Vol. 17, No. 2


Astronomy Expert To Talk About Solar Eclipse
Find Out About Firehouse Sale Success!
Division Of Firehouse Sale Proceeds 2000–2016
Thanks For Donating To The HPCC 2017 Silent Auction
High Prairie Dodged A Bullet
Quick Use Of Fire Extinguisher Saves Vehicles
Fire Dept Pumping Test Could Improve Insurance Rating
Firewise Practices Mitigate Wildfire Threat
Wildfire Scorches Area Off Hartland Road
Highly Recommended
What I Have Learned From My Dog
Now And Then
High Prairie Loses Earl Kemp
Azure Standard Drop Right Here On High Prairie
Spring Blooms
Summer Scenes
High Prairie’s Wild Turkeys….When And Where They Came From 
2017 Firehouse Sale Scenes



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Astronomy Expert To Talk About Solar Eclipse

Astronomy Expert to Talk About Solar Eclipse

On Thursday, July 27, HPCC will be hosting a talk by Troy Carpenter, Director of the Goldendale Observatory. Mr. Carpenter, known for his amusing and informative presentations, will be speaking about the total solar eclipse happening on August 21, 2017. The talk begins at 7:00 p.m. at the High Prairie Community Center. A telescope set up outside the center beforehand will provide opportunities to view celestial objects visible in the early evening sky.
This image represents the type of view of the moon that folks can expect to see at our July 27th community meeting. The photo was taken looking to the west from High Prairie on December 30, 2016. Now, in July, the sun will still be up at 7 p.m., but we can expect the moon to be moving closer to this orientation later that night.

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Find Out About Firehouse Sale Success!

The other presentation slated for that evening is a full report on the results of the Firehouse Sale. By that time the costs will have been tallied, and Firehouse Sale Chairperson Sharon Aleckson will be able to announce the Sale’s net profit and give more detailed information on the success of the Sale. 

How much money goes to the Fire District?

There have been questions raised about how much money the HPCC donates to Fire District 14. Here’s some information about how that decision will be made.

The HPCC fiscal year ends on June 30. Although financial planning is done on an ongoing basis, now is the time the HPCC Board of Directors discusses and finalizes the new fiscal year budget. If you are interested in having input into where the money goes, call Sharon Aleckson at 365-4429, Barb Parrish at 509-281-0933, or another board member, to find out when the budget will be on the Board’s meeting agenda. 

The Board reviews the next year’s expected expenses and sources of income, looks at projects slated for the future and money held in reserve for specific uses, and so on. A large chunk of the budgeted outlay, and a priority for the HPCC, is donating money to help support Fire District 14. Another major portion goes to maintaining the Community Center. This includes utilities, cleaning, maintenance of kitchen equipment, permits, and improvements that are not covered by grants or specific donations. (Expenses related to the Community Center support the Fire District, too, since the FD owns the building and would have to find some way to pay for the part of the upkeep that HPCC currently provides.)

As part of the budget process, and taking into consideration requests received from the Fire District, the Board decides on an amount they will recommend be donated to the Fire District. They present their recommendation to the general HPCC membership at a regular HPCC meeting and the subject is opened for discussion, followed by a general vote. All interested High Prairie residents are encouraged to come and take part in the process. Since there is no August HPCC meeting, this will probably happen at the meeting on September 28, 2017. 

Every person on High Prairie has a voice in this decision. This is your opportunity to ask questions, find out information, get your concerns out in the open, express your ideas, and have input into the results. Remember what speaker Randy Pausch said, “Complaining doesn’t work as a strategy.” Come and be part of the process.

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Division Of Firehouse Sale Proceeds 2000–2016

Barb Parrish, Secretary, HPCC

There have been many discussions and questions regarding how the funds from the sale are used. This seems like a good forum to address those concerns. A report of the success of this year’s sale will be presented at the HPCC meeting on July 27, and the most recent HPCC budget is available to answer questions or concerns about costs for maintaining our Community Center.

This past winter I dug into the old meeting minutes. The result of my research is a recap of policy decisions made over the years regarding the amount of Firehouse Sale profits to go to the Fire District. I’ve listed details from the minutes below.  Some history—in 2000 and 2001, ALL the net profits went to the Fire District. In 2002, it was made official that the profits would be split 50/50 between HPCC and the Fire District. That arrangement lasted until 2011, when it was changed so  the profits could be split according to the most pressing need(s). By then, the HPCC had taken on significant financial responsibilities for the Community Center. 

