September Excursions

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September 18
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
It should be a good day to enjoy a leisurely pace, with abundant bankside lounging. Bring appropriate staples and potables.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

October 2
Willamette River, Salem to Wheatland – Class A Moving Water -length 12 miles
Lined by scenic trees and hills, this run’s bucolic vistas keep it ever-popular. It’s a fairly long trip, so bring ample provisions.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Willamette Whitewater Park on Hold 
Tentative plans, announced last spring, to build a whitewater park at Oregon City, part of the Willamette Falls Legacy Project, are up in the air. The project has indicated it will be proceeding without the whitewater park as part of their plan, though suggested it could be incorporated at a later date. The Oregonian has the story: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2016/08/oregon_city_whitewater_park_le.html#incart_2box_travel

Six National Parks to Explore by Boat 
The Smithsonian has cataloged six national parks which are most appropriately explored with watercraft. In most cases, they are quite paddle-friendly and the sites range from Florida to Minnesota to California. You’ll find the article, with alluring photos, here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/national-park-water-based-wonders-180959896/?no-ist

Cute Squid Found in California Pacific 
In another testament to how much we don’t know about our planet’s oceans, researchers have discovered a new species of squid, (or cuttlefish, maybe), off the California coast. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A squid, cute? Gimme a break.” But, really, this li’l guy is cute, see for yourself: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/adorable-stubby-squid-found-southern-california-180960160/

 

 

Nature and the Environment

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Oregonian Series: Draining Oregon 
Successive years of drought have taken a toll across Oregon, but the ravages have been most felt in the southeastern portion of the state. In an investigative series on the issues of water allocation and management, the Oregonian shines light on questionable practices and outdated thinking, with their troubling consequences. http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/draining%20oregon/

EPA Fracking Report Questioned 
Last year the EPA issued a report on fracking that went a long way toward letting frackers off the hook in regard to groundwater impacts. Now, a review by the thirty-member Science Advisory Board has pointed out shortcomings in the report. Ars Technica has more: http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/outside-experts-ding-epa-fracking-reports-optimistic-conclusions/

Ancient Solutions to Modern Water Problems 
Water insecurity is a burgeoning global problem. As the Smithsonian points out, past cultures often developed ingenious ways to overcome their water problems. Now, modern societies are rediscovering the wisdom of the ancients: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/saving-water-old-fashioned-way-180959917/ 

Local Hope in Battling African Desertification 
The “Great Green Wall” was a grand plan to plant trees to prevent creeping desertification in Africa. Unfortunately, it was far too grand to ever reach fruition. The never-realized project may, however, have planted some conceptual seeds that are now bearing fruit. Local farmers have taken to heart some of the principles espoused in the Great Green Wall plan, with encouraging results: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/great-green-wall-stop-desertification-not-so-much-180960171/

Coral Bleaching Time-lapse Video 
Of course, we’ve all heard about the destructive impacts warmer water, and consequent bleaching, which are devastating the world’s coral reefs. But have you ever seen a coral undergoing a bleaching event? Well, now you can, here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/eerie-video-shows-how-coral-bleaches-180960151/

Climate Change Migration Map 
Nature Conservancy cartographer and analyst Dan Majka created a animated map showing how animals might be expected to shift their ranges in response to climate change. The Smithsonian has the story and the map: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mesmerizing-animation-shows-where-animals-going-survive-climate-change-180960253/?no-ist

 

Travel and Photography

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A Gallery of Water Life Images 
The BBC ran a striking selection of images from a themed Photocrowd competition, which you can find, here: http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-37132329

The Waterfalls of Taiwan 
The Smithsonian has a photo tour of some splendid waterfalls, to be found in Taiwan. One even runs gold, though the minerals in it render it toxic, a legacy of mining. But don’t let that one scare you off; most are just lovely cascades of plain old water in beautiful surroundings: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/guide-to-taiwans-waterfalls-180959779/

