Forest Service seeking more input on Indian Creek plan

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Second input session on Indian Creek Watershed Plan

A proposed plan to make landscape restorations to portions of the 30-thousand acre Indian Creek Watershed north of Mapleton will be the subject of a second public input meeting March 10th at the Mapleton School.

According to the Siuslaw National Forest, the plan would diversify habitat within younger stands of trees, accelerate old-growth forest habitat characteristics, and improve aquatic habitat for salmon and other riparian species.

Opponents of the plan say it will close public access to an area that has been popular with hunters, anglers, and campers for decades.

Forest Service spokesperson Donni Vogel said they are in what they call the “scoping period”… the time when project coordinators are hearing from as many people as possible about what they would like to see happen in the area. Comments taken during this phase will be considered during development of an Environmental Assessment.

Implementation of the plan could begin as early as Spring 2017.

Brief closure Thursday evening north of Gardiner

Emergency officials have not released any more information on a crash that briefly blocked Highway 101, three miles north of Gardiner yesterday afternoon.

The Oregon Department of Transportation reported that all lanes of the highway in a work zone were closed because of the crash at about 5:30.

One lane of traffic reopened about 45 minutes later with full traffic restored by early evening.

It’s unknown whether there were any serious injuries.

State Senator Seeks Solutions to Septic Setbacks

$250-thousand would be set aside to administer a low interest loan program that would help rural homeowners and small businesses make repairs to their septic systems. The Oregon Senate approved the bill 29-to-nothing this week and it moves to the House for consideration.

Senate Bill 1563, sponsored by Coos Bay Democrat Arnie Roblan, would require the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to development and administration of the program to help pay for repairs, upgrades or even evaluation of small on-site septic systems.

Roblan called the bill “incredibly important” for rural communities and added there is a “significant need” in coastal communities where failing septic systems are contaminating the environment and threatening public health.

90by30 to inventory local family assets

An effort to help reduce child abuse and neglect in Lane County by 90-percent over the next 14 years is continuing.

The 90-by-30 project is holding a “community asset mapping forum” next week at Siuslaw Public Library.

Coordinator Rose Wilde (WILL-dee) says that means they are trying to understand how families find support. That may come through schools and non-profit agencies; but also from community events; faith-based initiatives; and business supports.

By identifying and listing existing family support systems, Wilde says they can then build on the strengths of the community.

The forum is next Wednesday from four to six pm at Siuslaw Public Library.

Landslide risks mapped out

More than one-third of Oregon’s land has a high, or very high risk of landslide. That’s according to Bill Burns, an engineering geologist for the Oregon Department of Geology.

That agency recently released a map that incorporates information from 351 different studies and identifies 12,095 historical landslide point locations around the state.

The vast majority of those are in Western Oregon… mainly in the Coast Range.

In Western Lane and Douglas Counties, most are in forested areas, away from populated areas. Dozens of them line Highway 101 north of Florence and 38 east of Reedsport.

But, Burns adds… there are 2,885 existing landslides in the state that threaten almost 8-thousand people and one-billion-dollars worth of buildings.

The map can be found at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries website.

Young Professional Europeans get a glimpse of Oregon

A recent travel video block by an influential blogger from the Netherlands includes a side trip to Florence.

Anna Nooshin, who has a huge international following on YouTube, posted a video recently in which she talks about her river-view room at the River House Inn and a visit to Sea Lion Caves. She also had an extended conversation… in Dutch… with Old Town Restaurateur Mary Ann Brisbane at what Nooshin called the “very cool” Le Bouchon.

Craig Sanders, the President of Hoagland Properties, which owns and operates the River House, said Nooshin’s personal YouTube channel has 54-thousand subscribers and 3.5-million page views. He added her main audience is the “upscale, young professional European; a very desirable traveler to attract to our area.

Nooshin’s Oregon visit shows up at about the seven and a half minute mark in the video, but the Florence mentions begin at 15-minutes.