My research shows that over the years $51,704.50 has been recorded as donated to the Fire District. (Refer to chart, below). The total is actually higher, since there are two years missing where I couldn’t find a figure recorded, one year when all the proceeds went to finishing the Community Center, and one year that the Fire District agreed for HPCC to use $5,000 for site work instead of making a donation. Since the Fire District owns the property, they benefit from any improvements HPCC makes to the land or the building, as well as from any part of the upkeep or maintenance paid for by HPCC. If the missing figures and the money HPCC spent on the site and building were included, the donated amount would be well over $75,000!

THANKS go to all of our wonderful community members who have worked so hard all of these years to insure that we have a well equipped fire department and a beautiful community center for all to enjoy—you are the greatest!

HPNA Minutes – February 28, 2002 – FIREHOUSE SALE COMMITTEE:

Cal Edwards made a motion that all future fundraising events in which the fire department’s or the firehouse’s names are used be split 50/50 between Fire District #14 and the High Prairie Neighborhood Association. The funds would be held in the Association’s treasury. Dona seconded the motion and the motion was adopted.

HPNA Minutes – March 28, 2002 – MINUTES OF LAST MEETING:

The minutes from the February 28, 2002 meeting were approved as corrected: The second sentence of the Firehouse Sale Committee Report is changed to:  “Cal Edwards made a motion that all future fundraising events in which the fire department’s or firehouse’s names are used be split 50/50 between Fire District #14 and the High Prairie Neighborhood Association.”

HPNA Minutes – April 25, 2002 – MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING:

Cal Edwards made a correction to the correction of the February 28, 2002 minutes as follows: The second sentence of the February 28, 2002 Firehouse Sale Committee report is changed to: “Cal Edwards made a motion that proceeds from all future fundraising events in which the fire department’s name or the firehouse building are used to split 50/50 between Fire District #14 and the High Prairie Neighborhood Association.”  

HPCC Minutes – March 24, 2011 – NEW BUSINESS (Resolution Motion)

Martha Hamil read the following motion which was sent to HPCC on Sunday, March 20, 2011:

-1 Resolution

Whereas, The total net profits from the Firehouse Sale during the first 3 years were devoted entirely to Fire District #14 when their need was dire and 50% of the net proceeds in the following 7 years were allocated to Fire District #14 according to the motion of 25 April 2002; and 

Whereas, Fire District #14 now has Reserve funds and the term ‘Firehouse Sale’ is not an official name;

Resolved, That the motions of 2002 pertaining to the name ‘The Firehouse Sale’ and the distribution of the monies be amended to read:“The term ‘Firehouse Sale’ be used for the annual community fundraising event. After deductions of expenses related to operating the Community Center for the forthcoming year and seed money for the upcoming year’s ‘Firehouse Sale’, the net proceeds derived from the ‘Firehouse Sale’ be allocated to HPCC and/or Fire District #14 according to the most pressing needs following established protocols.”  

Patrice Archuleta seconded the motion.  After some discussion and some opposition, Myrin Bentz and Patrice Archuleta called the question.  Ted McKercher re-read the motion—21 were in favor, 5 opposed —the motion carried.  Ted explained what the motion meant for HPCC and HPFD – “one community working together”.

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Thanks For Donating To The HPCC 2017 Silent Auction

AB Salon, Amber– White Salmon
AB Salon, Becka – White Salmon
Absolute Sunshine – White Salmon
Adrian Bradford – Lyle
Allyn’s Building Center – Goldendale
Annie Kirkpatrick – Lyle
Antiques & Oddities – Bingen
Beneventi’s – Bingen
Bent River Restaurant – The Dalles
Bob & Fran Songer – Goldendale
Car Quest – Goldendale
Carmen’s Kitchen – Bingen
Cascade Eye Center – The Dalles
Cathedral Ridge Winery – Hood River
Chic by Squeak – John Day
Chris & Rachel Fritz – High Prairie
Columbia Gorge Discovery – The Dalles
Columbia Gorge Hotel – Hood River
Columbia Gorge Interpretive – Stevenson
COR Cellars – Lyle
Corner Pocket Bar – Lyle
Country Café – Lyle
Cowgirl Bling – Centerville
Dairy Queen – The Dalles
Dale Crosley – Goldendale
Dave & Sabra Snow – High Prairie
Deborah Hansen – High Prairie
Del Carpine – Hood River
Dennis Evans – Toppenish
Dirt Hugger – Dallesport
DJ’s Repair – Bingen
El Rinconcito – Bingen
Ellie Wise – Portland
Everybody’s Brewing – White Salmon
Eric Shrum – High Prairie
Fairfield Inn – The Dalles
French’s Farm – Lyle
Garden of Weedin – High Prairie
Gee’s Family Restaurant – Goldendale
Glenwood Rodeo – Glenwood
Golden Photo – Goldendale
Goldendale Coffee Co – Goldendale
Goldendale Sentinel – Goldendale
Goldendale Tire Factory – Goldendale
Goldendale Veterinary – Goldendale
Grampa’s Toys – Prairie City
Granny’s Bloomers – Goldendale
Griffith Motors – The Dalles
Grinder’s – The Dalles
Hampton’s Furniture – The Dalles
Harvest Market – White Salmon
Home Depot – The Dalles
Hood River Coffee – Hood River
JD’s Jewlers – The Dalles
KC Pharmacy – Goldendale
Kelly Johnson – Lyle
Ken Hansen – High Prairie
Ken & Jocelyn Weeks – High Prairie
Kodiak Bones & Bugs – High Prairie
Les Schwab – Goldendale
Linen’s Wholesale – Oakley, ID
Linette Enstad, Little Paris – Goldendale
Lyle Hotel – Lyle
Lyle Mercantile – Lyle
Lyle Lions Club – Lyle
Marty Dillon – The Dalles
Memaloose Winery – Lyle
Myrin & Audrey Bentz – High Prairie
Nadja McConville – Hood River
NAPA Auto Supply – Bingen
Nelson Tire Factory – The Dalles
Pamela Springer – Lyle
Papa John’s Pizza – Goldendale
Papa Murphy’s – The Dalles
Patricia Carpenter – White Salmon
Pee Wee’s Auto Detail – The Dalles
Petite Provance – The Dalles
Pioneer Pizza White Salmon
Pioneer Rock & Monument – Goldendale
Portland Spirit – Portland
Ramona Searle – High Prairie
Ray Schulten’s – The Dalles
Rebecca Sonnicksen – High Prairie
Robin Hudson – Goldendale
Roo Equipment – Wasco, OR
Rosauer’s – Hood River
SDS Lumber – Bingen
Scoop & Smiles – White Salmon
Seattle Mariners – Seattle
Seattle Seahawks – Seattle
Sedition Brewing – The Dalles
Sharon Aleckson – High Prairie
Shenandoah Cabinets – Goldendale
Sherwin Williams – The Dalles
Shirley Enstad – Goldendale
Spooky’s Pizza – The Dalles
Stu Gordon – High Prairie
Sweet Things By Julie – White Salmon
Tallman Ladders – Hood River
Tetrahedron Wines – Lyle
The Dalles Liquor Store – The Dalles
The Feed Shack – The Dalles
The Glass Onion – Goldendale
The Hair Affair – Goldendale
The McCready Co – Goldendale
The Red House – Goldendale
Today’s Chalet – White Salmon
True Value – The Dalles
Tum-a-Lum Lumber – The Dalles
US Autocare – White Salmon
WAAAM – Hood River
Wardco, LLC – High Prairie
White Salmon Eyecare – White Salmon
Zoller’s Outdoor Odesseys – WS

You are greatly appreciated

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High Prairie Dodged A Bullet

Jake Jakabosky

By now you’ve probably heard about the July 10 wildfire near the south end of Hartland Road. The van that burned to the ground torched the adjacent woods and fire spread rapidly eastward pushed by brisk winds.

Fortunately, High Prairie FD and multiple local volunteer fire departments were quickly on scene, followed by two hand crews digging fire trail. Next came two helicopters dipping water from Johnson Lake, a retardant plane from Dallesport and a dozer from Rural 7 Fire Department. Agencies on scene included High Prairie, Lyle, Centerville, Rural 7, DNR, and USFS – thanks to all. Law enforcement officers notified Mott Road residents that a Level 2 evacuation notice was in effect, meaning “Be packed up and ready to leave on short notice.” Fire crews worked well into the night to contain the fire, then mop any flames near the fire perimeter. With all the concerted effort, the fire was kept to just 14 acres.

High Prairie Fire Chief Tim Darland had nothing but praise for the joint effort. In a press release the next morning he wrote, “I am very impressed with our fire department, first responders, DNR, USFS and all the fire agencies that provided mutual aid to our District.  Outstanding efforts by all to save lives and property!”

This could have been a serious fire, consuming homes as it advanced northeastward. High Prairie dodged a major bullet this time. We should all take this as a warning to think seriously about fire prevention and what we need to do to protect our property from the next fire, which may not be stopped so quickly.

