KWSO News for Wed., Nov. 24, 2021

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Warm Springs on Reservation Bull Elk Hunting Season is underway and will run through this Sunday, November 28th.  This is for bull elk with visible antler, there’s one tag per lead hunter or head of household with a limit of only one bull elk.   Wildlife Biologist Austin Smith Jr. reminds hunters that it’s important to follow the hunting limit to help maintain wildlife populations for future generations. There is mandatory reporting of all hunter harvest. Failure to report harvest results will result in a loss of hunting privileges for subsequent tags.  Hunting tags can be obtained online or you can contact the Natural Resources Department at 541-553-2001.  For both on and off reservation seasons and hunting guidelines click HERE

Oregonians will soon have more options to go camping now that the State Parks Department is finalizing details on a capital improvement plan. KLCC’s Chris Lehman reports: “Oregon lawmakers approved $50 million in bonding to fund a series of projects over the next five years. State Parks staff outlined some of the plans at a recent meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission. Park Services Manager Matt Rippee said expanded campgrounds are in the works for several state parks in the Willamette Valley, including Silver Falls and Champoeg. He says that will create more options for Oregonians looking for a quick camping trip. Matt Rippee: “It also gives folks an opportunity, if a big storm comes through in the middle of the night, or a baby is crying, they can hop in the car and head home, and it’s not a four hour drive.” I’m Chris Lehman reporting”. At Smith Rock state Park near Terrebonne, they are looking to build a new visitor center and restroom, as well as complete electrical upgrades and make parking and traffic improvements to meet current and future visitor needs. Also they will work on some trail improvements.

Officials in Southern Oregon are trying to get more state funding to combat the explosion of illegal marijuana cultivation over the past year. Democratic state Senator Jeff Golden of Ashland has submitted an emergency request for seven and a half million dollars to fund more law enforcement, water regulators and code enforcement staff. He says the problem can’t wait until the legislature meets next. “Golden: 0:14 Our concern is that if we go into session as we will in February, and make this allocation, it’s well into summer or fall before people are ready to hit the ground. So that’s the urgency.”  According to state officials, unlicensed marijuana farming in Jackson and Josephine Counties has been connected to human trafficking and wage theft, environmental degradation and water theft, and general safety concerns for residents.

With the Thanksgiving Holiday just a day away and families deciding on travel plans for gathering – now is an excellent time to reconsider getting vaccinated if you haven’t already.  If you are vaccinated please consider scheduling for a Booster Shot.  Children 5-11 years old can also now be vaccinated.  Remember – the COVID-19 vaccination not only protects you but it also protects others like our elders.  Consider how you will spend the holidays with anyone outside your household and make sure you are taking precautions and being vaccinated to avoid a spike in COVID cases like we saw following last year’s Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving week will bring extra traffic to the region’s roadways. Oregon Department of Transportation spokesperson Angela Beers Seydel [sigh-DELL] says drivers should use caution if they hit the road, especially if it’s their first trip since before the pandemic. “Angela Beers Seydel: “There’s going to be a lot of folks out there. Things are kind of getting back to normal levels. We’re expecting to see a lot more travelers on the road over this weekend.” Triple-A says Oregon’s gas prices are at their highest level ever for Thanksgiving, at a statewide average of $3.78 per gallon. In addition to holiday-related travel, thousands of people are expected to drive to football games including the state high school playoffs in Cottage Grove and Hillsboro, one of which is Marshfield taking on Marist Catholic for the 4A state Championship. The Madras White Buffaloes fell to Marshfield in the first round of the playoffs. In College Football action this weekend Oregon State is on the road to the University of Oregon on Saturday in Eugene. The Ducks could seal the PAC-12 North with a victory and a rematch with Utah in the PAC-12 Championship game. If the Beavers win, they would also need Washington State to lose in order to make it to the PAC-12 Championship game as the Cougars hold the tie-breaker over the Beavers by their win over Oregon State earlier in the season 31-24. Thanksgiving day NFL action has 3 games on the lineup with the Chicago Bears first taking on the Detroit Lions, followed by the Las Vegas Raiders at the Dallas Cowboys and finishing with Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints.