Siuslaw River Bridge

State To Fight Zinke Recommendations; SVFR Sends Help To So.Cal.; Boating Class; Gas Prices Inch Down

State To Fight Zinke Recommendations

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is calling on the president to reduce the size of Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. What that reduction will look like for Cascade-Siskiyou, as well as Nevada’s Gold Butte, isn’t yet clear. It comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s announcement Monday to slash about two million acres from Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments. In a press call Tuesday, Zinke said past presidents had “abused their powers” when designating and expanding monuments. But state Representative Pam Marsh says Cascade-Siskiyou has broad local support and that state and local officials plan to push back on this decision.

“We think the whole idea of shrinking the monument in any way is a bad idea. We are gearing up to resist and we’re doing that on a statewide basis. The monument has the support of our two U.S. senators, the governor of Oregon – quite a different political environment than in some other states.”

Marsh also refutes Zinke’s claims that monument status affects private land use within its boundaries. She says local and state laws dictate what landowners can do on their property. Cascade-Siskiyou was created in 2000 and expanded in 2017.  Marsh says southern Oregon is dependent on tourism and Cascade-Siskiyou is a key component of that.

“The economic environment as a whole benefits from the monument. That’s a benefit that only grows over time as the monument really starts to be much more in the public focus.”

The monument is recognized as one of the most biologically diverse regions in the country. Opponents of the reduction say they plan legal action against the Trump administration over this decision.

SVFR Sends Help To So.Cal.

The wildfires in California are continuing to grow with the onset of the Santa Anna winds.  Hundreds of structures and complete apartment buildings have been completely destroyed.  This has caused the California office of emergency management to ask for help.  Siuslaw Valley Fire Chief, Jim Langborg announced that Florence has sent a Type-5 Brush Engine with Captain Jeff Larson and Kyle Orozco with a Lane County Strike team to assist in firefighting efforts there.  Overall California has requested 10 strike teams from Oregon.

Boating Class Scheduled for Saturday

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 52 will be offering a Oregon State Marine Board approved boating class this Saturday from 8:30 to 4:30 pm.  The classes will be held at the Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue station at 2525 highway 101.  A boater education card is required for anyone who operates any watercraft with over 10 horsepower and youth 12-15 operating any type of powerboat.  The course covers basic boating safety, regulations, and tips on safe and fun boating.  The cost for the class is $15 and pre registration is required.  To register you can contact the US Coast Guard Auxiliary

Gasoline Prices Slowly Inch Downward

Demand for gasoline has decreased and is at its lowest point since February, but that hasn’t affected prices all that much.  In Oregon the price has inched down another cent and a half and is currently at $2.83 a gallon for regular gas.  Prices were expected to be lower with the introduction of winter blends, and while it is at its lowest price since early November it is still not near analyst’s expectations.  Here in Florence the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is at $2.65 a gallon.  Although the prices decreases have been minimal Oregon is one of only 7 states that has had a decline week over week.  Part of the sluggish decline is that oil producers have chosen to reduce production in order to maintain a higher price per barrel of crude.  Production levels are expected to stay lower until the end of the year.