October Excursions

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TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS AND WAIVERS CAN BE FOUND ON THE “ABOUT” PAGE.

October 14
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
We found this run delightful, last month, so let’s do it again. Remember, the temperatures are lower now, so you need appropriate clothing, provisions, and backups.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

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Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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OSMB Legislative Concepts Open House 
The open house hosted by the Oregon State Marine Board, on September 19 in Salem, was an informational event, allowing interested parties to directly interview agency personnel regarding the board’s plans for the upcoming legislative session. The individual presentations that were offered focused on each of several program areas. Naturally, I pursued information about the proposed non-motorized boating program, (details of which can be found in this PDF: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Documents/Legislative-Concepts/LC25000_001WaterwayAccess.pdf).

First, the good news. I wanted to see the board’s plans for using monies collected through the proposed non-motorized boat licensing fees of $30 for 2 years, etc. I was shown a number of designs for non-motorized-specific facilities, intended for siting in various locations around the state. Each featured launches unsuited to motorized craft, but well-designed to accommodate our smaller boats and their launching characteristics. For example, in some places, wooden boat skids were employed to ease getting boats to and from the water. In others, terraced landings offered to provide easy and safe access, without the steep drop-off often found on traditional ramps.

Janine Belleque, the agency’s Boating Facilities Manager, also assured me that in the process of developing such plans, local organizations and recreational interests had been thoroughly consulted, and a range of environmental considerations and tests were said to have been satisfied. The plans seemed to reflect a genuine sensitivity to the needs of non-motorized boaters, and at least an increasing awareness of the community’s sentiments.

To sum up the positive: the agency has developed a more nuanced and directed plan to serve non-motorized boating. And, there is reason to believe the agency is trying to become more receptive to our community’s concerns,

Now, the bad news. The board continues to seek a head tax on non-motorized boaters, rather than charging for services actually used. For at least two decades, that I have been personally involved, paddlers have been recommending a Sno-Park permit model. The agency has made it clear, it wants all the money upfront, and nothing else is acceptable. The fundamental inequity of this model has been repeatedly dismissed by the agency, and here we are, again.

Although it appears the board is trying to wriggle around the Admission Acts’ proscription of any sort of fee on navigation, it is not clear that just renaming it an access fee will meet the legal standard. It still makes it impossible for an entire class of people to exercise their right to navigate our waters without paying a fee directly attached to that activity. In the board’s scenario, you can access the water without using OSMB-funded facilities, and still have to pay their fees. The fee, then, isn’t for facilitated access, but navigation, pure and simple.

All the while, the elephant in the room is the philosophical disconnect between an agency, the purpose of which is promoting development, and a community that commonly disdains it. The board hasn’t really engaged that community, or addressed that larger question, choosing instead to primarily poll commercial interests to represent the larger constituency. Whether by accident or design, this gives a very skewed view of the greater community’s sentiments. Would you solicit opinions only from car dealers to represent all motorists?

At least the agency does seem to have grown beyond the scheme of bluntly forcing registration down our throats, and is showing more sensitivity to our concerns and interests. In their proposal, the fees collected from non-motorized boaters largely stay with non-motorized boaters, with the notable exception that we are still expected to subsidize the motor boats when it comes to the Aquatic Invasive Species Program. When it comes to really finding common ground, however, the agency’s thinking still seems hobbled by presumptions that simply don’t apply.

Where does it go from here? Well, we’ll just have to see what develops. The board is determined to put something before the legislature in the coming session. At this point some points of concern about the agency’s approach have been addressed, but some of the most fundamental problems remain. I would sum it up by saying that what the founders of our state and our nation gave to our people, our state’s navigable waterways, the Oregon State Marine Board now wants landlord rights on. Even with better enticements, that’s still a very bad deal for Oregonians.

