Weekday Wrap: Windy and snowy climate, cash for rural well being care, unlawful forest tenting

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Winter weather in parts of Oregon

Winter storm warnings went into effect Tuesday for the Columbia River Gorge and the Upper Hood River Valley. The National Weather Service said some parts of the gorge could see up to 12 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour. The journey could be very difficult by Wednesday morning. A winter weather warning lasts late Tuesday night in the Coast Range. Several inches of snow could fall above 2,000 feet. Winds could also reach 40 miles per hour. And along the cascades and foothills, several winter storm watches come into effect late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning. Up to 2 feet of snow may fall at higher elevations Wednesday through Thursday. (OPB staff)

High rents fuel Oregon’s woodland residents

As Oregon’s housing shortage spills from urban centers to forested areas, the meaning of homelessness is changing. Gerald “Buddy” Blair’s home consists of a couple of trailers and three cars parked with his family in a remote campground outside of Sisters in Deschutes National Forest in central Oregon. As rising rents and limited social support networks drive lower-income Oregonians to seek sanctuary on public lands, many camp illegally for long periods and sometimes use public transportation in regions where metropolitan areas border national forests. (Cole Sinanian/Statesman Journal)

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Merkley, Wyden Announce $800,000 for Rural Health Care

U.S. Grim Reapers Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Tuesday that Oregon will receive a grant to support organizations and institutions across Oregon. The grant from the US Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program is $801,300 to provide vital rural health care and food assistance. “These Oregon grants will help ensure Oregon’s rural families have access to the health care and food on the table they need to thrive,” Merkley said. (Cannon Beach Gazette)

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Scientists are asking for help to save sunflower starfish

Scientists along the west coast are calling for immediate action to help the recovery of sunflower starfish, which have been decimated by starfish destruction disease in recent years. According to the scientists, this disease is estimated to have killed over 5.75 billion sunflower starfish, leading to a 94.3% decline in the world’s population. The starfish, which are among the largest in the world and can reach a wingspan of more than 3 feet, are predators of the kelp-eating sea urchin. Without the predator, sea urchin populations have increased, leading to a worrying decline in kelp forests along the west coast, particularly in northern California. (Nicole Bales/Daily Astorian)

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Report documents Cedar Creek Fire impacts

An assessment of the damage caused by the 127,000-acre Cedar Creek fire has been completed. Fred Levitan, the Willamette National Forest Burned Area emergency coordinator, said there were places that were burning quite hot and damaging the ground, mostly north of Waldo Lake where an old wildfire scar was burning again. “We’ve had quite significant damage to forest recreation facilities around Waldo Lake,” he said. “Many of these need to be re-evaluated and reconstructed, and the forest is considering a redesigned program for recreational facilities at Waldo Lake.” Levitan said there has been no loss of facilities in the Shadow Bay area. He said the impact on Waldo Lake’s pristine waters is expected to be relatively minor and short-term. (Karen Richards/KLCC)

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