As the State Turns

By Johnny Beaver

stateturnssymbolNew Cover Oregon Leader Selected
I’m sure there’s a bunch of nonsense and fake hope to ramble on about here, but you guess what? Nobody really cares anymore, do they? So I’ll just spare you, because I’m a nice guy. Instead I’ll offer an unrelated quote by the late poet Charles Bukowski:

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside—remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”

Applies to those of us still struggling for affordable care, I think.

Forest Sales Move Forward, Conservation Groups: ‘Oh, No You Didn’t!’
Recently, 1,453 acres of Oregon state coastal forestland were successfully sold, netting the Oregon Department of State Lands a cool $4.2 million. Conservation groups aren’t taking it lying down, however. Unless someone chains him or herself to a tree or something and just kinda lies there. Anyway, a lawsuit has been filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Audubon Society of Portland, and Cascadia Wildlands. The suit in question seeks to show that the land in question was previously part of the National Forest system, which under law would prevent it from being sold to private owners. This tactic successfully stopped the sale of timberland in Elliott Forest in 2012.

Other environmental concerns are on the forefront, not the least of which is the protection of endangered species in the area, such as America’s favorite bird (not really), the marbled murrelet. The Endangered Species Act is required to be followed by private landowners, but many feel that private ownership invites violations.

Money received from the sale of this forestland goes into Oregon’s Common School Fund.

Suckers Spawn Again
The short nose sucker… what? No, not your brother-in-law. The endangered fish with the flappy lower lip. Yeah, that one. As far as anyone can tell, it doesn’t actually suck on anything, which seems like false advertising, but regardless: there’s great news. For the first time in over 40 years, it looks like they’ll have a serious chance at successful spawning near Rocky Point in Klamath County.

The fish, nearly pushed into annihilation by man’s encroachment—go figure—earned a spot on the Endangered Species List back in 1998. According to the recovery plan issued for the sucker, even now it still faces a low chance of recovery. Hypothesis has yet to become theory, but one worry is that the habitat has been too significantly altered to reintegrate them. I guess it’s a good thing, then, that scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Klamath Falls office laugh in the face of danger. They have been hatching a diabolical plot that involves the careful transplanting of sucker larvae from other rivers back into locations near Rocky Point. The chosen spots are known as historical sucker spawning grounds, which will likely increase the chance of a successful reintroduction.

Although the job ahead is tough and littered with hurdles, USFWS scientists will be paying close attention to habitat data and will adjust the experiment as they go in an attempt to keep the chances of success as high as possible. The data expected to be gathered from this project will also offer insights into what might be killing young suckers off.

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