreation.  A total of eight meetings around Western Oregon have been scheduled; four of which have already passed.  One is planned for this afternoon at 3:30 in the Springfield Public Library.  Tomorrow from five to seven input will be taken at the Coos Bay Public Library, then Thursday from four to six they’ll take testimony at the BLM District Office in Roseburg.  A final meeting is set for the federal building in Portland June 5th.

National Trails Day

Day Use Fees at public recreation areas will be waived this coming Saturday in recognition of National Trails Day.  Along with that will be several special programs.  At the U.S. Forest Service’s Cape Perpetua Visitor Center north of Florence there’ll be a special recognition of “Amanda’s Trail”, a route followed by coastal natives when they were uprooted from their traditional homes and forced onto reservation land in Lincoln County.

Free camping will be provided at all Oregon State Parks on Saturday.  Special interpretive programs will be offered at several Oregon Parks and Recreation sites as well.

Forest Babies

Wildlife biologists say this is the time of year when you need to be aware of youngsters in the forest.  Tonya Moore,  with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, says she’s already received several calls from well-intentioned residents about possible abandoned fawns.  It’s typical for mother deer to leave a fawn while she feeds nearby.  Moore says it only appears that the baby has been abandoned.  Picking up young wildlife can actually threaten their survival and the best thing you can do is to leave them be.