by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Vandalism is on the rise in the Radar Hill Off Highway Vehicle area. Some have used the area as a trash dump. (Submitted photo)

Vandalism is on the rise in the Radar Hill Off Highway Vehicle area. Some have used the area as a trash dump. (Submitted photo)

Harney County has a valuable asset in the Radar Hill OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) area, but unfortunately, the area is being used as a trash dump, an avenue to trespass on neighboring private land, a place to squeeze off a few rounds of ammunition, and a spot to commit vandalism.

The Radar Hill Fire, which occurred on the Fourth of July, was started by individuals in the OHV area playing with modified fireworks, and it burned 900 acres of private land and more than 130 acres of public land.

With the problems seeming to escalate every year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who manages the land, is now taking steps to develop a management plan to mitigate the problems.

BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Eric Haakenson said a 1992 Resource Management Plan called for analyzing the 220-acre OHV area, and since that time, there has been a significant increase in the amount of people using it. As the number of visitors to the area has risen, so has the frequency of abuse, and the BLM has begun a scoping process to get public input on solving the problems.

Tara McLain, BLM realty specialist, said portions of the OHV area, including what is known as “Suicide Hill,” are on private land, and some of the trails pass through private land. In the past, visitors to the OHV area respected private property, but recently, there have been signs stolen, water holes used as mud bogs, ground disturbance, and trash dumped, including household garbage, furniture and appliances.

“The private landowners are tired of their land being abused,” McLain said.

One suggestion was to fence off the private land, but that would create liability issues, and the land is in the middle of a grazing allotment, meaning a fence would reduce the amount of pasture available. Another solution being analyzed is having the BLM acquire the land by sale or trade.

“People are dumping trash, trespassing, and the latest, starting a wildfire. Some people just don’t care,” Three Rivers Resource Area Field Manager Rick Roy said. “People are even dumping motor oil up there after they change the oil in their vehicle. We want to make the area an asset to the community because, right now, it’s a liability.”

As the use of the area increased, BLM responded by improving trails, installing a vault toilet, and making other improvements.

“Everything we put up there though gets damaged,” Tara Thissell, public affairs officer, said, pointing out that the toilet had been shot up.

“It was shot by a shotgun and a rifle,” Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward said. “So you know it was deliberate damage.”

The BLM and the sheriff’s office are working together to reduce the amount of abuse and trespassing, but they also need the public’s help.

“One alternative is to just shut the whole area down. If you can’t administer a site, and do it right, what do you do?” asked Roy. “It’s just a few abusing the area, yet everyone is affected. Locals who use the area can help police it. It’s a unique area, not a dump, and it’s a community issue, not just a BLM problem.”

Sheriff Ward said in his discussions with BLM officials, other solutions suggested have ranged from installing cameras to random surveillance.

“The public has a right, a Constitutional right, to use public land, but it needs to be respected. It can be taken away,” Ward said. “And private land is just that, private. Just because it’s not fenced doesn’t mean you have the right to trespass. Just like if a door to a home isn’t locked, you don’t have the right to enter.”

Ward stated his office and the BLM want to foster a good relationship between OHV enthusiasts and private land owners, and that means weeding out those who abuse the area.

He said offenders can be cited for criminal trespass, offensive littering, criminal mischief, destruction of private property, and other violations.

“We want to send a strong message to those abusing the area,” Ward said.

He added that driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) laws apply on public lands, and parents may be cited for the actions of their children.

Along with the sheriff’s office, the BLM has also had conversations with the county court, the chamber of commerce, OHV groups, snowmobile clubs, mountain bike groups, equestrian groups, and high school students to see what they have to offer in the way of solutions and suggestions for the area.

“We’ve talked about creating a mud bog to keep the offenders out of the private springs,” Roy said. “There could be a ‘Tough Mudder’ type of event, mountain bike races, all kinds of events.”

The BLM tentatively plans to hold public comment meetings this winter and next spring to hear how the community thinks the area should be managed, and Haakenson said they hope to have a management plan ready in about 18 months.

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

During its regularly-scheduled meeting held Wednesday, July 22, the Burns City Council approved Resolution  No. 15-611, setting fees for airport services.

Airport Manager Jeff Cotton explained that he had worked with airport managers around the state to establish standardized pricing. This was done in order to not discourage anyone with a general aviation aircraft from choosing an airport based on price, said Cotton.

The resolution sets prices for de-icing, fueling, and ground power. The council voted unanimously to approve it.


