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  • 01/27/16

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  • 01/14/16

    Okanogan Conservation District Announces Election Result and Change to February Board Meeting

     

    January 14, 2016                            

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    The Okanogan Conservation District Board of Supervisors hereby informs the voting public that the incumbent, Steve Colvin of Oroville, has been re-elected to the currently open seat by reason of being the only person filing for the position by the filing deadline.  Therefore, no poll site, absentee balloting or mail balloting will be performed pursuant to WAC 135-110-370. 

    The Okanogan Conservation District Board of Supervisors will be conducting a special meeting on February 9, 2016 to discuss their monthly activities.  This meeting is held in lieu of the standard Board of Supervisors meeting that was scheduled for February 2, 2016.  The meeting will be held in Okanogan, at the district office, 1251 South 2nd Avenue, at 6:00 PM.  This meeting is open to the public.

     

    For further information about either of the above items, please contact Kim Simpson at (509) 422-0855 ext. 107.

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  • 01/06/16

    An Emergency Livestock Feed Program has been established to help Okanogan County livestock producers who lost hay and pasture in the recent wildfires. The Okanogan Conservation District is implementing the program with funding provided by the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) and Department of Ecology.

    $500,000 available for emergency livestock feed to help producers impacted by 2015 wildfires.

    For the full press release click here.

    To go directly to the information sheet and application form, go to www.okanogancd.org/fires 

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  • 11/23/15

    In the wake of another season of very large wildfires in Okanogan County, Okanogan Conservation District re-established the Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response (iBAER) Team. In 2014, this interagency risk assessment team was the first of its kind to be tasked with assessing the erosion threat on state and private lands impacted by the Carlton Complex Fire. This year, the team evaluated threats to life and property on state and private lands burned in the Okanogan Complex, Tunk Block, and North Star fires. Longer term restoration and recovery options were also evaluated.

    The team members come from multiple agencies: Okanogan, Cascadia, Spokane, Skagit, Whatcom and Thurston Conservation Districts, National Weather Service (NWS), Washington Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Colville Confederated Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Expertise includes soil scientists, hydrologists, archeologists, engineers, foresters, fish biologists, range specialists, and GIS technicians

    In examining the severity of the burn, the team looked at five key factors: amount and condition of vegetation remaining on top of the soil, ash depth, amount and condition of roots remaining in the soil, soil structure, and the ability of the soil to absorb water. By taking into account all of these factors, the team developed a soil burn severity map, which is included in the report. The team also ran hydrological models to estimate potential runoff in different size storm events.

    Because the iBAER report looks at the larger landscape and not individual parcels, private landowners who are concerned about their erosion and flash flooding risk should contact contact the Okanogan Conservation District to request a free site assessment at 509-422-0855 or fireintake@okanogancd.org. Landowners may also visit the office in the USDA Service Center at 1251 South 2nd Ave in Okanogan, Monday-Friday 8:30-4:00.

     The iBAER report is available on the Okanogan Conservation District website Fire Recovery page: www.okanogancd.org/fires. Hard copies will be available for review at the Okanogan CD office.

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  • 10/07/15

    Over a dozen agencies and organizations will be available to talk with fire-impacted individuals about their questions and concerns regarding post-fire recovery. Both natural resource and social service agencies will be on hand to assist the public in determining next steps in their fire recovery process.

    The event will take place on Thursday October 15 from 6:30-8 pm at the Omak High School Multipurpose Room (next to the Performing Arts Center) at 20 South Cedar Street. After brief opening remarks, attendees can visit with representatives and pick up information relevant to their situation. Some of the groups that will be present are Okanogan Conservation District; Washington State Departments of Natural Resources, & Fish and Wildlife; United States Forest Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency; Okanogan Housing Authority, and the National Weather Service.

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  • 09/03/15

    If you, a friend, or family member have experienced a loss of home or other property in the Okanogan County fires, please connect with a relief worker. Any loss needs to be reported in order to get long-term recovery assistance.

    Start by contacting the Red Cross at 509-663-3907. Then reach out to a Room One Disaster Case Manager at 509-997-2050. This case manager will help you find assistance with all things related to your fire loss as soon as the system is up and running. Please help spread the word!

    Also contact the Okanogan Conservation District to report your natural resource and agricutural losses. We will provide site visits to affected landowners to help you evaluate your options for recovery. www.okanogancd.org/fires

    Remember to make a list of everything you lost- contents of home and outbuildings, fencing, range, corrals, gates, tools, food in your freezer, etc. Keep track of items you've had to purchase like generators, hoses, etc. Keep all your paperwork in one file: this will be a long process and you will need to access these records easily.

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  • 08/26/15
    Rain is expected this weekend, August 28-29. The loss of vegetation and potentially heavily burned soil has greatly increased the risk of flooding and debris flows in and around the burn scars from Okanogan Complex, North Star, and the 2014 Carlton Complex. Take action now to protect your life and property.

    KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT

    Flooding is possible if it has been raining upstream.

    Know the area, and know the flood risk based on proximity to creeks, waterways, steep slopes, coulees and canyons.
     
    Burned trees and rocks may wash down and pile up bridges, culverts, and other river obstructions.