Humans cause 84% of all wildland fires, often through carelessness, parking a vehicle with a hot muffler in dry grass, a mower throwing sparks after hitting a rock, or an ATV or chainsaw with a bad spark arrestor. As High Prairie firefighter James Day reminds us below, there are about 170,000 vehicle fires like that van fire in the US annually. He points out that most of those fires could be controlled if folks would just carry a fire extinguisher in their vehicle and know how to use it. 

Please be aware the county burn ban is now in effect. Debris burning causes 29% of wildfires; and there are penalties for ignoring the ban.

Once again, now is the time to clean those gutters, remove leaves from under the deck, and move firewood and other combustibles from the top of the deck. Cut grass and brush within 20 to 30 feet of buildings, as flame height can be three times the height of the grass and produce incredible heat ahead of the flames.

Metal mesh with 1/4” or less openings should be installed under the deck. This will keep out leaves and windblown embers (and skunks!). Use that same mesh on open house soffits. Replace bark chip landscaping with gravel. 

Trim your ladder fuels. That means remove tree limbs up to at least 8’ off the ground to prevent tree crown fires. Remove shrubs and trim branches from close to your house and roof. Firefighters call Arbor Vitae and Juniper shrubs close to the house “gasoline on a stick.” Also trim trees and brush back from your driveway and cut overhanging limbs that will impede fire apparatus access. Is your house address sign readily visible, even at night and in thick smoke?

More details and ideas are available from Firewise at www.firewise.org.

Yes, we dodged a big one this time, thanks to a quick response by local fire departments and firefighting agencies. But your volunteer firefighters aren’t superheroes. They can’t always stop every fire or protect every property. So please be careful with ignition sources and do everything you can to make your home defensible.

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Quick Use Of Fire Extinguisher Saves Vehicles

Jim Day

I hope that the recent Hartland Road fire raises awareness of this very predictable vehicle-fire caused wildfire.  Nationwide, in the last few years the number of vehicle fires has fluctuated around 170,000 per year. I have personally arrived on the scene of three previous vehicle fires over the last ten years and in one case, was able to put out a small fire quickly. Our previous Aid 14 vehicle was saved from a similar fate by quick work with a fire extinguisher just last year by Fred Henchell. This time of year everyone should carry a fire extinguisher in their work vehicle. It was clear at the scene on Hartland Road that neither the driver of this van nor any of those who first came upon this scene had a fire extinguisher. By the time the fire vehicles arrived, it was fully involved and the wildfire was a much more serious issue.

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Fire Dept Pumping Test Could Improve Insurance Rating

Jake Jakabosky

On July 8, the High Prairie Fire Department conducted a pumping flow test to determine our capability to continuously produce a stream of water at a rate of 250 gallons per minute for ½ hour. The test was a practice run to prove we could do it or find out where we’d have to improve. Once the Schilling Road Fire Hall is built, the real test will be set by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau (WSRB), which provides property underwriting and rating information for the insurance industry. If successful, the residential insurance rating for properties within 5 miles of the Schilling Road station could be improved to an 8 rating and allow for lower insurance rates. Residences within 5 miles of the Struck Road Fire Hall currently have an 8 rating.

You’ll be glad to know the practice test was a complete success. The Department has enough water available on existing apparatus like tenders and structure engines to provide that amount of water continuously. Our volunteers will continue to drill and maintain their skill level so we can demonstrate our ability to meet flow test requirements to the WSRB when the new fire hall is completed.

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Firewise Practices Mitigate Wildfire Threat

Tom McMackin


Summer’s arrival and the posting of Klickitat County ‘Burn Ban’ signs signal the start of high wildland fire potential and homeowner sleepless nights. The threat isn’t a predetermination of casualty to house, home and property. Ideally, we’ve had the opportunity to work around the driveway, house, shop and barn to prepare for the fire incident that can be expected at any time in our neighborhood. Evacuation is a real possibility for the safety of residents and firefighters when a wildfire starts. 

There are effective actions we can take to mitigate risk and prepare our properties for surviving a High Prairie wildfire by implementing principles from the national Firewise and ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ programs. These programs are designed to address the challenges and hard facts of experiencing a fire event as a resident in a boundary area of wild lands and human activity like ours. 

Fire’s attack on a structure primarily comes from fire carried to it along the ground or lofted through the air by showers of burning embers settling on it. ‘Structure’, for example, would be your house (shop, barn, etc.) + the deck + the wooden fence that attaches to it. The area around structures is the ‘Home Ignition Zone’. This zone consists of 3 bands from base of the building outward [0-5’ 5’-30’ 30’-100’]. There is still time to make a real wildfire difference with common sense, a little effort and taking a small, focused approach starting today. 