 

 

Travel and Photography

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Earth Capture Community Photos 
BBC Earth featured some intriguing and captivating nature photos from Earth Capture: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160722-july-24-top-10-earth-capture-photos-of-the-week

When Landowners Contributed to Public Lands 
Though it seem that some today seek to claim public lands for themselves, it might be worth noting that genuine American values in the past prompted other citizens to contribute to the national trust. The BBC has the story of the Shenandoah National Park: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160602-the-national-park-that-came-at-a-price

Peacock Spiders 
Looking like the snazzy dressers of the wolf spider family, peacock spiders are both visually impressive and behaviorally remarkable: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/stunning-images-capture-peacock-spiders-flashy-colors-180959877/?no-ist

‘World’s Most Bizarre Natural Phenomena’ 
Bizarre is really only made so by the limits of a subject’s imagination, so use this BBC Travel photo essay to expand yours: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160725-where-nature-plays-magic-tricks

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Low Water Leads to New Hazards 
The OSMB has issued a timely advisory to boaters regarding low water levels. As the levels drop, channels narrow and hazards, easily avoidable some weeks ago, may now pose a real threat. It’s time to boat with caution, as the Oregonian explains: http://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2016/07/boaters_beware_low_water_level.html#incart_river_index

Safer Paddling Videos Complete 
A partnership including Canoe & Kayak magazine and the U.S. Coast Guard has produced an eight-part video series on paddling safety. You can find the series on YouTube, starting with this one [thanks to MariAnn McKenzie at OSMB for the news]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e0WlXgNGDg&feature=youtu.be

Petition Against Elliott State Forest Sale 
You have probably read in the news that the state is looking to sell Elliott State Forest. While opinions are mixed regarding the sale, if you oppose it you might want to know about this petition at Change.org: https://www.change.org/p/oregon-governor-do-not-sale-elliott-state-forest-in-oregon

North Fork Rogue Photo Gallery 
If you missed it, the Statesman ran some nice photos of a kayak run on the North Fork of the Rogue River: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/picture-gallery/travel/outdoors/2016/07/26/north-fork-rogue-river-kayaking/87584186/

Waldo Lake Photo Gallery 
Flat water fans were also addressed with the Statesman’s photos of a Waldo Lake adventure: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/picture-gallery/travel/outdoors/2016/07/20/waldo-lake/87362370/

 

Environmental News

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The Outdoors Boosts Child Development 
A study in Britain has found that exposing children to learning in the outdoors pays big dividends in social and emotional development. News flash, eh? Sadly, as the BBC article points, children today have fewer opportunities to get outdoors, a cause for concern here, as well as there. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36795912

Floodplain Battle Brews 
Human settlement has followed waterways since before civilization. Modern development along waterways has, however, many undesirable ramifications. From habitat loss to flood-driven property loss, the costs of floodplain development have come into sharper focus in the light of climate change. Now, FEMA and the National Marine Fisheries Service are in the process of defining tighter rules on floodplain development. Caught in the middle of any outcome from this are a number of Oregon cities. The Oregonian has more: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/07/floodplain_palooza_shows_the_n.html#incart_river_home

Scientists Point to Unsafe Decline in Biodiversity 
A report published in Science magazine details the findings of an international team of scientists: the human-caused decline in the planet’s biodiversity stands to wreck devastating consequences to ecosystems and humanity. Of course, this shouldn’t be a surprise; every ecosystem on the planet is declining, and there are bound to be consequences. The BBC summarizes the report: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36805227

Public Thinks National Parks Undervalued 
It seems blatantly contradictory: While park budgets are gutted by politicians, the public seems to think the parks are worth way more than we spend on them. Then again, many politicians would like to see public monies flowing into their friends’ private pockets, and not the hands of public employees. Anyway, the Smithsonian has the story on the public’s park appreciation: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/articles/americans-think-national-parks-are-worth-way-more-we-spend-them-180959802/

