News Stories for Fri., Jul. 7, 2017

The Dry Hollow Fire broke out yesterday afternoon on the Warm Springs Reservation. It was estimated at 50-plus acres. The Dry Hollow Fire was reported about 2:30 p.m., and burned in sagebrush, grass and juniper trees. Warm Springs Fire Personnel, along with some assistance from other agencies, stopped the fire from growing.  Fire Managers say around 40 firefighters will continue to work on the fire today and the Dry Hollow Fire is 10 percent contained as of this morning.

A community meeting was held last night in Warm Springs to give people an update on plans for the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st.  The Tribes’ COO, Alyssa Macy, announced that permits have been approved for activities at Elmer Quinn Park, on campus in front of Community Counseling, and at HeHe Longhouse.  There is pending approval for events at the Community Center fields and also at the Full Gospel Church. NASA will be doing activities and their Balloon launch during the Solar Eclipse at the Warm Springs K thru 8 Academy. It will begin on the Friday before the Eclipse. Additionally Indian Head Casino has their Native American Concert Series in coordination with the Madras Solarfest and Solar town organizations.  The Museum at Warm Springs is hosting an Artist Village.  Road closures, one-way traffic routes and other precautions the Tribe is working on with Oregon Department of Transportation and Bureau of Indian Affairs will be announced in the next few weeks.

The Warm Springs Branch of Natural Resources, with the assistance of Fire Management, continue to monitor air quality due to smoky conditions on the reservation. Smoldering of wood debris at the old Mill site has caused significant amounts of smoke in the air around the agency. Natural Resources says it is continuously monitoring the smoke conditions at various places in Warm Springs, such as the clinic, early childhood center, the Community Center, High Lookee Lodge, the Warm Springs K8 Academy and around the Casino area. Tim Outman with the Tribal Environmental Office says current Air Quality is in the Moderate Range-meaning: “Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution”.  Another note, the UV Index has been 10, which means there is a UV Alert because of “very high” UV conditions. Protection against sun damage is needed, especially for those who are outside during midday hours – 10am to 4pm.

Starting on Monday, an early morning Fusion Fitness Class will be added to the list of exercise options in Warm Springs. The class will be every Monday and Wednesday at 6am at the Community Center. Fusion includes cardio, weight training and endurance building, with emphasis in improving balance and strength. Jennifer Russell will be the instructor.

A new report, released Thursday, shows that the Columbia River Basin’s natural capital provides $198 billion in value annually, in food, water, flood risk reduction, recreation, habitat, aesthetic and other benefits, according to a press release from the CRITFC, Upper Columbia United Tribes, and others. Fifteen Columbia Basin Tribes and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) contributed to and supported the development of the report. The report also shows that modernizing dam management and increasing water flows in below average water years would enhance the basin’s natural capital value enhancing salmon runs.  A modest 10% increase in ecosystem-based function , it says, would add $19 billion per year to the basin’s value. The report’s release comes at a critical time for the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty, which is due for an update in 2024. The Treaty currently has only two primary goals: flood-risk management and hydropower generation. Tribes, NGOs, and other regional stakeholders are asking that a third goal, ecosystem-based function, be added to a modernized treaty. Here is a link to view the report: