This week at the La Grande Rotary, Alan Childs, of the CTUIR Fisheries, gave a presentation about the history of the Columbia River drainage system how humans have altered the fish productivity with removal of beavers, use of logging dams, canneries, channelization of rivers, and construction of dams. To mitigate these problems, the US Congress passed laws to improve lost habitat and put some species of fish on the endangered or threatened list.
Locally, the State, Bonneville Power Authority, tribes, and agricultural groups have been working together through the Grande Ronde Model Watershed to meet all needs of the river system. Project Manager, Alan, and the tribes are working on initiatives that restore habitats, increase wetlands, and enhance fish passage. Recent restoration work on the upper Grande Ronde near the gun club has improved river conditions by increasing pool habitat in the area by 300%, increasing water storage and lifting water tables, decreasing the water temperatures, and improving riparian vegetation and tree growth as water floods the original flood plain.
For more information about the work of the CTUIR and fisheries see: https://ctuir.org/departments/natural-resources/fisheries/
This last Tuesday, La Grande City Manager, Robert Strope, presented a list of potential improvement projects being considered by the City Council. The $3M funds for these improvements would come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The list was brainstormed by city departments and included road improvements, utilities extensions for new housing developments, a fire engine, land acquisition for a new police department complex, and a recreation center. Robert gave a brief presentation of each need including pictures of several city streets that need repair. After considering the list, Robert invited the Club to rank-order the items. Robert displayed what the council had prioritized as a comparison. Road improvements were high on the list as were additions to utilities for a new housing development. Click on the link to see the list https://lagranderotary.org/arpa/
Happy faces abounded at the 7th Annual Daddy Daughter Dance May 7th. Dads, grandads, uncles, and others escorted their fancifully dressed dates to rock to the tunes of DJ Curran Holden. The fun time featured a food buffet including non-stop Dominos pizza, finger foods, and a chocolate fountain. Faces were painted with flowers and butterflies and formal portraits were taken to commemorate the event. Heather and Jessy Watson led the La Grande Rotarians in organizing the dance. Support from sponsors helped offset costs and ticket sales were used to sponsor local high school scholarships; the community literacy project, READ TOGETHER!; and support for rural young women of poverty to attend high school in El Salvador.