Bats Suddenly Popular in the Face of Zika, West Nile 
As new viral infections make their way into the United States, some are waking up to bats and their mosquito-devouring habits. The New York Times tells the story of a Long Island community betting on bat boxes to make a difference: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/05/nyregion/devouring-1000-mosquitoes-an-hour-bats-are-now-welcome-guests-as-zika-fears-rise.html?_r=0

Putting a Dollar Value on Nature 
The standard development model holds that the only value to be had from nature is by exploiting it. Forgotten in that equation are the essential services provided humanity by nature. As the Smithsonian reports, some are now looking to find a more viable balance in our relationship with nature by quantifying its contributions to our welfare: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-you-put-price-tag-nature-actually-yes-180959678/

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Paddle Oregon Set for August 15-19 
The Willamette Riverkeeper’s premier summer paddling event returns next month. In the years since its inception, the voyage has morphed into something akin to a Willamette River luxury cruise, complete with name bands for evening entertainment. If this sounds like the way you like to rough it, better sign up soon, as the event is popular and capacity limited: http://www.paddleoregon.org/

Paddle Safety Videos 
Canoe & Kayak magazine has partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to produce informational videos on paddling safety topics. The first four of the videos are now available, and cover several essential areas, [thanks to MariAnn McKenzie at OSMB for the link]: http://www.canoekayak.com/skills/paddling-safely/

Grants Affect Local Facilities 
The Oregon State Marine Board has recently approved facilities grants for Buena Vista Park as well as the Buell Miller and Stayton Bridge boat ramps. You can find the details in the staff report: http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/info/Documents/Board%20Meetings/ItemNRoundTwoFacilitiesGrants062816.pdf

Paddling Hosmer Lake 
One of the favored destinations for paddling in Central Oregon is Hosmer Lake, along with other the lakes in the area, such as Sparks and Clear. If you missed it, the Statesman Journal had a nice gallery of photos depicting an outing on the lake: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/picture-gallery/travel/outdoors/2016/06/16/hosmer-lake-central-oregon/86000056/

Octogenarian Paddles Mississippi Source to Sea 
If you needed more motivational evidence to get you out there enjoying the rejuvenating benefits of paddling, here’s Dale Sanders to show you how it’s done, courtesy of Canoeroots magazine: https://www.rapidmedia.com/canoeroots/categories/departments/7765-profile-dale-sanders.html

Police in Dallas, Oregon Have Wildlife Moments 
Good deeds and happy endings ensue when officers encounter distressed, juvenile wildlife, in a charming video from the Oregonian: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2016/07/watch_dallas_ore_police_rescue.html#incart_river_index

Operation Dry Water Statistics 
County marine patrols and the Oregon State Police conducted Operation Dry Water, from June 24 through 26, to crack down on intoxicated boaters in Oregon. I found the statistics interesting: Officers stopped 397 motorized boaters vs. 687 non-motorized boaters, issued 81 warnings to motorized vs. 40 to non-motorized, and issued boating citations at 53 motorized, 10 non-motorized. Additionally, they conducted 20 standardized field sobriety tests on motorized boat operators, leading to two BUII arrests. It is unclear why there is such a large disparity between motorized and non-motorized stops; perhaps we’re just easier to run down. [Thanks to Ashley Massey at the OSMB for the source information.]

On a related note, the OSMB hosts a web form for reporting boaters operating in an unsafe manner, at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/forms-library/Pages/Report-a-Boater.aspx

 

Travel and Photography

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Environmental Photography Award Winners 
The BBC provides a gallery of winning photos from the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 competition: http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-36662772

Photographic Tricks Exposed 
It was a slow month for travel and nature photography, but Stephanie Hazen shared a link of some interesting photos and the realities behind their creation. Give them a try, courtesy of Bored Panda: http://www.boredpanda.com/photography-behind-the-scenes/