Where to place trust
I read with great interest the recent article (March 29), about how the Methow Valley Citizens Council and the U.S. Forest Service reached different conclusions about the success of forest restoration work. Based upon the results, it sure seems clear that for future contract work in the Twisp River drainage, and other areas throughout the Methow Valley for that matter, it is highly preferable to have Forest Service district staff mark the larger single and clusters of trees to be saved vs. leaving it up to the contractors’ discretion in following timber cutting guidelines.
Based on the described silvicultural and forest landscape objectives that multiple parties have agreed to, higher trust should be placed in Forest Service staff to directly ensure that the desired forest landscape, coupled with ongoing stewardship, is achieved for present and future generations.
Twisp River Valley
Commendable transit service
I have often ridden a bus, but never in the Okanogan. Last week, I had the pleasure of riding the TranGO bus from Twisp to Omak with a friend. We boarded the bus across from Hank’s and our bus driver, Sandra, explained we would need to transfer when we reached Okanogan. Being newbies, Sandra pointed us to where we should wait for the bus. We told her we would be catching the 2 p.m. bus back to Twisp and learned we would see her again.
After taking care of business and enjoying lunch, we tried to determine where to catch the Omak to Okanogan bus as not all bus stops have TranGO signs. In fact, there often are no bus stop signs. I called the TranGO office and was directed to wait in front of the DSHS office and a bus would be there shortly. Sure enough, we soon saw the bus driving down Main Street and flagged him down (something Sandra said we could do so the driver knew we wanted to board). He got us to Okanogan before 2 p.m. and we walked across a parking lot to meet Sandra’s bus for the return trip to Twisp.
I am extremely impressed with the level of customer service and interaction the TranGO staff demonstrated. Moreover, I found TranGO plans to extend service to Mazama and possibly the Aeneas Valley in the near future. So one could board the bus in Mazama and ski or bike back from Winthrop. Even now, a rider could bring their ski gear on the Twisp to Okanogan bus and get off at Loup Loup to ski, catching the bus back to Twisp later in the afternoon.
We are fortunate to have a public service working to meet the transportation needs of residents. I commend the staff and recommend giving TranGO a try. By the way, Sandra mentioned TranGO is looking for more drivers as they expand the service. They provide training and good benefits if you’re in need of a job.
Don’t trash the park
Every week, I walk my dog at some point along the river path in the Twisp Park. What a gift that space is to us. As I recovered from first one, then another hip replacement, the park gave me a flat, easy walk to help my rehabilitation. It’s a place I go to be near the river with its easy access, to think, relax, and write.
Sadly, every week, I pick up a bundle of trash from the grounds. Even this week, with the big trash can by the pavilion back in place — trash everywhere. Someone left a “reusable” plastic bag to flap in the wind along with half a dozen recyclables.
As we approach Earth Week, let’s do better to clean up after ourselves. Don’t trash our landscape!
Subhaga Crystal Bacon
Love your libraries
In addition to a release from winter, April also brings us National Library Week. As the American Library Association (ALA) theme has it, at the library “There’s More to the Story.” Not only do our libraries offer us free circulation of incredible content across many formats (digital, audio, and, oh my, physical periodicals and books), there are untold treasures and activities available at our Winthrop and Twisp Libraries.
Did you know that anyone with an NCW library card can check out a bundle of books with discussion guides for book clubs? There’s more; just ask, explore and discover: log into Creativebug, a video-based online learning platform for arts and crafts; participate in free programs like learning MahJong, cookie decorating, and learning to sew. Stop by the library and explore how today’s libraries are also a Library of Things; including park Discover Passes, snowshoes, telescopes, blood pressure monitoring kits, among other things. Are all available for check out; free, for all!
In appreciation of all our libraries contribute to our community, we salute the professionalism, passion and endless creativity that library staff Dawn Woodruff, Ree West, Alison Greb and their teams exhibit every day. Tirelessly greeting everyone with a smile, handling questions and sharing resources in an embodiment of the community spirit of the Methow Valley.
There is another important story to be told during National Library Week: our Right to Read is under attack. You can find out more about the Right to Read from the ALA. We welcome our vibrant community to join us in supporting our libraries and staff by standing up for books, and exercising our power to read.
Join Friends of the Winthrop Library and Twisp Library Friends in celebrating National Library Week. Take time to visit our valley libraries, check out a book, explore the hidden treasures, and find out what’s “More to the Story” for you. April 23-29 is also a great time to show your support for our librarians, library staff and volunteers who serve our communities by enlivening these remarkable public institutions.
Craig Seasholes, Friends of the Winthrop Library
Sharon Cohen, Twisp Library Friends
New beaver book
Regarding “Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America,” by Leila Philip. This is the latest beaver book, with an excellent bibliography and extensively researched. It does miss a few things such as “Beaver Valley,” the old Disney award-winning movie. Conibear’s trap is discussed, but not his excellent fiction book “The Wise one.”
“Methow Forest” is cited as the locale for our restoration project, and none of Jack Nesbit’s books are listed, or any of the other extensive books and movies about the Hudson Bay Company’s colorful beaver history. Canada’s grey owl is discussed a lot, as is the history of the rival fur trade south of the border, down in the states. Overall I highly recommend it, in spite of its shortcomings. It’ll be back in the Winthrop library this week.
After reading the story about a new research study on the removal of the Enloe Dam, I couldn’t decide whether to applaud or cry. That dam has been shut down for 64 years. All that time, it hasn’t been generating any energy. But it has been blocking access to 300 miles of steelhead habitat. Talk about a lose-lose situation.
Restarting the dam has never been feasible. But generations of PUD commissioners have tried to keep open this possibility and avoid the obvious decision: Remove the dam.
According to the Methow Valley News article, the initial impetus for this new $2.3 million “feasibility study” came from the state Legislature, not the PUD commissioners. Nonetheless, it does look like it might be an actual step towards removal.
Well, let’s see what happens when this study is completed in two years. I’m hoping for a decision to remove the dam. I’m not holding my breath.
Support Sunny M
Hello Methow Valley! The opportunity for the Methow Conservancy to purchase 1,200 acres of the Sunny M Ranch is getting closer to reality. We are in the last push! The purchase of the Sunny M Ranch’s 1,200 acres is of value to everyone in the valley by protecting an important wildlife corridor, providing open space, affordable housing potential and deeded year-round trails for walkers, bikers and skiers.
We invite you to join the 1,200 for 1,200 Matching Challenge. Matching funds give your donation additional power: 1,200 Supporters for 1,200 acres! We would like to encourage community support from all our friends, old and new, to give at any level — $1 to $100 or more. Every $1 counts as a supporter. We encourage everyone to donate! Please join us in this historic effort. Go to www.methowconservancy.org/sunnym to make your contribution today. Or swing by their office in Winthrop with your $1. Donate in your kids’, parents’ or friends’ names. Each name counts for securing an extra $100,000 match. That’s all it will take!
Thank you for sharing your love for this valley that we all call home. Happy spring.
Anne Eckmann, Steve Dixon, Mike Pruett, Kristin Devin, Kelleigh McMillan, Karen West, Kevin van Bueren