Wallowa County Commissioners have appointed Craig Yaw of Enterprise and Erin McLaughlin of Joseph to the Wallowa County Fair Board. The two volunteers fill the spots that will be vacated by Mike Hayward and Velda Bales.
Commissioner Todd Nash said there were five applicants and the Fair Board whittled that down to their top two choices.
“I know them both,” said Nash. “They have been helpful down there at the fair. Really, appreciation for all of those who put in (for the positions).”
The commissioners also started the long process of responding to a petition to include Alder Slope Cemetery District into the Enterprise Cemetery District.
The issue, said Nash, was that individuals with families buried in the Alder Slope Cemetery may not live in the official Alder Slope Cemetery district. Some are out of the “district” even though they live just across the road from the cemetery. Furthermore, individuals outside of the Alder Slope District can’t serve on the cemetery board and their taxes go to cemeteries of districts they live in, rather than to Alder Slope Cemetery.
It’s a long and complicated process to include Alder Slope Cemetery District in the Enterprise District, even though boards of both agree, said Commissioner Susan Roberts.
“They have to go through almost the same process as if the city of Enterprise grew the urban growth boundary and was annexing the property into the city,” Roberts said.
Commissioners began the process by accepting the petition to annex and setting the first of two public meetings for Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. in the Thornton room in Wallowa County Courthouse.
Commissioners also approved a Wallowa County Vegetation Department application for an Oregon State Weed Board Grant in the amount of $35,000. The WC Vegetation Department has successfully applied for similar grants for at least the last seven years, said Ryan Oberhelman, Wallowa County vegetation department manager.
The grant is to spray A-listed weed species throughout the valley, Oberhelman said.
“From what we hear from the state weed board they like the program and want to continue to fund it even though their purse strings are tightening,” he said.
A-listed weeds include Hawkweed and Welted Thistle.
As an example of the efficacy of the A-List spray program’s success, Oberhelman said that the department first sprayed Welted Thistle in 2016 when they sprayed a net of five acres. Last year they sprayed 1/30th of an acre.
“So, that tracks the progress,” Oberhelman said.
Commissioner Nash also congratulated Oberhelman for his appointment as president of the Oregon County Weed Management Association — an association of all of the weed managers for weed control districts in the state of Oregon.
“I was forced into it at gun point,” Oberhelman joked.
Oberhelman has served as vice president of the association for two years.
“What we try to do is get all of these guys like me who live in road department shops in the middle of nowhere and sit and stew about all the things that happen on the state level that make our jobs harder and we try to get them to talk together and get our commissioners and state representatives to go and stick up for us in Salem,” Oberhelman said.