• Firewise & Ready – Clear away the fire catchers! – [0-5’] Start at the house (+deck + fence) – from the peak of the roof down look for things that might catch a firebrand and give it fuel to burn: leaves & pine needles, construction debris from a project, stacked cordwood or winter-killed shrubs or plantings in beds against the wall, tall grass around and up to the walls, etc. Then keep this band ‘green’ by watering trimmed grass and plantings. 

• Set & Go ! – Assemble supplies & create list(s) – Get Set by thinking about and preparing to leaving home in an evacuation, or to be self-sustaining for at least 72 hours, and creating written lists of critical things to remember as you are leaving. Consider creating ‘to do’ timed checklists of steps to remember as you evacuate. Prepackage clothing, sundries, water and food items in a backpack or portable container(s) that can be easily loaded into your car so that you can leave quickly if the evacuation order is given or a wildfire is coming across the field and knocking at your door. Do not hesitate to ‘Go !’ immediately, being able to load family and pets in your rig and heading to safety. 

These first steps are keys that will make the safety of you and your family a priority and will give your property defensible space to assist firefighters. Expanding the zones of protection and adding comfort items to your assembled supplies can naturally follow as you build on these first efforts to be Firewise and Ready, Set to go! 

For more information on the ‘Firewise’ & ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ programs contact Tom McMackin by email at firewise.onhighprairie@gmail.com or by phone message by calling 509-365-2786. 

Online resources: 

Firewise – http://www.firewise.org or http://www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/be-firewise/home-and-landscape.aspx

Ready, Set, Go! – http://www.wildlandfirersg.org or http://www.wildlandfirersg.org/Resident

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Wildfire Scorches Area Off Hartland Road

Gwen Berry

Around 4 p.m. on July 10, a van being driven up the south end of Hartland Road caught on fire and ignited the dry weeds on the east the side of the road, setting off a wildfire with frightening potential to do great damage to homes and properties in its path. As High Prairie residents anxiously watched the billowing smoke and the dramatic action of helicopters dropping water on the fire, the threat of wildfire they’d been warned to expect suddenly became very real. Even those who didn’t experience it firsthand are now taking a serious look at what would happen if a wildfire came their direction.

High Prairie has capable and dedicated people who volunteer as District 14 firefighters, and they jumped on the fire as soon as it was reported. Other fire districts and firefighting agencies weren’t far behind bringing mutual aid and support. High Prairie Fire Chief Tim Darland reported that within a short time “there were approximately 75 personnel fighting the fire [including] 2 helicopters, 1 single seat retardant plane, and a dozer. Agencies present were HP Fire, Lyle Fire, Centerville Fire, Rural 7 Fire, USFS, a 20-person hand crew (ZigZag HotShots), a 10-person hand crew and DNR. . . All agencies worked very well together and we certainly could not have caught the fire without outside resources.”

But catch it they did! They had it under control by 10 p.m. and fire was kept to only 14 acres—quite an accomplishment in the middle of a hot, dry, windy summer. The Hartland Road wildfire may be out, but it’s a reminder that another one could start just as unexpectedly at any time.


Lorna Dove, 846 Centerville Highway
(sent via email to High Prairie)
“Words cannot really express how grateful we all are to have volunteers and professionals working together to accomplish so much.  My photos don’t capture the drama of helicopters coming in over and over to dump water as well as the plane dumping the retardant and the equipment and personnel that spent hours on the job.  I am grateful, too, for the water source where the helicopters were able to reload. Overnight it was so reassuring to see vehicles lights that were patrolling, keeping watch. Many expressed concern about their animals and feared that we would not be able to save them. What a relief to see the smoke become less. Thanks again for the great work fighting the fire enemy.”

Sabra Snow
Sent via email to Tim Darland, who forwarded it to the firefighters:
“Chief Tim, 
Words truly can’t express how grateful and appreciative Dave & I are of the combined efforts of all fire crews working the Hartland Fire.  Please relay this to the crews for us.  We used the situation to practice our stage 1 & 2 readiness.  Whew!  That was too close for comfort!
If you need me to come and help clean the station, restrooms, kitchen, or doing absolutely whatever else as part of the aftermath cleanup, let me know.
Sincerely with heartfelt thanks,


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Highly Recommended

Audrey Bentz

If anyone has need for some hard worker assistance (and our local youth are already busy), we would highly recommend Jericho Richter. He is especially good at repair work, yard care, painting, and general maintenance. His girlfriend Peggy Knott does a good job at house cleaning as well. They both work fast and yet do a thorough job. You can contact either of them at pegirl@gmail.com or 541-993-3704.

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What I Have Learned From My Dog


Diane Cazalet

To have patience. Be willing to wait for your own needs to be met. You may be unhappy, lonely, uncomfortable for hours but hold no grudges. Trust your friend will eventually return and come to your rescue.  

To have compassion. When you sense your friend is hurting or unhappy just sit by them, listen, and be ready to follow their lead when they are ready. Your quiet presence provides support.

To go with the flow. Always be ready to work, play, walk, run, wait, sleep or respond to whatever the situation presents. Take each day as it comes without unrealistic expectations.

To always greet your friend with excited love and affection no matter how long you have been separated.

To enjoy and explore the great outdoors and appreciate the smells, sounds and sights with enthusiasm and joy.

To enjoy a long afternoon nap without regrets or guilt.

To love to travel and explore yet be just as happy and excited to return home.

To give and accept affection regardless of the circumstances. Love is unconditional.

To accept work with enthusiasm and seriousness but as soon as the work is done feel free to kick back, lose the intensity of the job, and play or rest.

To take the lead on the trail if you wish, but be sure to look back often and check that friends are following.

To remember when bad things happen and you have no control over the outcome, just shake yourself off and go on with your day in good spirits.

To appreciate what you have without yearning for more.

To be forever loyal to your best friends and protect them whenever possible.

To enjoy life as it comes. Be quick to adjust to the current activities and events. Have a love for play, let the wind hit your face, be happy to be there, wherever that may be.

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Now And Then

Rebecca Sonniksen 

On a windy day in late May, volunteers from the High Prairie community gathered at “The Lone Pine” Hartland Cemetery for the Memorial Day clean-up. This normally serene setting was alive with the sounds of buzzing weedeaters and chain saws, as volunteers of all ages trimmed and weeded around the marble and granite stones dating back to the mid-1800’s. 

Organized by Barbara Parrish for the Cemetery Board, the cleanup crew included HP residents Doug Taylor, Madelon & Rob Taylor, Sharon Edwards, Susan & Chris Sattem, Bill Stallings, David Strait, Scott & Rebecca Sonniksen, and Barbara & Ben Parrish. The Parrishes were aided by daughter Michelle Gallanger and children Lynnea Gallenger and Keith Gallanger, and their friends, Laura Atkin and Andy Busse.

It was a community effort that was also quite personal. For some, the names on the stones were family or neighbors. For others, these pioneering family names were recognizable by road names like Morris Road, Harms Road, and Schilling Road, or by landmarks, like Stacker Butte named after the Stacker family. 

As the overgrown grasses and weeds were cleared, the hardships of living on the high prairie also became clear. Among the impressive granite markers, with names that included Kure, McCoy, Dickerson, Berry, Taylor, Clark, Stacker, and Morris, were those smaller white marble stones etched with lambs and doves, marked simply, “Our Baby” or “Our Son” or “Our Mother.”

Now, thanks to High Prairie families and friends, these stories will continue to resonate with the community.

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High Prairie Loses Earl Kemp

Carleen Ryon-Kemp

Earl Kemp

Longtime High Prairie friend and neighbor Earl Kemp passed away unexpectedly June 18, 2017, and was laid to rest on June 27th, 2017, at the Lone Pine Cemetery on Hartland Road. Patriot Guard riders escorted his remains – the flag line they formed was an amazing sight. He was buried with Naval Honors, including folding and presentation of the burial flag, and was honored with a rifle volley by the American Legion. Friends and family came together to pay tribute to Earl: Arlen Alecksen read a scripture passage; Chris Sattem read a tribute written by Tom Doll; a eulogy was given by Doug Troh of Glenwood, WA; and a group of friends, the High Prairie Ukulele Gang, sang Amazing Grace – Susan Sattem, Barbara Parrish, Pat Kent, and Chris Sattem. A memorial lunch was provided by many members of the community including Rocky Schultz, Arlen Aleckson, and many, many other generous neighbors. 

A very sincere thank you goes to the High Prairie Volunteer Fire Department and those members who responded to the emergency call on the 18th. Our community would not be the same without them. His wife and family are very grateful for the support the community has shown in this difficult time.

Earl David Kemp was born in Rupert, Idaho, on March 18, 1935. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on March 20, 1952, and served honorably for 4 years. During his time in service to our country Earl earned the National Defense Service Medal, Korea Service Medal, China Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

Earl was a member of the International Ironworkers, Local 29 Chapter and for almost four decades had a part in constructing many of the buildings in Portland and all over the West Coast, including the Rose Garden and Golden Gate Bridge.

Earl and his late wife, Dorothy (d. Aug. 1, 2010), moved to High Prairie in 2002 and he soon became an integral part of the community. Earl was an avid hunter and fisherman. He continued to weld until the end of his life, and he enjoyed hosting gatherings at his house. On April 1, 2017, he married Carleen Ryon, celebrating a new love late in life. Earl could always be counted on to help out his friends and neighbors with his unyielding generosity and common sense approach to life. Earl’s family, friends and community have lost a unique man and he will be remembered fondly.

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Azure Standard Drop Right Here On High Prairie

Terry Harmon

Greetings, High Prairie,

Hoping that you will all be blessed with an Azure Standard drop right here in High Prairie. With food being processed the way it is today, it is so nice to know we have a company that has great knowledge and morals on food value, right here in our neck of the woods. 

What is Azure Standard? What started out as an organic farm over 40 years ago has since grown into the largest independent natural and organic food distributor in the country. Azure Standard delivers more than 14,000 non-GMO and organic products direct to families, manufacturers and retailers across the nation. Their distribution system operates via pre-arranged, periodic “drops” along set routes, although they will also ship merchandise via UPS. Products are ordered online or by phone. Customers must show up when the driver does, otherwise their items go back to Azure. The minimum order is $50 or there is a $5.00 small order fee.

Take some time to search their internet site or order a catalog (see below). I’m sure you will be delighted to find such great products – and the fact that they will be delivered to you right here on High Prairie.

Would you like to receive a complimentary catalog package? The package includes their current sales magazine, containing a representation of their products (as well as some excellent articles and recipes,) a Welcome Guide and their full product catalog. If so, please email a request and your mailing address to Irma at customerservice175@azurestandard.com

Here is all the info you will need to get started:

Drop Name: 02 – High Prairie / Drop Number: D798457 / Route: GW-4 

Delivery is every 28 days; the next order cutoff date is 8/1/17.

Delivery Location: HP Community Center, 701 Struck Rd.

Drop coordinator: Terry Harmon / Email: gatharmon@gmail.com  / Phone: 365-2075

If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

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Spring Blooms

Rebecca Sonniksen

Business is “blooming” in Lyle. French’s Farm, formerly Milestone Nursery, located on Hwy. 14 and 8th street, opened under new ownership May 5 with it’s traditional sale of native plant and vegetable starts.

Jennifer Wykstra and Matt Kotwasinski, the new owners, are continuing to operate this popular native plant nursery on weekends and by appointment. Jennifer stated the building will house open yoga studio classes and be available as well for seasonal community events.

 “We’re so excited about our new business. Helping “plant people” is really fun. It doesn’t seem like working,” commented Jennifer, as she helped customers select their plants. 

With backgrounds in biology and chemistry, cultivating native plants comes naturally to Jennifer and Matt as does being involved in the High Prairie community where they have lived for almost 4 years.

Operating French’s Farm is only one of Jennifer’s many talents that include teaching weekly yoga classes held in the HP community center and working at Domaine Pouillon winery. 

In addition to helping with the nursery, Matt brings a marketing background from his full time position with pFriem Family Brewers. 

They chose the name of their new business, French’s Farm, based on the historic ownership  of this Lyle property. The original owner Egbert French, married to a native American, farmed this location in 1867 when Washington was a territory.

Over time as the uses and owners changed, so did the presidential seals on the property documents—the oldest dating back to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant. In 1935 the site became the home of a Texaco station and later a Shell station. Under the most recent owners the building had been a movie store, organic grocery store and finally a nursery.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” (http://facebook.com/Frenchs-Farm). We wish Jennifer and Matt the very best as they till this rich history with their energy and vision for the future.

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High Prairie’s Wild Turkeys….When And Where They Came From 

Tom Knight

In the 1950’s wildlife managers, mainly in Eastern states, attempted to re-introduce wild turkeys from pen-raised birds. This was a huge disaster, as pen-raised birds, whether they be pheasants/quail/chukars, just don’t make it in the wild. The reason was simple. They did not have a mother hen to show them what to eat, how to avoid predators and all the other things a young bird must learn. Evidently, these wildlife manager geniuses failed to read some important history, i.e. Judge Denny’s 1880’s introduction of wild-trapped Chinese ring-necked pheasants to the farmlands of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, south of Portland. It’s a story worth reading about on Google. The rest is history, as every ring-necked pheasant in North America can trace it’s lineage back to those wild-trapped ancestors from southern China.

