The Random Post (Spring Fever) – 4.11.21

This is just a slice… I love this County! Spring fever! There is stuff happening… HOWEVER we’ve got to keep our COVID safety protocol and best practices up folks – Masks, Distance, Keep Clean. We are not out of the woods yet! GET VACCINATED. Some useful facts: + On April 19th everyone in Oregon will be eligible to get the vaccine! + You do NOT need to be a U.S. citizen to get the vaccine. + Getting the vaccine will NOT affect your immigration status or count as a public charge. + You do not need to have or provide a social security number. If a form or an appointment asks for one, write in 000-00-0000. +You do not need to have identification or other documentation to receive a vaccine.

On April 19th everyone in Oregon will be eligible to get the vaccine! Or you can call the Siletz Community Health Clinic now: 541-444-9636

North County Stuff

The Lincoln City Chamber’s Mayor Candidate Forum (4.13.21 – 12PM): Who will be Lincoln City’s next Mayor? This will be broadcast on Zoom. You’ll need to email the Chamber to get the Zoom information.  My hope is that this we be recorded and posted online. Ultimately you are going to VOTE right? Investigate. Your vote matters!

City of Lincoln City Website Redevelopment Survey (Survey open until 4.16.21 – 4:30PM): My residence is in Newport. Why would this matter to me? I receive calls when I am at work by citizens and visitors who are trying to problem solve situations that involve interacting with the City of Lincoln City government services. Websites are a digital portal/mirror for the physical services provided by an organization. Help the City build it better so you can find the information you need. It’s quick and important survey.

Good websites matter. I appreciate the City of Lincoln City is asking for community input. Take a moment and help them understand the type of functionality and the nature of information you desire most.

The GREAT GARAGE SALE! (April 16,17,18 – 10AM to 5PM): Last year we found some GOOD stuff. This is the best slam dunk bargain hunting experience in all the land. If your goanna sell some stuff – register your location and goodies – I want to know!

North Lincoln Sanitary Service’s Annual City Clean Up will happen the week following the Great Oregon Coast Garage Sale. April 20th-23rd. Call by April 19th to be placed on the route. 541-994-5555.

East County Stuff

Port of Toledo PORT TALK (4.22.21 – 12PM): Exciting developments continue at the Port of Toledo. Another Zoom opportunity to learn about the economic development and opportunities in the maritime industry with an East County H20 feel.

+Hear first-hand how the Port of Toledo has grown to become an important economic driver for the Oregon Coast Maritime Industry. +Learn about Hatfield Marine Science Center iLab’s partnership with Oregon RAIN to grow Oregon’s Blue Economy. +Participate in discussions about how to solve current challenges among Oregon’s ports.

I would also add that Oregon RAIN has a job opening: Resiliency Program Director . Port of Toledo’s Wooden Boat Show is an annual event held on the 3rd weekend of August.

Phantom Galleries Grand Opening (4.17.21 – 3PM to 5PM): This is super cool! I am really looking forward to seeing the installations on main street. If you have not been to Toledo in awhile – here is a reason to experience some “valley” weather and remember what “main street” IS and CAN be for a community, Arts Revitalization of Toledo is launching this program with a grand opening outside Toledo City Hall. What is it? Phantom Galleries are small, temporary art galleries created in vacant storefronts that allow visitors to enjoy the works of local and regional artists in a COVID-safe environment. Read all about it… Oregon Coast Today, thank you.

Central County Stuff

Low Tide Learning – Survival Foods (4.24.21 – 3:45PM): Are you curious about what lives below the tides? Yes. Want to know what’s safe to eat in an emergency situation (or a fun dinner party)? Yes. Low Tide Learning returns! I am not sure how many slots are left. The Newport Parks and Recreation FB page says this opportunity is limited to 10 people. It does not appear to be closed (at this time) on their events page.

Can we find our dinner? I hope so… I’ve head there are up to 40+ edible seaweeds on the Oregon Coast… Anticipation!

I am super stoked for this one! I am hoping that ocean foraging identification is a little easier than its land-based counterpart. Not making the best progress on land. Although, we have kicked around the idea of taking a guided foraging tour with Northwest Ecotours & Guide Service to accelerate our learning curve.

Big Picture Stuff

Many years ago, I participated in the growth of Lincoln County Community Rights.  During that time the group’s objective was banning aerial spraying.  It successfully created a citizens’ initiative to ban aerial spraying in Lincoln County. The rest is complicated… While I don’t currently participate in its local planning and projects, I do support many aspects of what the group is trying to accomplish.