In her report, City Manager (CM) Dauna Wensenk said that Pedro Zabala had been hired as the new public works director and will start Aug. 1. Interviews for a payroll clerk/accounts receivable position were held that day. CM Wensenk said they went well and that they should have someone in place by the next council meeting.

She said the buyer that had been interested in the abated properties on Johnson Street had backed out of the sale, and there will be a report at the next council meeting.


Harney County Library Director Cheryl Hancock was present to request the closure of “D” Street between Broadway Avenue and Alvord Avenue on Thursday, Aug. 6 for the annual Library Block Party. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The council approved Hancock’s request by consensus.

A request from Harney County Chamber of Commerce Director Chelsea Harrison to close Washington Street between Broadway Avenue and Alder Avenue on Aug. 6 was also approved. In a letter to the council, Harrison described a new event to be held on the first Thursday of each month, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Downtown businesses will stay open, and street vendors will set up.


In other business, the council:

• Briefly discussed the city’s lien on the former bowling alley property, and voted to table it for the next meeting;

• Approved a switch to a new collection agency, Western Collection Bureau, Inc.;

• heard from Herb Vloedman, who expressed concerns about the general condition of city streets, and about fire danger on land along the nature trail.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, at city hall.


Medusahead rye is an invasive, noxious weed that can out-compete other grasses on ranch land. (Submitted photo)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Burns District, plans to implement approximately 40,000 acres of aerial spray treatments for Medusahead rye and cheatgrass on public land beginning the week of Aug. 3. Both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft will be used in the effort and there will be concurrent treatments on private lands in the same or nearby vicinities.

The treatment schedule for Harney County includes these dates and locations:

• Warms Springs Reservoir area: Aug. 3-7. (South boat launch and surrounding area closed to the public during this time).

• Crane/Venator/Riverside areas: Aug. 8-29.

• Riley area: Aug. 30-Sept. 19.

• West of Frenchglen/North of Rock Creek (Miller Homestead fire area): Sept. 20-30.

• East of Fields /Trout Creek Mountain (Holloway fire area): Sept. 20-26.

• East Steens near Mann Lake Ranch: Sept. 24-25.

Medusahead out-competes other grasses by extracting the majority of moisture well before perennial grasses have begun to grow. Once land is invaded by this species, it becomes almost worthless, supporting neither native animals, birds nor livestock. Cheatgrass is problematic as well. It can maintain superiority over native plants in part because it is a prolific seed producer able to germinate in the autumn, and it is tolerant of grazing and increases with frequent fire.

The Strategic Weed Attack Team (SWAT) – a joint venture between the BLM and Harney County – has been invaluable in managing rapid responses to new invasions of noxious weeds in the area, with Medusahead and cheatgrass as top priorities. With the SWAT’s help, small infestations are controlled quickly and economically, averting the potential spread and increase to unmanageable levels of obscure noxious weed populations.

There are many things an individual can do to help prevent the introduction and spread of noxious weeds. First and foremost, become familiar with the noxious weeds in your area and treat them to prevent their spread. Wash your vehicles and equipment before venturing into new areas to prevent tracking weeds into new areas, and report weed sitings on BLM-administered lands to the local BLM Weed coordinator.

For more information about weed treatments on public land, contact Lesley Richman at the BLM Burns District office at 541-573-4479. For more information about projects on private land, contact Steph Bonson at the Harney County Cooperative Weed Management Area office at 541-573-8397.

OBIT Tropf WEBDoris Fae (Breach) Tropf, 74, passed away July 20.

She was born Aug. 19, 1930, to John and Louise Breach, near the Great Divide, near Craig, Colo. John and Louise and their seven children, Mildred, Glen, Wilma, Doris, Margaret, Wanda and Lawrence, lived at their homestead in Colorado until 1940, when they moved to Greenleaf, Idaho.

In 1968, Doris married Arno “Ike” Tropf, and in 1970, the family moved from Caldwell, Idaho, to Burns. Ike and Doris owned the Jiffy Mart for 20 years. They enjoyed doing business in the community, seeing their many friends and meeting new friends.

Family time and little children were the things Doris loved most. Her children, Earlene, Dean, Cindy and Rex, and all the grandchildren were the most important things in the world to her, and she loved visits and big family gatherings. She also loved visiting with all of her friends.

Doris is survived by her four children, Earlene (Larry) Anderson of Burns, Dean (Susan) Draper of Burns, Cindy Schab of Benton City, Wash., and Rex (Laurie) Draper of Hines; sister, Margaret Crill; brother, Lawrence Breach; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.

