Tag: Oregon Department of Forestry

Sweet Lorane Community News, May 3, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 3, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Last week, the Easy Acres Neighborhood Group invited all Lorane residents to attend a Firewise (Wildfire Prevention) program conducted by Alex Rahmlow, a coordinator from the Western Lane Fire division of the Oregon Department of Forestry. We had a really good turnout of approximately 30 people—about half from Easy Acres and half from the greater Lorane area. A lot of interest was shown and questions were asked about what should be considered when we are ready to make our properties less inviting for wildfires. Much of the information is common sense, but it sharpened our focus on how very important it is to try and minimize the dry, brushy undergrowth near our homes, leaving at least a 30′ green parameter around our houses and outbuildings and a much wider band where brush has been cleared around trees and dead limbs and lower branches have been removed.

Caution on following the rules of designated guidelines posted by the fire districts during fire season is vital for each of us. During hot dry summers we need to be careful not to use mowers, chain saws, trimmers or other equipment that can emit sparks usually after 1:00 p.m. each day during the extreme fire danger periods.

The program did not focus so much on the common sense considerations such as campfires in undesignated areas, throwing cigarette butts out the car window, dumping still hot charcoal briquettes into areas that could catch fire, or burning of any kind, but these are things that are still being done occasionally.

During the recent summer when the fire danger was extremely high, I frequently walked our dogs up Easy Acres and was shocked by the number of cigarette butts I found along the road… many that were obviously recent discards. Even though this is normally something that people know not to do during fire season (or any time), I shuddered to think what could happen to Jim and me and our neighbors if one of those had fallen on a dry patch of dead leaves and caught fire.

All of us need to be extra cautious—for our own sakes as well as our neighbors’. John Eckles is putting together an 8-member board for our community group on Easy Acres Drive to monitor and assess the conditions along our road. Other areas in and around Lorane that are particularly wooded or brushy should consider doing the same.

For more information on how to form these groups, contact Alex Rahmlow, the Western Lane planning coordinator at 541-935-2283.

I understand that congratulations are in order for Mrs. Heather Hohnstein, teacher of English, Drama, Health at Crow Middle/High School. She is to receive an award from the U. S. Air Force “in recognition of outstanding support and dedication to the ideals and principles of the USA in her careers class, and in helping students get ready for their futures.” Congratulations!

The Crow Grange will be sponsoring its annual Mother’s Day Breakfast to be held on Sunday, May 13 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. The menu includes pancakes or biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs, fruit juice and coffee. They suggest a $5 dollar donation per person.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there!

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 18, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 18, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Bill Becker of Crow notified us that his brother-in-law, Jerry Robertson, recently passed away. Jerry was from Crow originally. His brothers, Gene and Alva, also from Crow, preceded him in death. He was married to Bill’s sister, Caroline Becker, also of Crow. Jerry and Caroline moved to La Grande in 1967 and have lived there ever since. Our condolences go out to Jerry’s family.

Remember: Lorane Grange Dinner and Bingo Night is to be held on Saturday, January 27, 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

The Oregon Department of Forestry, Western Lane District, is announcing its “Fuels Reduction Grant Program” that offers to provide defensible space around your home, reducing the risk of wildfire on your property. They still have room for landowners to sign up for the program. It currently centers around the Lorane area (Coyote Ridge Communities) and maps are posted on the Lorane Facebook page so you can see if your property is eligible. Best of all, it will be done at no cost to the landowner. The Fuels Reduction Crew will create a 30′ to 150′ safety buffer around your home and surrounding structures to increase the chances of saving your home in the event of a wildfire.

You are encouraged to contact their Fire Planning Coordinator, Casey Smith, with any questions or to schedule an on-site evaluation visit (541-935-2283 x244 or email, Casey.A.Smith@oregon.gov). Lorane resident, Shane Kronberger, commented that “This is a great program. ODF and Lorane RFPD have already utilized this program on one property in the community and it turned out great!”

In a column last June, I included a message from Michael Matchulat who wrote about his 2-year-long battle with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Last Wednesday, he took another significant step in his continuing battle with the disease. He’s been on a bit of a hiatus this summer while a new program and new strategy was worked out by his team of doctors at OHSU. Wednesday was the beginning of what Michael described as a “chemically-induced hell” to rid him of the tumors that have been growing in his lungs.
Afterwards, he reported that the new direction in his treatment was rough.

“As my crushed body observed joy in everything at home, surrounded by my community, family and church, I was forced back to why I started this journey in the first place… Love. I’m living in a microscope again and I have to be careful of the petri dish of the mind and physical world around me. My thoughts must focus on goodness and optimism, which are easy goals right now as opposed to feelings produced by the ‘I-don’t-want-to-go-there’ thoughts. The list of things I can do has shrunk, but it will be replaced with another list of how to do things a new way.” (I’ve paraphrased a bit.)

In the meantime, Michael’s family, friends and community—those who have been with him from the very beginning—have, indeed, continued to reach out to him, offering up prayers and positive thoughts and, most of all, love. Even if you don’t know Michael, please add yours, as well. He is a fighter and I so respect the grit and determination that he has used to face his enemy head-on while sharing with us the real fears and uncertainties that every warrior has felt during life-and-death battles throughout history.