OSMB Open House in Redmond 10/16 
The Oregon State Marine Board’s Legislative Concepts tour is coming to Redmond on October 16. It will be held at Eagle Crest Resort, 1522 Cline Falls Rd. in Redmond, beginning at 7 pm. There you will find agency personnel ready to provide information and take feedback on the proposals they plan for the 2019 legislative session. Those plans incorporate new non-motorized boat fees, about which a detailed PDF can be found under the designation, Waterway Access Account, here: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Pages/Legislative-Concepts.aspx

Seal Slaps Kayaker With Octopus 
In New Zealand a kayaker got a big surprise, caught on video, when a seal popped up and very deliberately, and very solidly slapped the poor chap with an octopus. You have to see it to believe it, but it appears seals have a dim view of kayakers. The BBC provides: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-45660839/seal-slaps-man-with-octopus-in-nz

Paddlers Sue Over Closed Potomac 
It seems that every time Donald Trump uses his golf course in Loudoun County, Virginia, adjacent portions of the Potomac are closed to traffic. The Canoe Cruisers Association of Greater Washington D.C. is not amused, and is suing the Coast Guard over the matter. Talking Points Memorandum reports: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/paddlers-lawsuit-coast-guard-potomac-river-trump-golf

 

Nature and the Environment

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Eating One Piece of Plastic Can Kill a Sea Turtle 
Researchers recently investigated the threat plastic pollution in our oceans presents to sea turtles. Their findings are troubling. They found that as little as one piece of ingested plastic had up to a 22 percent chance of killing a sea turtle. That’s not the whole story, though, so I’ll let the Smithsonian fill you in: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-much-plastic-does-it-take-kill-sea-turtle-180970290/

The Shrinking EPA 
With the hostility the current administration has shown toward the protection of the environment and natural resources, it probably comes as no surprise the Environmental Protection Agency is dwindling. The Oregonian has more about the agency’s decline: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/09/epa_shrinks_8_and_counting_und.html#incart_river_index

Flying Insects Found to Spread Microplastics 
Research on aquatic insect larvae suggest the resultant adult insects carry microplastics, originally ingested by the juveniles, far and wide, as well as up the food chain. The Guardian details the findings: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/19/microplastics-can-spread-via-flying-insects-research-shows

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

Probiotics – Not All They Seem 
Recent studies on the health effects of probiotics draw into question the claims made by their proponents, and even indicate possible negative effects. Long story short, in healthy guts they tend to just pass through; in less robust ones they may cause problems. Ars Technica has the story: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/probiotics-if-you-dont-just-just-poop-them-out-they-may-muck-up-your-guts/

The Tangled Web of an Opioid Empire 
The Sackler family controls Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. Misconduct by Purdue led to criminal sanctions on the firm in 2007. Still, accusations of misconduct persist, today. Now we learn that the Sacklers also run Rhodes Pharma, a producer of generic opioids. Ars Technica can fill you in: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/after-illegally-pushing-oxycontin-super-rich-family-set-up-2nd-opioid-company/

But, wait, there’s more. Purdue just got a patent on a drug to treat opioid addiction. CBS has that news: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oxycontin-maker-receives-patent-for-drug-to-treat-opioid-addiction/

Multi-State Superbug Outbreak Blamed on Puppies 
The overuse of antibiotics in livestock has long been implicated as an incubator for drug-resistant pathogens. Now a regional outbreak of infection can be traced to the overuse of antibiotics by dog breeders. Ars Technica has the details: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/drugged-puppies-blamed-for-spreading-diarrhea-superbugs-in-multi-state-outbreak/

Food and Mental Health 
The Wall Street Journal does reports on the burgeoning practice of treating mental health issues through diet: https://www.wsj.com/articles/feed-your-head-foods-that-target-depression-and-anxiety-1532629120?mod=djmc_pkt_ff&tier_1=21662325&tier_2=dcm&tier_3=21662325&tier_4=0&tier_5=4508749

 

Travel and Photography

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Snow Leopard Overwhelmed by New Camera 
What is it with cats and change? Jessie the snow leopard awoke from a nap to find the camera in her enclosure had been changed. The video of her freaking out is pretty amusing: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-45642186/paradise-wildlife-park-s-snow-leopard-surprised-at-new-camera

Alpaca Mom Defends Baby From Cougar 
The Oregonian has video from a Skamania County farm that shows an alpaca mother’s desperate and successful efforts to rescue her baby from a marauding cougar: https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/09/watch_alpaca_mom_rescues_baby.html#incart_river_index

Silhouettes of African Animals at Dawn and Dusk
The BBC provides a gallery of striking photographs, featuring African wildlife silhouetted against rising and setting suns: https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-45420425

Drone Footage of Gray Whale Behavior 
Oregon State University put together a video displaying some of the interesting gray whale behaviors they have recorded with drones. They put it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvHjgiCR6Dw

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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25 Natural Oregon Lakes 
The Oregonian put together a list of their favorite 25 “real” Oregon lakes, for your recreational planning convenience. You can find it here: https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/life-and-culture/erry-2018/08/b663d4d3391150/25-beautiful-real-lakes-in-ore.html

Statesman’s Guides to N. Santiam and Willamette 
Zach Urness at the Statesman Journal compiled some basic information on a number of popular trips on local waterways. You can find guide for the Willamette, here: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/2015/05/29/guide-floating-willamette-river-near-salem/27987679/
The North Santiam guide may be found here: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/2014/06/30/north-santiam-river/11775367/

OSMB Seeks Comment on Turner Lake Rules 
The Marine Board is soliciting public comments regarding implementing permanent restrictions on boat operations on Turner Lake. The proposed restrictions apply to a number of issues, such as motor operation and night boating. You can find more on the proposal at the board’s rules and notices page: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Pages/Rulemaking-and-Public-Notices.aspx Written comments may be submitted until 5 pm, 9/21, to: osmb.rulemaking@oregon.gov

 

Nature and the Environment

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A Solar Power Threat to Birds 
While the threat to birds from wind power generation installations is widely recognized, less is said about the hazards solar power facilities pose to avians. The Los Angeles Times went to the Mojave Desert to assess the carnage at such a facility: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-solar-bird-deaths-20160831-snap-story.html#

New Mapping of Appalachian Surface Mining 
Using new mapping technology, researchers developed a unique perspective of the impact surface mining has had on the region. The numbers and their meaning leave a stark impression, as the Smithsonian recounts: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-map-chronicles-three-decades-surface-mining-appalachia-180969794/

New Pesticides Pose Same Threat to Bees 
With neonicotinoid insecticides coming under fire for damaging effects on pollinators, sulfoximine-based insecticides are being promoted as their replacements. Unfortunately, recent research suggests this new class of insecticides will offer little, if any, relief to pollinator populations. Ars Technica explains: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/08/theres-a-new-insecticide-on-the-block-and-its-also-bad-news-for-bees/

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

Losing Sleep Makes You Lonely and Packs On the Pounds 
The effect a lack of sleep has on the metabolism sets the body up to pack on the pounds, an investigation concludes. The Guardian reports on the findings: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/aug/22/poor-sleep-makes-people-pile-on-the-pounds
At the same time, another study found that sleep deprivation led to social withdrawal. The Smithsonian reports: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/sleep-deprivation-may-cause-infectious-loneliness-180970013/

Flushed Contacts Produce Plastic Pollution 
Sending worn-out contacts down the drain is a common practice. It is also thought to lead to tens upon tens of thousands of pounds of plastic entering wastewater treatment plants, and the environment. The Smithsonian investigates: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/flushing-contact-lenses-down-drain-180970154/

Low-carb Diets Appear to Shorten Life 
A long-term study in the US has found that low-carbohydrate diets were associated with shorter life expectancy than moderate or even high-carb diets. The BBC provides coverage: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45195474

Blue Light’s Blinding Mechanism Uncovered 
The blue light emanating from our myriad electronic devices has been found to damage the retina, speeding macular degeneration. Now chemists at the University of Toledo have unlocked the actual chemistry of the damage done by blue light. Phys.org has the story: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-chemists-blue.html

 

Travel and Photography

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Salem Electric Raptor Cam 
Although the osprey may have left the nest for this year, this is a local observation camera you may want to save for next year. Stephanie Hazen brings this to our attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRFmNkJ553M&feature=youtu.be

The 2018 Audubon Photography Awards 
Stephanie also provided this link to the top 100 of this year’s Audubon Photography Awards. If you like gorgeous images of striking wildlife, you’ll love this: https://www.audubon.org/magazine/summer-2018/the-2018-audubon-photography-awards-top-100

 

September Excursions

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TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS AND WAIVERS CAN BE FOUND ON THE “ABOUT” PAGE.

September 16
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
For the last run of summer, an old favorite. The flow is comfortable, and the opportunities to take repose are extraordinary. Be sure to bring ample provisions to support such activity.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com