Dinner a success

Dear Editor:

This is a huge thank you to the many folks who helped make our Africa dinner on May 4 such a success. We have to start with Charlotte Nelson and her main-man, Robert, who put in many, many hours of planning and food preparation — barbecuing, marinating, chopping, etc.

Thanks also to Tucker Barksdale, Bill Duguay and Robert for barbecuing; Jennifer Duguay for rice and peanut sauce; all the other people who brought such delicious food; Todd Eberline for drumming; Little Star Montessori School for presenting their money for their orphan; Melody, Regina, Carolyn and Tom for all the dishes done; Sarah and Michelle for dancing; Willy Duguay for hours of set-up and clean-up; Tamara Abate for helping Charlotte with the posters; the Twisp Valley Grange for donating the space; Thomson’s Meats, Rocking Horse and Cinnamon Twisp bakeries; many, many folks for other food donations; and to the many folks who came, donated, enjoyed the food and festivities, danced, and agreed to send needy Congolese kids to school for $150 a year. We know there are people we have missed, but it is always so very heartwarming to see how this community surrounds us all with so much love and support.  Thank you seems too mild, but thank you. Mungu akubariki (God bless you in Swahili).

Linda and Wayne Mendro, Twisp

Paying attention?

Dear Editor:

The Methow River has been rising and drawing our attention. We live in a watershed landscape, with river, land, vegetation, wildlife, fish and people all part of a working natural system. In that working system, salmon in particular are the keystone species, vitally connected to all other watershed parts. It’s not surprising, then, that there are controversies and differences of viewpoints about salmon management.

Last winter there was a letter to the editor with some good questions about the large state and federal fish budgets in the Methow Valley, and about the tribes and agencies keeping themselves in business. Like any letter to the editor, the space is short and there’s always more to be said. More parts of a complex issue were included in a Methow Grist feature that is still on the website. For a well-developed understanding, take a look at Salmon, People, and Place by Jim Lichatowich, available in the public library and at Trail’s End Bookstore.

It’s been said that rational salmon management isn’t a search for technologies: it’s a search for values. What values drive the management? What do we value? What is our story? How do we look at the land we live in? What does it give us? What do we give in return?

Every day, with every choice, are we paying attention to the natural system in which we live, upon which we depend?

Susan Crampton, Winthrop/Twisp

Too many ATV abuses

Dear Editor:

I have no problem with all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use of roads with low traffic levels and speed limits. ATVs undoubtedly allow folks with lesser mobility abilities to recreate in the back country. The problem is that too many ATV users do not stay on those roads.

In a May 7 Methow Valley News, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) managers noted the abuses on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, among others: “Private property owners have had to repair fences and deal with scattered livestock.”

Comments by the Methow Wildlife Area manager, Tom McCoy, mirror my own experience of seeing “reckless driving, operating on closed roads …” He added that it is “nothing but folly to assume that [all] ORV riders will fully comply with similar rules.”

I spent a career with WDFW working in the Cascades, and continue to see abuses of this kind. I spoke with Chris Williams, trails specialist on the Tonasket Ranger District, who described a totally out-of-control situation and a complete inability to maintain posted signs designating trails or roads closed to ATVs. I doubt that hikers are tearing those signs down. Tribal managers are similarly worried. Why do you suppose they are concerned?

I wrote a respectful letter to Gary Allard of the North Central ATV Club about the egregious tracks left by ATVs in the North Twentymile meadows and drainage. They can be clearly seen in Google Earth aerial photos. Chris Williams correctly noted that the only way those tracks can be removed is if all ATV use is eliminated in that area for a very long time. I suggested to Allard that the ATV club stop all of their special permitted use of that road/trail (which is closed to all motorized use) to help the U.S. Forest Service with its resource damage problem. That action would set a very good example. I got no reply.

I have zero expectation that the Okanogan County Commissioners will pay any attention to these problems. In my opinion and experience, county residents can expect a significant expansion of the historic illegal activities if the areas open to ATV use are greatly enlarged.

Bob Pfeifer, Tonasket

Good fishin’

Dear Editor:

Twisp Eagles No. 2584 would like to thank all of the participants for attending our annual kids’ fishing derby on opening day of fishing season. Winners were: age group 0-6, Owen Anderson, 5, Stanwood; 7-10, Sophie Batt, 10, East Wenatchee; 11-14, Lake Wiley, 14, Twisp; largest fish, Philip Kosmin, 6, Seattle.

I also would like to thank all of our sponsors: Hank’s Harvest Foods, Twisp Do It Center, Winthrop Ace Hardware, Winthrop Outdoorsman, Dick Hill, and Big R.

Rich Reeves, Carlton

Thanks for great race

The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association wishes to thank the entire Methow community of businesses and residents for making possible the 34th annual Sunflower Marathon and Relay event. The event drew in over 650 participants (record number) who were able to experience the valley at its best along a 26.2-mile, wildflower-lined race course like no other. The relay is a family-friendly event that brings in a wonderful community of trail runners from all over the Pacific Northwest. This event would not be possible without exceptional business support, landowner and agency cooperation, and the supportive spirit of local residents. Thank you! Much gratitude was expressed by everyone involved.

Danica Ready, MVSTA Program Coordinator