File photo by Laurelle Walsh

Local talent featured at Doran ranch event

By Ann McCreary

A free music festival in support of the North Cascades Smokejumper Base will be held at John Doran’s ranch, just north of Twisp on Highway 20, on Saturday (June 16) beginning at 3 p.m.

The event includes performances by Terry Hardesty and the Last Outlaws, Danbert Nobacon and the Axis of Dissent, Sky Kyss, Danville, Meghan Colleen and her back up band, Laura Love and the Family Dog, and Dan Mahre of Spokane Public Radio’s “Inland Folk” show. A barbeque dinner and beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase.

“The main thing is to come out and show support for our smokejumper base,” said Doran, who is hosting the festival. “It will be a very Americana, family-oriented fun show.”

The festival is not a fundraiser, but an opportunity to show the community’s support for keeping the base in the valley, Doran said.

The U.S. Forest Service, which operates the base at the Methow Valley State Airport, has considered possibly relocating smokejumper operations to another facility, because the 78-year-old base needs expensive improvements to remain at its current location.

After studying the issue last year, the Forest Service concluded the base should stay in the Methow Valley if funding can be obtained for the improvements, estimated at up to $5.2 million. Last month the Northwest regional office of the Forest Service in Portland listed the smokejumper base at the top of its requests for federal funding for aviation-related projects.

Doran encouraged the public to visit a traveling smokejumper museum that is on display at TwispWorks in the YourSpace building.