News Stories for Fri., Jun. 16, 2017

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission formally approved the designation of the Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway during its June 14 meeting in Salem, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and Travel Oregon announced this week. This 33-mile loop winds along the Deschutes River en route to Sherar’s Falls. Maupin serves as the Bikeway’s start and finish. The Oregon Scenic Bikeway program is a collection of cycling routes designed to inspire people to experience Oregon’s natural beauty and cultural heritage by bicycle. Local bicyclists propose new bikeways and the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission designates routes based on scenic quality, road conditions and general riding enjoyment. The Oregon Scenic Bikeways program is the first and only of its kind in the United States. Launched in 2005, the program is a partnership between Cycle Oregon, Travel Oregon, Oregon Department of Transportation and OPRD.

Indian tribes and indigenous organizations have pledged to honor the commitments of the Paris Climate Accord in the wake of President Donald Trump’s pullout, as have dozens of cities and states. Hawaii became the first state to pass laws supporting the agreement as its governor signed two bills designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alaska’s Tlingit & Haida Executive Council issued a call to action to support the Paris Climate Change Accord. They were joined by three tribes, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), among others. “As Indigenous Peoples, we have a responsibility to protect traditional homelands which are inherently connected to our cultural languages and identities,” declared a statement issued by the Tlingit & Haida along with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Quinault Indian Nation and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs employees were informed this week of cost saving measures being implemented within the organization ahead of what is said to be a very challenging budget season. In a memo issued to employees, it was stated that projected revenues are down from 2017 and anticipated expenditures are higher due to reserves being depleted, including BIA and I H S carryover funds. The reserves were used to fund many tribal programs but will not be available beyond this year.  The cost saving measures are being applied to create 2017 budget savings  for use in the 2018 proposed budget with the goal of creating a one million dollar budget savings during the 2017 calendar year. Some of the organization wide measures being taken include: a hiring freeze for non-essential positions, a freeze on all salary increases, travel for essential and critical meetings and training only and office supply purchases being made through the tribal warehouse, among other items. These measures will remain in effect until further notice.

The fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline is entering a new phase after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to conduct an environmental review of the controversial project. In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consider the impacts of the pipeline on treaty rights and the environment. While the ruling does not stop oil from flowing at this point, the news brought cheers at the National Congress of American Indians on Thursday morning. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with strong support from Indian Country and allies around the world, has long been pushing for a more thorough analysis of the pipeline, whose path runs less than a half-mile north of its reservation.

Oregon State is back in Omaha for the first time in four years and in search of its first championship since 2007. They open play in the College World Series Saturday versus Cal State Fullerton. The second game features LSU and Florida State.