Future of Federal Funding Unclear:
The federal law that sent billions of dollars to schools and counties in Oregon timber country has expired and there’s no clear picture of what lies ahead.
The Secure Rural Schools Act formally ended Friday and the final payments are expected to go out to counties in 41 states later this year. 33 of Oregon’s 36 counties received payments that were originally intended to temporarily offset the loss in logging revenue due to environmental constraints.
Four different proposals are currently floating in Congress, ranging from renewing the payments at a lower level, to allowing more logging on national forests to fill the revenue gap.
Park Renovations Complete:
Improvements to the Heceta Head Wayside parking lot have been completed, but the lighthouse itself will be closed for up to two more years as renovation work continues.
After a six week closure, the parking lot reopened late last month following completion of a $340-thousand project to stop flooding and prevent future erosion. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department teamed up with the US Forest Service for the work that saw the grade of the original parking lot raised and repaved.
Portions of the trail leading up to the keeper’s house and the lighthouse itself were realigned to prevent future erosion and provide a more gradual incline, making it more accessible. The park had been closed since August 16th.
Endangered Butterfly gets Help:
Thousands of violets were planted this week in an area south of Yachats along Highway 101. Their nectar will provide food for the endangered Oregon silverspot butterfly. Only five populations of the threatened specias are thought to exist. It was originally listed under the endangered species act in 1980. U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists have been working with the Oregon Zoo in Portland and the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport to raise caterpillars that morph into the butterflies.
Fall Heads for the Oregon Coast:
The first sustained period of cool, damp fall weather will continue in Western Oregon through much of the coming week. The change in the weather patterns are coming as a series of progressively stronger pacific weather systems bring more clouds, along with rain and cooler temperatures to the region. The National Weather Service is forecasting a rather strong early fall weather system to move through the area today, with a second one due by late Tuesday.