Not a solution
Dozer lines usually do not work to contain fires — but scar the land.
This is another action to consider before “restoration” projects such as the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest “Mission Restoration Project,” which will have many long-term adverse environmental effects including cumulative impacts on critical habitat of decreasing populations of ESA-listed salmonids (spring chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout) in the Methow River watershed. Dozer lines, like “stand improvement” thinning, prescribed burns, cattle grazing, and other solutions with economic benefits for some, most often fail if weather conditions provide additional ignition by flying embers. This is another demonstration of a “solution” that creates more problems than it solves.
Don Johnson, Libby Creek Watershed Association
Thanks from Methow Trails
I am writing on behalf of Methow Trails to express gratitude for everyone who helped make this such a memorable season on the largest cross-country ski trail system in North America, with 114 days of grooming logged! Mother Nature, of course, should be applauded for her lovely performance with consistently cold temps and sunny skies in between snow storms in the second half of winter. No one we’ve talked to can recall a winter and spring season with so many excellent days of skiing and riding, one after another!
We’re all so appreciative of our nocturnal groomers who sculpt the trails so that we can zip through the forests and meadows with our family and friends. But does a groomed ski trail still set up perfectly with no one there to ski it? A heartfelt thank you to every trail user in our community. Whether you skied 5 kilometers or 500K, you are part of the magic. To our pass-holders, first-timers, doggie-dashers, fat bike-riders, Ski to the Sun racers, pass-checkers, community sponsors, pine cone-picker-uppers, devoted every-dayers, pass vendors, toddler-haulers, hut-hoppers, generous donors, and Instagram-commenters — thank you! Finally, deepest gratitude to the 175-plus landowners who generously allow public access to the trails. Without this community-minded generosity and esprit de corps, our trails would not exist.
I have enjoyed seeing so much joy on the trails every day. Friends, neighbors, families and visitors are all smiles out there, and it’s contagious! As we put a coat of winter wax on the skis and pull out the bikes and hiking shoes, we’re already looking forward to next season and have some exciting opportunities coming down the pipeline. Thank you to the 1,498 people who took our Community Outreach Survey. We’ll be sharing the results of the survey soon and are grateful to have so much community input.
Thank you to everyone who makes up and supports our trail community. What a remarkable place to live. See you on the trails, and happy spring!
Erika Kercher Halm, Outreach and Access Manager, Methow Trails
I’m pretty used to being “represented” by Republicans, and I sort of expect to be “represented” by liars, but I have a problem, just now, with being “represented” by a dope. Especially one who apparently thinks that I’m a dope, too.
Dan Newhouse, who usually is very careful to say nothing of any particular importance, presumably in order to maintain a salutary level of plausible deniability, has jumped on Bill Barr’s non-summary summary of the Mueller report with both feet, albeit, it would appear, without reading it. “No collusion, no obstruction,” all is well with TrumpWorld and the righteous, it seems, shall flourish forever.
Uh, prob’ly not. Even Barr, a self-admitted sycophant who auditioned for his job by asserting that Trump couldn’t possibly be guilty of anything (a late-life reprise of his role in Iran-Contra), admitted that, well, gosh, Mueller actually didn’t exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, he just left that question to, I guess, someone else with some measure of integrity (i.e., not Bill Barr). Even the collusion “exoneration” was, at best, half-hearted: “Well, we couldn’t actually catch his hand in the cookie jar, but, then, all the cookies were gone and he was high-tailing it away kinda fast, shedding crumbs; your call, folks.”
Dan, people remember this stuff. And fewer than 30 percent of the U.S. electorate share your delusion, which, even in this neck of the woods, ought to make you think a little. One way or the other, the Mueller report will be coming out, and Bill Barr is probably well aware that even one excess redaction will earn him a red-hot seat in front of the appropriate House committees, where his boss is, shall we say, not over popular. Personally, I’m investing in popcorn futures.
I’m not sure who I want for my next Representative, but it’s damn clear to me that Dan Newhouse shot his wad on Methow Headwaters and is now well beyond his pull-by date. I think he just wrote his political epitaph.
Alan Fahnestock, Mazama
Support the community center
The Methow Valley Community Center Association (MVCCA) is conducting its annual membership drive. This year, the goal is to have every household in the valley, whether full-time or part-time, become a member. Thanks to the visionary folks in the 1970s who believed the old Twisp High School should assume a new life as a center for community events rather than being torn down, this historic building has been transformed into a vital and valued space which hums with activities throughout the year.
Total expenses in the 2019 budget is projected to be $122,000, which does not include any major improvements to the building or land. Approximately $61,000 will be generated from rental income with an additional $12,000 from special events and $7,000 from the Visitor Information Center. That leaves $42,000, which we hope the membership drive will raise.
This is both a call and an opportunity to help out and become an active participant in this marvelous building. The newsletter, Community Connections, was sent to homes in February with a membership application. If you did not receive one, please contact Kirsten or Mark at the community center for information — 997-2926. The response to the membership drive has been positive to date but it could be so much more.
And don’t miss the April Tools event, Saturday, April 13, which is also opening day of the Farmers Market and the Spring Sale at the Senior Center.
Charlene Burns, Board member, MVCCA, Twisp
Hutsons are grateful
A big thanks for the help, best wishes and offers of help from everyone during and after our house fire. It’s going to take time but all is going to work out OK. We will have a big housewarming when the new house is in.
Chuck and Rosalie Hutson, Twisp
A fishy story
This story is true, about creatures lurking among us. This is not about the two cougars on the picnic table on my deck.
The other night, near midnight, lights were coming out of the depths of the Methow River in Twisp. You know I am getting older and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Therefore the creatures I observed had one big eye that was very bright, tail fins, and were about 6 feet long.
I awakened my grandson from sleep. He has a red dot scope which sees everything in the dark. He replied, “sea monsters panning for gold in scuba diver suits.” I had heard of similar stories taking place in the Chewuch and Twisp rivers. I went to bed, and the following morning I arrived at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Twisp. A manager said, “we are tracking steelhead fish.” He showed me a device about the size of a dandelion seed which is attached to the fish, good for 60 days, to see where the fish is going. Yes, there are one-eyed creatures lurking in our rivers at night.
Dave Schulz, Twisp