County court holds discussion on Theimer Park burn project

By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald

Angie Johnson, unit forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), John Day Unit, updated the Harney County Court on a few issues of local interest during the court’s meeting on June 1.

Discussion with Johnson was held on the progress of the pile burning project at Theimer Park. Harney County Judge Steve Grasty said he had talked with Tony Hauth, the contractor on the project, and it was estimated that the work was about half done. Grasty said Hauth had burned the largest pile, and had moved other material for burning away from the trees. The project should be completed this fall.

With regards to burning, Johnson told the court that the ODF has the responsibility for smoke management in the forest. The ODF, she said, encourages the reporting of burn projects to their agency, as she then inputs the information into a data base. Reporting is, she said, a voluntary action.

Johnson also told the court that ODF was watching closely the progress of Oregon House Bills 2753 and 3465. Both bills relate to the establishment of the Silvies Valley Guest Ranch in Grant County. According to Johnson, there has been a mixed bag of emotions relating to the two bills. She said Grant County, as well as the cities of John Day and Canyon City, were in support of the bills and the guest ranch, as they were seeing the financial possibilities. The negative comments she had been hearing were from the neighbors directly affected because they hadn’t been notified of the possible actions.

Other county court business included:

• Discussion was held on the Greater Sage-Grouse strategy and core area maps, and the local meeting, which was held last week.
• Drewsey resident Jim Bentz requested that the court consider future action regarding the designation of historic trails used by ranchers to move cattle.

• Judge Grasty said all of the news regarding the Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility in Burns was good. He said that there would be 125 beds closed in the state, but the Burns facility would not be affected. Grasty said he believed the efforts from two years ago played an important role in the Burns facility not being considered for cuts in this budget.

• The court signed a bargain and sale deed for property near Crane sold to Richard Adams.

• An application by Susan Opie for an approach off of Anderson Valley Road was approved.

• An letter from Justice of the Peace Dewey Newton, stating his retirement on Sept. 1, was read.

• Eight bids were opened on belly-dump rental for hauling asphalt on the South Steens paving project. The bidders will be contacted as needed, on a lowest- price-first basis. Road Superintendent Eric Drushella said he anticipates needing five trucks.

• The court discussed the audit report from the Secretary of State, for the period July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.

• An agreement between Harney County and the Oregon State University Extension regarding vehicle use was signed.

4 Responses to “ODF asks residents to report burning”

  1. JDres Says:

    Thanks for posting the bill numbers so I can look them up. I wrote to Sen. Ferrioli to say I was apposed to the guest ranch development. Our roads don’t need anymore traffic, the economy is doing just fine without turning our hills into the same thing that happened to Bend. Look up there, there are new homes with double car garages, one bay to accommodate a full size RV. Boats, 4x4quads litter the lots like plastic toys scattering a ghetto.

  2. Chet Says:

    JDres, are you kidding me? “The economy is doing just fine”. Well maybe if you are getting a welfare check every month, and your Oregon Trail card gets reloaded so you can buy food on someone else’s dollar and you’re getting your utility bills paid then yeah, I guess the economy is great here. However, if you actually are trying to be a productive member of society instead of a leech then the economy here is horrific. No industry, no manufacturing, no distribution jobs of any kind. We are sputtering along with the support of government jobs, tourism, and agriculture. If you haven’t noticed there are probably 100 homes at least for sale between Burns & Hines. School enrollment is dropping. The primary reason is there are no jobs. Burns & Hines lost population between 2000-2010. I would suggest that you leave town every now and then take a look at other small towns and when you come back you’ll see how run down our town is. Derelict cars everywhere, vacant houses everywhere, dilapidated homes in various stages of disrepair and junk piled all over the place. Your myopia is disturbing. I support the development of these guest ranches because these individuals are going to spend millions of dollars. These are people with a lot of discretionary income. Now they are going to spend their money. They can either spend it in John Day or Burns. I would prefer they spend it here in Burns. I don’t know of any business in town that is satisfied with the amount the business they are currently doing. I’m sure the car dealers here in town would love to sell more cars(or any cars for that matter). I bet Wagner’s Furniture would like to sell more furniture. I’m just guessing and talking crazy but I’m pretty confident that every business would like to increase their sales. I would have discounted your post as nonsense but I know that there are others like you trying to make sure that this community is the winner of the “Race to the Bottom”. Well, I hate to admit it, but we’re almost there.

  3. Geoff Says:

    I agree with Chet, a whole bunch of nothing going on around here. You got a couple of options for jobs and otherwise have to wait for someone to move or die to be promoted. The schools are going down slowly and wait untill you see what may happen next. They are likely going to shut down Hines middle school and move the 7th and 8th graders to the High School. I think this is an attempt to keep the prison open by putting 12 year olds in with the high schoolers. Stupid.

  4. lovemycajuns2011 Says:

    My husband and I have children and grandchildren that live in Burns we have visited several times and we see no growth in the town. Our children like the town they live in but do struggle at times when work is slow in the winter we would love to see Burns grow and prosper and maybe we could oneday open a small cajun deli / restaurant for our children and grandchildren to take over this last visit we saw more businesses closed.

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