    Sediment and ash may wash off the burned area into the streams, changing the color of the water to brown or black. 

    Bridges and culverts may wash out.
     
     
    BE READY
    Sign up to receive emergency notifications (OkanoganDEM.org).

    Be aware of rising water in ditches, streams, creeks, and rivers.
    If your home is in a risky area, such as below a steep slope or at the mouth of a canyon or gully, have an evacuation plan and/or emergency supplies for 72 hours. Contact your insurance agent about the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Do not hike or drive in narrow canyons when flash flooding is possible.

    Listen for bulletins on local radio stations, or use a NOAA weather radio for the most up to date weather reports.
     
    WHEN A FLASH FLOOD BEGINS
    Move up, not out!
    Move to higher ground away from all waterways.

    Do not drive or walk through flooded areas.

    If you see downed power lines or electrical wires, stay away and contact the local utility company.

    STANDING DEAD TREES:  SNAG SAFETY
    Burned tree roots can cause trees to be very unstable. Even a light wind can cause these trees to fall or lose sections. Be watchful and avoid unstable trees.

    Avoid burned forest areas on windy days.

    Avoid parking near burned trees.

    When driving through burned areas, carry a saw or an ax in case trees fall and block the way out.

    For more detailed information visit our wildfire recovery page at www.okanogancd.org/Fires

    Information adapted from www.rweact.org
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  • 07/17/15

    CARLTON COMPLEX RECOVERY WORK: UPDATE JULY 17, 2015

    The Okanogan Conservation District continues to work with nearly 300 landowners to help them with the recovery of the natural resources and agricultural infrastructure on their properies. Here is a link to our progress to date:

    Okanogan CD Carlton Complex Fire Recovery 

     

     Okanogan CD coordinated numerous partners to assess burned areas on private and state lands.

     

    We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Washington State Conservation Commission, our fellow conservation districts across the state, and our many partners that worked with us to assist landowners in the burn area:

     

    Natural Resources Conservation Service

    Mule Deer Foundation

    Yakama Nation Fisheries

    Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation

    Bonneville Power Administration

    Trout Unlimited

    Okanogan County Planning, Public Works, and Emergency Management Departments

    US Forest Service

    US Bureau of Land Management

    Washington Dept. of Ecology

    Colville Tribes Fisheries

    National Weather Service

    Washington Dept. of Natural Resources

    US Bureau of Reclamation

    Okanogan County Dept. of Public Works

    Washington State Conservation Commission

    Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board

    The Office of Governor Jay Inslee

    Methow Natives Nursery

    Methow Conservancy

    Okanogan County Noxious Weed Control Board

    WSU Extension

    Washington Farm Bureau 

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    FEMA

     

    To all the landowners whose perserverence, patience, and strength of will in the face of so much devastation: we are honored to work with you and we will continue to do our absolute best to help you in the years to come.

     

    Sincerely, 

     

    The Staff and Board of the Okanogan Conservation District

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  • 05/21/15

    Summer thunderstorm season is upon us here in Okanogan County. Residents living in, adjacent to, or downstream from, burned areas should remain aware that there is an increased risk for flooding and erosion. Flood risk remains elevated for up to five years after a wildfire. 

     

     

    Use these links to find weather information for your area:

    NWS Spokane homepage http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/otx/

    NWS Spokane weekly weather briefings posted by Monday afternoon: https://www.youtube.com/user/nwsspokane

    NWS Spokane Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NWSSpokane

    NWS Spokane Twitter https://twitter.com/NWSSpokane

     Map based hazards viewer (can look at precip amounts under "Mesowest Surface Observations" drop down menu) http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/map/?wfo=otx

     

    Residents are encouraged to take action NOW to protect themselves and their families.  The following tips can help.

    Pay attention to the weather. Monitor weather forecasts and flood warnings on NOAA Weather Radio or local media.

    If severe weather is forecast, the most appropriate action for your family may be to evacuate.  Make an evacuation kit and have a plan.

    Clean out draws and drainages around your home.  This includes brush and other debris that could keep water from flowing into a culvert or drain. 

    Consider purchasing flood insurance.  Even areas that are not normally prone to flooding can flood after a wildfire.  FEMA lists the average flood claim in 2010 as $28,000.

    Secure outdoor items or store them inside.  This includes barbeques, picnic tables, and outdoor furniture. 

     

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  • 05/07/15

    Dear interested contractor:

     

    In the links below you will find a contract, plans, and specifications to construct berms, road build-ups, and drivable dips, as well as, placing ecology blocks to protect homes that have been deemed at high risk from flooding and mud and debris flows as a result of the Carlton Complex Fire.

     

    You are invited to submit a bid for this important work.  Those interested in presenting bids must attend a mandatory conference and site visits on Thursday, May 14th at the Conservation District office at 9:00 am. 

    Bids must be received by 2 pm (Pacific Time) on Thursday, May 21st. 

    Please note that this work must be completed by June 24, 2015.

     

    Other details are included in the contract and specifications.  If you have questions, please call me at the phone number noted below.

     

    Bob Clark

    Senior Conservation Planner

    Okanogan Conservation District

    1251 South Second Avenue, Room 102

    (509) 422-0855, ext 104

    bob[at]okanogancd[dot]org

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