ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Agencies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on juniper removal in an effort to increase native shrubs and grasses. But a recent study by Oregon State University researchers says cutting juniper may lead to an increase in invasive grasses if the trees are simply left where they fall. The study was conducted from 2012 to 2016 in a wildlife area between the Ochoco and Malheur national forests. Juniper trees toppled at the beginning of the study were left where they fell. Researchers later found that invasive grasses were more prevalent in areas of cutting than non-cutting. Study co-author Lisa Ellsworth says juniper reduction is important for habitat and range health. But when the understory is compromised, follow up treatments such as herbicide and native-shrub seeding must be considered.
Summer work for youth will be available this summer and there are application workshops coming up next week during spring break. Monday thru Thursday next week, can pick a day and take a workshop from 9am to 4pm at the Education Building. All 14-year old workers should bring a parent or guardian with them. Everyone needs to bring photo identification, a social security card and youth must be enrolled in and attending high school, alternative school, GED classes or college. There are more requirements, contact Melinda Poitra at 553-3324 to learn more. Also next week on Friday will be a youth job fair. Representatives from various work sites will be there to provide information on job opportunities this summer. These include Indian Head Casino, the Heart of Oregon Corps & YouthBuild Program, Northwest Youth Corps, Branch of Natural Resources Summer Youth Program, Native Aspirations, Kahneeta Resort & Spa and several others.
Gray whales are migrating north past the Oregon coast and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites visitors to share the excitement during Spring Whale Watch Week March 24-31. Trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. each day at 24 sites along the coast, ready to help people spot the migrating marine mammals. There is also a Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay. A live stream of whale activity off of Depoe Bay returns this spring too; watch it on the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel. A map of the 24 volunteer whale watch sites can be found on whalespoken.org.