How do we understand our relationship with the natural world? Indigenous peoples have a wonderful perspective that I believe we can learn from. Let us reconcile and meditate upon this…

In coordination with Oregon Community Rights Network and CELDF anyone can join the “Webinar Wednesday” panel discussions. This week is “Protecting Mother Earth: The history, legacy, and possibilities as experienced by Native Americans” the invitation notes “Our settler view of life is very different.  We have learned we can be  ‘owners’ of lands and living beings, where ‘resources’ are to be used, abused, and harmed in the service of incessant wanting of more, ignoring the justice issues of those who live in different ways.  We have much to learn if we are to find collaboration, respect and willingness to do what’s necessary for the care of our home planet as we move ever closer to extinction.”

Ok. So I’ve hyped myself and you on some of the cool shit happening. It’s all good.. yet, “The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) has joined Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, an international initiative that supports tourism businesses, organizations and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking purposeful action to reduce carbon emissions as per the advice from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030. OCVA will be exploring voluntary, private sector solutions to this complex and global issue.”

I’ve asked Reed to read… Mary DeMocker’s book presents some good ideas. Honestly, we just don’t implement enough of them and it worries me greatly.

When I reflect and investigate the action steps needed – I appreciate that OCVA has defined specific actions with which to move forward. I feel somewhat paralyzed on this issue. But, I know that doing nothing is going to result in no thing. What we are doing at home is implementing simple but important actions to reduce our carbon footprint. We are eliminating purchases with packaging that goes straight to the land fill. And asking each other how badly we need this stuff. Composting is helping. We have realized our area hauler allows for compostable items that would otherwise have been “garbage”.  Importantly, we are talking about tangible things we can do now.

Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve (Part 1)

Question: What are Biosphere Reserves? (UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

Answer: “Biosphere reserves are ‘learning places for sustainable development’. They are sites for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity. They are places that provide local solutions to global challenges. Biosphere reserves include terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each site promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use…. Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located.”

Hart’s Cove Trail at Cascade Head. A welcome bench awaited us as we made the 2.7 mile descent. This rest stop appears to gaze over the destination to come. We didn’t find out on this journey. But, we’ll be back!

I saw Paul Robertson (Re – Robertson Environmental) in September at the Multi Agency Resource Center (MARC). He flashed me on the concept of our biosphere reserve and that Kaety and I might participate in an upcoming listening session with interested parties. At the moment I don’t have a lot of details about this event and do not see it posted on either ( or ( I should have more to come on this soon. Nevertheless, this run in with Paul was a stimulus for my own exploration of the Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve.

I had difficulty wrapping my head around the general concept in the beginning. Indicative of how little I am knowledgeable and trained in matters of ecology and nature’s living systems. I spend an unhealthy amount of time in the digital matrix.  So, instead of navigating to resources about our actual biosphere reserve I first watched the 2020 documentary Spaceship Earth – as if I expected to see a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome unknow to me in north county!

It was designed to explore the web of interactions within life systems in a structure with different areas based on various biological biomes. (Wikipedia)

The documentary is well done and enjoyable. As I learned more about Cascade Head the concept of “Biosphere 2 (which) was originally meant to demonstrate the viability of closed ecological systems to support and maintain human life in outer space” became a nicely placed tangent to my growing understanding of why we might create an artificial system or designate a geographical space as a biosphere.  

Real or artificial we have an opportunity to observe, measure, explore and discover. Biosphere 2 was comprised of seven biome areas (3.14-acre).  How might a small group of “biospherians” survive in the largest materially closed ecological system ever created?  How would the enclosed mangrove, savanna, ocean and more thrive along with its inhabitants? Turns out (spoiler alert) not well.

We have much to learn and optimize before colonizing our next planet.  Taking it up an octave we much to learn about the original spaceship earth. Modern times debate our current stewardship. Oxygen levels were difficult to maintain in the 1991 experiment. It turned out the microbes in the soil and the curing cement were outliers that necessitated turning up the volume on the carbon dioxide scrubbers and pumping in some fresh air.

Biosphere 2 is now owned by the University of Arizona. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching, and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. Looks like they have a podcast. We’ll be checking that out!

Our First Trip – A Hero’s Journey

On November 30th, my son and I embarked on our first adventure to the real deal. Its notable to disclose that I did close to zero research about where we were going and what the hell we were getting into. Oddly, post hike, I am still having difficulty searching the interwebs for practical information about how to access and enter the area. I’ll take responsibility for my clunky research should I just be missing the simplicity of the request.