Doris was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Arno “Ike” Tropf; siblings, Mildred Ivie, Glen Breach, Wilma Taulbee and Wanda Breach; and son-in-law Don Schab.

A potluck Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Aug. 1 at noon at the home of Dean Draper, 620 East E Street in Burns.

Memorials may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Harney County or Harney County Senior and Community Services Center, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.


OBIT Dalglliesh WEBJessie Joanne Anzini Dalglliesh passed away June 20 in Burns.

Jessie was born April 7, 1947, in Scotia, Calif. She filled the hearts of those who knew her with love – she was always positive, always smiling, and always hopeful. From the very beginning of her life, she was a pure joy to be around, and was loved by all. Jessie will be missed by many, but rejoice with many in the new system awaiting us all.

A memorial will be held Saturday, Aug. 1, at 3 p.m. at the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, 592 W. Madison in Burns.

Jo Ann Rose 1933-2015

Posted on July 29th in Obituaries


OBIT Rose WEBJo Ann Rose, 82, of Payette, Idaho, passed away at her home June 11.

Jo Ann was born March 18, 1933, in Burns, living there until 1957. She graduated from Burns High School. On Memorial Day in 1951, she married Glen Rose; six years and three sons later they moved to Prineville, one of her many moves being married to a government man.

Jo Ann worked her entire life, mostly in banking and some real estate. She semi-retired when Glen retired from the Bureau of Land Management, working a few more years at the US Bank in Ontario.

She enjoyed fishing, camping, traveling, with her most treasured trip being the three weeks spent in Australia and New Zealand, and for the last several years, playing bridge with lots of her friends.

Jo Ann is survived by her sons, Rick, Mike and Mac; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Jo Ann’s life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Four Rivers Cultural Center, 676 SW 5th Ave. in Ontario. Cremation was under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel in Payette. Condolences may be made to Jo Ann’s family at

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity to honor Jo Ann’s memory

Friends of the late Mary Pengelly are invited to meet at Figaro’s Pizza at 6 pm. Thursday, Aug. 13, to share memories of the former Burns resident with her daughter, Aubra Pengelly-Pollack of Cheney, Wash.

Pengelly taught school in the Burns area schools for many years, and was active in the Harney County Historical Society, Desert Trail Association, Pioneer Presbyterian Church, Chamber Music Society and more before moving back to Klamath Falls in 1994 after the death of her husband, Russell Pengelly. Pengelly lived at Cheney, near her daughter, during the last years of her life. She passed away Jan. 9, 2015, in Cheney, and will be interred in August in Klamath Falls, where she grew up.

Wednesday July 29

Posted on July 29th in Community Calendar

Youth Summer Reading Program at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, at the Harney County Library. Enjoy the crazy antics of Charlie Brown.

Burns Butte Sportsmens Club will be having Twilight Trap Practice Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. every week now through September at the range on Radar Hill. All levels of shooters are welcome, and instruction will be available for beginners.

Storytime for preschoolers is scheduled at the Harney County Library, 80 W. D St., each Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Contact the Harney County Library for more information, 541-573 6670.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns.

ALANON, an ongoing support group for friends and families of alcoholics, meets every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns. Please use the north side door. For more information, call 541-589-0329.

A Women’s AA meeting is held every Wednesday at noon at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns.

Thursday July 30

Posted on July 29th in Community Calendar

A Walking Class is held each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from  10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. indoors at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.

Kiwanis Club of Burns-Hines meets for a no-host luncheon at noon each Thursday at Bella Java, 314 N. Broadway in Burns.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets at noon each Thursday at Hines City Hall, 101 E. Barnes. Call 541-573-2896.

Tai Chi for Better Balance with Diane Rapaport is held each Tuesday and Thursday at Harney County Senior and Community Services Center from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — free.

Friday July 31

Posted on July 29th in Community Calendar

Teen Summer Reading Program, for grades 6-12, at the Harney County Library from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. Discover the science behind dry ice.

A recovery group, “Celebrate Recovery,” meets each Friday at the Harney County Church of the Nazarene, 311 Roe Davis Ave. in Hines. Snacks served at 5:30 p.m. The main meeting is held at 6 p.m. and small group sessions are at 7 p.m. For more information, call 541-573-7100.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Friday at 10 a.m. at Harney District Hospital in the small conference room near the cafeteria.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Friday at Symmetry Care at 5 p.m.

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