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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Feb. 27, 2024

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Out & About Feb. 1

The Columbian
Published:

Crowd-funding effort for gorge trails

Friends of the Columbia Gorge announced a $10,000 gift today to support the launch of Oregon’s Kitchen Table’s “Be There for The Gorge” campaign. The planned six-week crowdfunding effort seeks to gather funds to help the U.S. Forest Service rebuild trails between Multnomah Falls and Angel’s Rest damaged in the 2017 Eagle Creek fire.

“The Eagle Creek fire struck the heart of the Gorge,” said Kevin Gorman, executive director of Friends of the Columbia Gorge. “Multnomah Falls and Angel’s Rest trails are two of the most treasured recreation areas in the Pacific Northwest. Our gift today is a way for Friends’ members to play a leadership role in an ambitious community effort to help to take back some of what was lost in the fire and seize the opportunity to make some of these cherished places even better than before,” Gorman added.

Friends of the Columbia Gorge has teamed up with Oregon’s Kitchen Table, a statewide platform for engaging Oregonians and fundraising for public projects across the state. The group has led numerous crowdfunding efforts over the past four years, including efforts to a help build a footbridge on Portland’s Forest Park’s Wildwood Trail. Members of the public seeking to contribute to the “Be There for The Gorge” campaign can do so online at: oregonskitchentable.org/gorge.

Seven days of razor clam diggings OK’d

Seven days of razor clam digging will get underway beginning Sunday on various coastal beaches. State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

Four beaches will be open for digging on different days throughout the seven-day period, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with WDFW.

Long Beach will open for clamming on the days listed below.

• Thursday, 7:17 p.m.; -1.5 feet

• Friday, 8 p.m.; -1.0 feet

• Saturday, 8:42 p.m.; -0.4

For updates on upcoming openings, see WDFW’s website.

Vancouver Wildlife League meets Feb. 7

The Vancouver Wildlife League will hold its monthly meeting on Feb. 7 at 7 pm at the WDFW Region 5 Office in Ridgefield, WA. The guest speaker will be Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fishes Program. Members are reminded to bring rods and reels for reconditioning to donate to the Rods and Reels for Kids program.

WDFW director resigns

After three years as director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Dr. Jim Unsworth informed the state Fish and Wildlife Commission that he will resign his position effective Feb. 7.

“This has been a challenging, educational, and often rewarding experience,” Unsworth said in a letter to Commission Chairman Brad Smith. “It is now time for me to pursue other professional and personal goals in wildlife and natural resources management.”

Unsworth joined WDFW in February 2015 after serving more than 30 years in wildlife management with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, including several years as the agency’s deputy director. He previously held several management positions for the Idaho department, including wildlife bureau chief and state big game manager. (WDFW)

Unsworth’s time as director has been marked by controversy involving the crafting of a Puget Sound Chinook management plan in closed negotiations with local tribes, as well as other issues. Calls for his resignation from the public have been growing and he has faced increasing criticism from members of the WDFW Fish and Wildlife Commission, as well as members of Washington State’s legislature.

No recreational smelt fishing on the Sandy

In other business, ODFW announced that it is not recommending a recreational smelt fishery in the Sandy River at this time. Smelt have been listed under the Endangered Species Act since 2010, and though some limited fisheries have occurred since then, abundance indicators are generally unfavorable for 2018. Staff will determine if a fishery is warranted after additional freshwater abundance indicators become available, including catch data from the research-level commercial fishery. Minor tribal fisheries for smelt may occur in the Sandy River for ceremonial and subsistence use.

BLM Northwest Oregon District Needs Campground Hosts

Portland, OR-The Bureau of Land Management’s Northwest Oregon District is looking for spring and summer campground hosts at several of their recreational sites.

Campground hosts reside in their own RV at the campground they are hosting. The campground hosts are typically responsible for the following:

* Greeting guests;

* Helping guests solve problems;

* Cleaning exterior and interior facilities (particularly bathroom buildings); and

* Maintaining camp sites and restrooms.

For more information about which sites need hosts, check the BLM website.

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