Our fall 2011 ENVS 490 field trip started early Friday 9/23 with a tour of Biglow Canyon, the largest of PGE's wind generator installations, located in Sherman County east of The Dalles and just above the windy Columbia Gorge.
After lunch in Pendleton, we met with Jim Caldwell of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in La Grande, Oregon, who discussed challenges related to the Oregon wolf management plan. The reentry of wolves in Oregon has provoked a great deal of emotion on both sides throughout the state; their current range is mostly the NE portion of Oregon.
We ate dinner in John Day, where the local football team (the Prospectors) was facing an ominous homecoming game against a heavily favored opponent; they ended up losing 53-0.
We camped the first night at Clyde Holliday State Park, just west of John Day.
The next morning we rose early and headed west through the beautiful John Day basin and fossil beds, and had brunch in Sisters, Oregon, site of tremendous resort expansion over the last few decades.
One of the sites of proposed resort expansion is The Metolian, an envisioned eco-resort that was quashed by state designation of the Metolius Basin as an area of critical state concern.
Here is the Metolius River, near Camp Sherman.
After Central Oregon, we traveled to the Klamath Basin to interview members of the Klamath Bucket Brigade, a wise-use advocacy group. As a measure of their popularity in the area, the Klamath County headquarters building features a rather large tribute!
Setting up camp at Topsy Recreation Area, just above John C. Boyle Dam, one of four slated to be removed as part of the Klamath Hydroelectic Agreement (which the Bucket Brigade strongly opposes).
Sunset over the Klamath River...
...and for certain Klamath Falls businesses too. Though Klamath Falls looks healthier than other cities we visited (e.g., John Day), it is not thriving.
On Sunday morning, we met with members of the Klamath Bucket Brigade to discuss their position on Klamath Basin management. Their organization strongly opposes the Klamath Basin Restoration (and related Hydroelectric) Agreement proposed by the federal government.
After Klamath Falls, we traveled to Roseburg, where we met with Ken Carloni, professor of biology at Umpqua Community College and board president for Umpqua Watersheds, an environmental advocacy organization, to discuss public forest management in Douglas County.
Following a creative lunch in Sutherlin, we headed back to Portland, arriving later Sunday evening to draw our 1000-mile trip to a close.