KWSO News 8/8/19

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A lawsuit says a rancher, workers and the John Deere farm equipment company are at fault for a wildfire that burned parts of the Warm Springs reservation. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs filed the lawsuit Monday over the origins of the 2017 Nena Springs fire. The tribe seeks up to $12.25 million in economic damages from lost timber resources on the reservation. The wildfire burned more than 106 square miles. The lawsuit says rancher Jamie Wisenbaker allowed his brother to operate a combine harvester without training. The Oregon State Fire Marshal concluded the fire was accidental.

Researchers from the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community of northwest Washington and Oregon State University have been awarded more than $1.6 million from the National Science Foundation to expand an environmental education program that focuses on traditional native foods.  The five-year project is designed to address the challenges and concerns facing place-based people whose health, culture and community are linked to the state of their local environment. Traditional foods are more than a caloric food source; they play an integral role in cultural traditions that support the health and well-being of indigenous people.

This year’s Central Oregon wildfire season has been mild so far, especially when compared to recent summers, a group of local, state and federal officials were told Wednesday at the Deschutes National Forest headquarters in Bend, the Bulletin reported. Central Oregon Fire Management Service, said the wet weather in June and July helped reduce wildfires this summer but the region could still some wildfires, probably from lightning strikes. The group, which met to discuss the 2019 wildfire season and strategies for fighting future wildfires, included U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., officials from the city of Bend, Deschutes County, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Construction work will continue today to repair Pressure Reducing Valves in the Agency Water Distribution System.  Work is scheduled for the West Hills and Greeley Heights stations today.  This will mean low pressure and possible outages for areas being worked on.

The Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians has teamed up with Native organizations in Portland to build their own affordable apartment complex. The project was devised to address disparities in access to affordable housing for Native Americans. In addition, medical, dental, and behavioral health care services will be provided on-site to residents through the Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA), which has clinics and facilities across the city. Also partnering with the Siletz tribe is the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) , which serves as Portland’s intertribal cultural hub. The three-story building includes 59 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes. Twenty of these will be reserved for Natives enrolled in any federally recognized tribe. Rents will be based on state income restrictions, and the program will comply with fair housing laws. The building is scheduled to open its doors in November.