Pile Burns; Christmas Tree Permitting; Boys and Girls Club

Pile Burns

The US Forest Service has announced that beginning this week and continuing through the spring pile burns will be conducted in the Siuslaw National Forest.  With the exception of this weekend’s heat, the climate for burning has improved with cooler temperatures and damp weather with the chance of rain returning next week.  Burning will be weather dependent and only if conditions are deemed ideal by firefighters.  Smoke may be visible from nearby trails in the central coast district as well as the Hebo district.  Smoke impacts are expected to be minimal.  If you witness smoke and are unsure if it is the result of a pole burn or a potential wildfire, citizens can contact Western Lane Fire and EMS at their non-emergency number – 541-997-3212

Christmas Tree Permitting

If you are one of the many outdoorsy people that like to hunt for your own tree for the Christmas season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now issuing permits for tree cutting in the forest.  Tree permits can be purchased through recreation.gov.  Forest Service Chief Randy Moore says these experiences provide a connection to the forest and unforgettable memories.  Moore says there were over 1200 permits issued last year and 90 percent of the responses received gave the experience a 4 or 5 star rating. Permits are just $5.00 and a map of potential cutting areas can be found at the website.

Boys and Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County will hold their Masquerade Ball tomorrow evening at Three Rivers Casino Resort.  The annual event will feature a live and silent auction and entertainment.  Recent cuts in state funding for clubs around the state have made this event a critical one for the club to provide  the services that they do.  Locally the Boys and Girls Club have lost over $200,000 in state funding.  Failure to recoup these losses could mean limited opportunities throughout the fiscal year. Club executive Director Vanessa Buss said all of the planned summer programs did go on, however it was at a cost.

“We did have to charge families, you know, three times more than we would have done if we would have gotten summer program funding.”

There is the potential of a reallocation of funds from the state due to a more favorable financial outlook from the state revenue department, but at this time it is unclear whether those funds will be available for institutions like the Boys and Girls Clubs.