In the early 1960’s, these same wildlife geniuses thought of the bright idea of wild-trapping adult turkeys just prior to the breeding season, in late winter/early spring. This time the trapping and subsequent introduction in suitable vacant habitat in Eastern US states were a huge success. The Eastern wild turkey, almost extinct due to habitat destruction and poaching, responded with outstanding success and was an early example of what can be accomplished when one listens to Mother Nature.

There are six subspecies of wild turkeys native only to North America: 

the Eastern (largest native range, from Georgia to New England and west to the Mississippi with all states between); 

the Ocella (native only to northern Florida’s Panhandle and into southern Georgia); 

the Rio Grande (native to Texas and southern Oklahoma); 

the Merriam’s (white band on its tail feathers; native to the Rockies/Intermountain West of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona); 

the Gould’s (the heaviest; occurs in northern Mexico and southern Arizona and New Mexico);

the tropical Ocellated (the most colorful and resembles a peacock; native to Mexico’s Yucatan/northern Guatemala and northern Belize). 

Wildlife agencies across the US now routinely trap wild game bird species for distribution within their own state and to send to other states. In the early l960’s Washington received three shipments of Merriam’s, trapped around Alamogordo, New Mexico. They arrived the day after trapping and went to three sites in Washington: the Tucannon in the Blue Mountains, north of Spokane near Colville, and to the Klickitat Wildlife Game Management Area (as it was called back then). For some reason, the Tucannon release was a big disappointment as I guess Mother Nature didn’t like the site. However, the Colville and Klickitat releases were beyond everyone’s expectations. The populations in the Klickitat and Colville exploded (like the 1880’s pheasant introduction in the Willamette Valley). By 1968 the state held its first fall hunting season (either-sex).

In the spring of 1969, the first spring gobbler-only season was held from April 15-30. For those who remember that time, it was an absolute disaster. The day before the season opened, the local wildlife officer and I ran a dawn “transect” of the High Prairie. Just from the road alone, from where the first timber begins, all the way downhill to Lyle, we counted nine different roost sites, as gobblers sound off in their roosting tree. The next morning we ran the High Prairie Road again and counted fifty-two vehicles along the road. Someone (not me, although I was the Game Department’s Public Relations Officer) had put a notice in The Seattle Times that “High Prairie was the hot spot to go.” 

Aside from pissing off all the local landowners, the Game Commission authorized (for what reason I have yet to this day wondered) the use of high powered rifles. The cousin of a friend of mine did a seriously stupid thing…he found a hen turkey feather and put it in his hat. Some idiot saw the movement across a hillside and shot the guy dead!

Things improved as they learned from their mistakes. Due to the fact that Washington has nine separate and distinct “habitat/environmental zones,” Washington is one of only two states with thriving populations of three of the six North American wild turkey species – Rio, Merriam’s and Eastern. Rio’s were introduced into the Blue Mountains and they liked their new home better than the Merriam’s had. They also thrive west of Colville where they also interbreed with Merriam’s as a hybrid. Merriam’s also thrive on the east slopes of the Cascades; they inhabit all of timbered Klickitat and Skamania counties, plus have extended their range over the Simcoes into the Yakima Indian Reservation. Not to be outdone, wildlife managers have very successfully introduced Eastern turkeys in virtually all of Southwest Washington—from Chehalis, west to Grays Harbor and south to Vancouver. The state now has a three-bird limit in many areas, especially north of Colville where Merriam’s have become a “pest” in many areas.

The first week of June is the peak hatching period for virtually all game bird species. In mid-summer, if you are sharp-eyed when you drive the High Prairie road, you might spot a flock of dozens or more young turkeys at the edge of a field. It is very common for two or more adult hens to get together to raise their broods. It makes sense, as several adult hens can successfully watch over their communal broods (see image) more efficiently. Summer into early fall you can forget about seeing any mature gobblers, except by accident. The adult toms form “bachelor flocks” and are very secretive to the causal roadside observer. Young toms (born that year) in the fall and winter can be identified by the four central tail feathers being longer than the rest…the following year they will all be the same length.

I’ve spent a lot of thirty-four years hiking virtually all of the High Prairie/Fisher Hills/Goldendale to Bickleton turkey climes. In the next issue I can perhaps give some tips for those interested in bagging a fall turkey for Thanksgiving!

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