We traveled up Hwy 101 not far from Lincoln City/Otis and turned east on N. Three Rocks Road – Cascade Head Trail. The gated and gravel road was easily navigated with occasional tight spots with oncoming traffic. We initially traveled to the Nature Conservancy Trail which was closed. We continued to Hart’s Cove Trail and found parking and turn around space along with 15 other vehicles.

Reed Miller. 10 years old. We debated heading down Hart’s Cove Trail. After months of distance learning and tele-work at home we were finally on a journey together. It was epic simplicity. He demonstrated courage and a positive mindset to get moving!

My lack of planning would thwart our endeavor. We left our home in Newport with minimal intel:  “We’ll take that turn off…. You know the one we’ve seen on the way to Pacific City? The one that says Cascade Head Trail. I think that’s where we should go. I think we can hike to the ocean? Let’s just see what happens.” I had watched several videos on the Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve You Tube channel anticipating we would be in for some ocean eye candy at some point.

Shortly after we entered Hart’s Cove Trail we inquired with passing hikers.

“How long did it take?”

“About an hour down and an hour back”.

One hiker had the rhythm. “Naismith’s Rule estimates hiking time on reasonably easy ground based on 19½ minutes for every mile, plus 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet of ascent.” The trail head sign said “This 2.7 mile hiker trail takes you past Cliff Creek and into the Neskowin Crest Research Natural Area. It ends in a grassy meadow with no beach access. The first ½ mile of trail is rather steep.”

Calculating our situation, we realized that at our current time of 2:15 pm we would exit the trail head at dark. This left us little time to explore the grassy meadow, soak up ocean views and worship the setting sun. It would be prime time for photography. I could taste the Instagram worthy outcome of making it to the end. We continued. The other hikers we encountered were going the opposite direction.

“Most people do not know at all how beautiful the world is and how much magnificence is revealed in the tiniest things, in some flower, in a stone, in tree bark, or in a birch leaf. (Letters on Life)”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

As the clock ticked and our legs continued to tire, we stopped and deliberated. He was becoming nervous and I was concerned our return might be too intense should we tackle the last of the trail in the darkness. We had no food or lighting. I provided an inspiring lecture: it was the journey not the destination that we should embrace. We decide to reverse course. During our return I could hear Reed’s boots dragging into the trail. We were in darkness as we lifted ourselves into the comfort of our truck.  

I am grateful for Paul’s request to include us in this upcoming conversation about our local biosphere designation. At the moment, I know little of the breadth, depth and purpose this meeting he has asked me to attend. It has required that I begin to explore the subject of Cascade Head. Most significantly, for my own mental and physical health, the greatest reward thus far has been spending time with my boy in the outdoors. Reed and I desperately needed to get out of the house. In my professional work as a public information officer for Lincoln County 2020 has been vigorous. Our organization’s response to COVID has created a significant workload. Additionally, the response and continued recovery to the Echo Mountain fire has added a seemingly endless menu of options in my work life.

We struggled for about 1/2 hour deliberating to stay the course or turn back. Ultimately, we called it quits. To date, this is the longest hike Reed has made. He displayed courage and joy. Being outdoors is the rejuvenator.

One layer of future inquiry is the possibility that structures destroyed in the Echo Mountain Fire might result in toxic run off into the Salmon River. The Salmon River and its estuary is a notable feature of Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve. This “social system” of human dwellings may have a negative impact on the “ecological systems” within the biosphere. The purpose of a biosphere is to create conscious awareness of our interrelationships with other living systems: winter rains pass through ash and debris and enter larger waterways. What are the consequences?

Since our adventure I have continued to research this topic. Right now, I am curious to understand more about how the United Nations fits into the sphere of influence.

The UN’s objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law (Wiki)

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.” (SDGS)

How might we model these goals locally? Its inspiring to think we’ve got a head start in this thinking turned into action: Cascade Head Biosphere is our local biosphere within in Spaceship Earth. Its a living template. We are certainly blessed to have this asset.

Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve. The local influencers: Paul Robertson, MSc (Project & Communications Manager), Duncan Berry (CHBR Co-Organizer/Cascade Head Resident) and Dan Twitchell (CHBR Co-Organizer/Cascade Head Resident).

More to come in part two… My continued lines of inquiry include the following links and more: