Announcing New Publishing Dates For 2020:

Beginning with this issue, the High Prairian will be published during the first month of each quarter. That means you’ll see new issues in January, April, July, and October.

The change was made for several reasons, among them the difficulty in putting out the newsletter during the holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving everyone’s attention is on the holidays, and the days fill up with extra activities. It’s much easier in January. We also look forward to the High Prairian matching the seasons better. Gardening articles in April are more helpful than in March, for example, and an October issue can really celebrate Autumn.

If you have a subscription for printed copies to be mailed to you, your subscription will be shifted to the new schedule, so you won’t miss a thing. (If you don’t, but you’d like to receive printed copies, it’s only $5 a year. Check out the subscription information on page 2.)

We want to thank everyone for their continuing interest in the High Prairian. Your enjoyment makes our efforts worthwhile. We’d also like to thank the High Prairie Community Council for helping support the newsletter. Special thanks to Cindy Henchell, who does such an excellent job of turning our various articles, announcements, poems, photos, and recipes into an attractive, professional publication. Thank you all.

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A High Prairie Farewell – November 2019

Lozetta Doll

Tom often said he married a Gypsy who was always ready for the next move and the next adventure. Upon moving here in 2000, however, the restlessness that I seemingly inherited from my father seemed to dwindle in the beauty of the High Prairie area. Looking back though, I wish we had taken more time to just sit on the deck and look out at the mountain and canyons. Like a lot of us I suppose, we didn’t appreciate well enough the ordinary days of our lives. 

Even though we hated the thought of leaving, we came to the realization a couple years ago that it was becoming too much work for us. So, after having our place on the market for two years, at the worst possible time, I accepted an offer on the house. I knew that I couldn’t stay here by myself and didn’t want to be a burden on family, friends and neighbors. 

The last few months have been difficult to say the least with too much to do in a very short time. I am sorry I couldn’t tell everyone goodbye like I wished. I plan to be taking up a vagabond life with six months every year in La Paz, Mexico and the other six months with family in Idaho and Montana while doing some additional traveling. I will get back to High Prairie as often as I can and hope to keep in contact with many of you. 

For the time being, I will be getting mail at my daughter’s place, 11883 N. Meadowwood Lane, Hayden, ID  83835. My new email address is My cell phone is (503) 507-5326. 

P. S. From La Paz – January 2020: 

Hard to believe that I have been here in La Paz for over a month. I am missing Tom of course but I would be doing that anywhere, and I am OK. I am lucky that Tom and I had a plan for after the house sold and that the plan is working for me. Also lucky that we have a good number of friends and acquaintances here and a variety of things to do. 

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South Coyote Buttes

Erik Shrum wrote: “Just a couple of shots of what Theresa and Eric Shrum will do when there isn’t any snow on the Prairie (haha). New Years hiking at South Coyote Buttes in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. That’s Theresa in the picture below. It’s a beautiful area to explore; quiet, peaceful, unending, remote, hard to get to, and so worth the effort! It invigorates and quiets the soul, at the same time.”

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Bird Blind Project Hits A Few Snags

Gwen Berry

It’s been several months since the idea of building a bird blind in memory of Jake Jakabosky first came up. Many community members were struck by his sudden loss; and the bird blind idea appealed to them. It would be an appropriate way to remember Jake, an avid birder who introduced many in this community to the enjoyment of birds and birding. It would be a nice purpose for a little-used corner of the HP Fire District’s property; and it would be a gift to the community that Jake (and I, along with many of his friends) valued, supported, and served.

The Fire Commissioners approved the idea at their meeting in June. Preliminary drawings were available at Jake’s memorial service in July, and the response was generally enthusiastic. Many made donations to the project. Everything looked promising.

After fine-tuning the drawings, architect Rick Carlson contacted the Klickitat County Planning Department to sound them out about what they might need for the project to go forward. That’s when it hit the first major snag. The Planning Department wanted everything – conditional use permit, environmental review, complete ADA accessibility, complete site drawings, and an engineer’s input and approval of the building design. And that was before the Building Department and Public Works Department had a chance to tell us what else they might require! Obviously our view of the project and the County’s didn’t match. We had envisioned a small, simple building; they were seeing a major public facility.

That stymied us for some time as we searched for ways to comply while still being able to afford to build the bird blind. Then, Rick was reminded that a simple outbuilding under a certain square footage shouldn’t need a permit. Rick found it in the Washington State Building Code (which Klickitat County had also adopted), and sure enough, a simple building like a storage shed or playhouse doesn’t require a permit if it’s under 120 square feet. Minor adjustments to the design brought the bird blind to under 120 square feet, and once again things looked promising.

That’s when it hit major snag #2. Although the Fire Commissioners had been supportive and interested in the bird blind project at every Fire Commissioners meeting since June, sometime in December things went awry. After discussions with members of the HPCC Board of Directors, they agreed to develop a new joint operating agreement with HPCC where the two groups would share decision-making about the property west of the Community Center. At the December Fire Commissioner meeting it came out that they had reversed their approval of the bird blind project, and  approval would now have to come from the new joint decision-making committee once it was formed. Serious setback, to say the least!

In the weeks since then, however, the HPCC Board has indicated that they’re willing to work with us to find a way for their plans and the bird blind to coexist; and it doesn’t seem like the Fire Commissioners have an actual objection to the project itself. So although there may be another delay, it looks like we’ll eventually be moving forward again. It would help if the HPCC Board and the Fire Commissioners know there is community support for the bird blind project. Their contact info is on page 1, so if you like the idea, let them know.




Yoga at the Community Center starts again on Wednesday, January 22. HP Community Yoga is a great class for all levels. Classes focus on strength and balance with proper alignment, in a laid back and welcoming setting. This is a great time to start! Join teacher Jennifer Wykstra on Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. at the HP Community Center.


Upcoming HPCC Events

HPCC Board meeting
January 13, 7:00 p.m.
Community Center
This is a public meeting and everyone is invited.

Appreciation, Dessert & Discussion
Coming in February
Community Center
All Oktoberfest 2019 volunteers are invited to enjoy dessert and talk about last October’s event – what went well, what could be improved, etc.

HPCC General Meeting
January 23, 7:00 p.m.
Community Center
County Commissioner Dave Sauter – update of county issues, question & answer, opportunity for discussion


Poem: La Paz

Lozetta Doll

I walk the streets of La Paz,
The southerly city
That we grew to love.

Past  the cathedral
Where he went so often
For daily Mass.

Past the bakery where
He couldn’t resist buying
Those cream puffs for dessert.

Past the barber shop where
They always greeted him
With a wave and a smile.

Past the sidewalk kiosks
Where he bargained 
For caps and leather belts.

Past his favorite haunt,
The cinnamon roll coffee shop
He frequented too often.

He is with me still as I walk
Along the streets of La Paz,
The city of remembrance.


From The HPCC Treasurer’s Desk

Ken Hansen

“Oktoberfest”, which occurred last October 5-6 at the HPCC Community Center, was a SUCCESS!  A “first” for HPCC and the community was a “Beer/Wine Garden.”  (The overlay of state permits, additional insurance, server training and safety/security needs was also a change from past Firehouse Sales). The weather was cooperative, but the cold limited outdoor activities. 

I have prepared a detailed spreadsheet of income/expenses, and a copy is posted in the Community Center. Gross income from the Oktoberfest was $7,636.00, including donations. After expenses, HPCC was able to present the Fire Commissioners with a check for 100% of net profits, $2,382.83!  This will help fund their need for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA’s). Note that a substantive amount of Oktoberfest “expenses” were for one-time “capital” outlays, such as an outdoor dance floor and theme decorations, which it’s anticipated will be reused. 

Once again, a too-small group of volunteers worked tirelessly to pull off an outsized event! THANK YOU for your efforts to support your community!  Much of the food and all of the beer and wine were solicited by and/or donated by local volunteers and vendors. 

Oktoberfest volunteers and the HPCC Board have fielded supportive public feedback for the continuance of this event. We also recognize opportunities to improve this (or similar fundraiser events) in the future. The HPCC Board is soliciting community feedback on the continuation/improvement of Oktoberfest or a similar event. All Oktoberfest 2019 volunteers are invited to an Appreciation, Dessert & Discussion evening coming in February (see sidebar). Not an Oktoberfest volunteer? Send your thoughts to Sharon Aleckson at

HPCC recognizes that the High Prairie community donates in many ways. We receive a significant amount of donations via automatic payroll deductions. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, HPCC can directly funnel your donation to local community support and fire protection. We thank those who are currently doing so!  

You can also donate to HPCC through your shopping at Fred Meyer, while also maintaining all of your personal benefits. Stop by the customer service center to sign up!  We receive substantial income through this program. also has a program for giving a small percentage of every purchase to the charity of your choice. Look into signing up for Smile Amazon.

HPCC Happenings

HPCC received a thank-you from the Lyle Lions for our community’s $200 donation to their Christmas Food Basket program. Every year the HPCC contributes to their effort.

Keep tuned to the HPCC agenda/minutes. The HPCC Board has committed to investigating transitioning toward a more effective “one-stop”/user-friendly/web-based forum for information sharing. Thanks to High Prairian editor Gwen Berry for shepherding these efforts!  

The HPCC Board is also considering going to a quarterly or bi-monthly schedule for community meetings. A priority of the Board is to provide meaningful and engaging speakers, as well as opportunities for community involvement! Toward this goal, the January 23 HPCC meeting (7PM, Community Center) will feature our own District 2 County Commissioner, Dave Sauter, who will provide an update of county issues as well as provide a forum for community discussion. We have several more very interesting speakers in the queue. As always, the Board invites community feedback. 

And finally, High Prairie is perhaps uniquely blessed to have a benefactor-based Fire Hall/Community Center with usable adjacent land. (We are indebted to and again thank Myrin and Audrey Bentz, who donated the property!)  The HPCC Board and Fire Commissioners are currently refining an updated comprehensive agreement to most effectively administer this valuable community asset. Community involvement is certainly encouraged!  It is hoped this process will address a longstanding need to clarify roles and responsibilities in jointly forwarding the community’s interests.

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High Prairie’s Oktoberfest 2019

Diane Cazalet

I want to share a few of the photos I took at the High Prairie Oktoberfest. Many of the volunteers were beautifully dressed for the occasion. What a fun time we had!  

This was the first time our community had put on this event and it was both a fun and successful fundraiser. The heated beer garden tent was beautifully decorated and lit, with white string lights, colorful steins filled with flowers and volunteers dressed in old German dress. It was enjoyed by many until the closing hours on both days. The lively local bands entertained us throughout the event while many of us danced on the newly constructed dance floor. The community center was filled with local vendors, German food (including Myrin’s famous brats), a tent for children’s activities and a bake sale of cakes, pies and cookies made by members of our community. 

This event had been in the planning stages for months earlier, involving not only many committee meetings but dozens of details that needed to be worked out well in advance. Truckloads of dirt were brought in and tractors used to level the ground between the band and the various tents outside. A removable dance floor was newly constructed by a few community members and made to be disassembled and stored for future events. Many volunteers required specific training and licenses for the serving of alcoholic beverages in the beer garden. There was planning for food to be served, and some was solicited from local businesses weeks earlier. A stage for the bands was planned with all the equipment needed to help project the sound and with tents set up for sitting areas adjacent to the band. 

A group of community members made many trips to local businesses soliciting donations of beer and wine. Advertising with local newspapers, talks on radio stations, and flyers made for this event by volunteers got the word out. Many signs were made for publicity and directing traffic. The community center was colorfully decorated both inside and out. Vendor spaces were assigned and coordinated with the other activities inside. Volunteer help was recruited for directing the parking during the event. Set-up and take-down of tents and decorations were done by volunteers, as well as clean-up of the kitchen and community center.

I could go on and on, but these are some, though not all, of the things that had to be done before having a successful Oktoberfest. I just would like to emphasize to all community members just how much goes on before and after an event like this. This work and planning cannot be done by just a few people. We need to get as many of us involved as possible. 

We have a unique community and I, for one, have found that these events we work on together are very rewarding,  They not only bring us the needed money to support the maintenance of the community center and volunteer fire department but they help us to meet and work with our neighbors. When we work and socialize together we become more understanding and supportive of each other. We get a double reward. I strongly urge all of the community members to get involved in future events and activities. Many hands makes a lighter load for those who shoulder the responsibility of chairing events. It is well worth it. 

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Lt. Tom McMackin & Chief Tim Darland

HPFD Highlights & Accomplishments in 2019

Lieutenant McMackin and I were talking at Station 1 the other day, and we began to reflect on the department activities over the last year. With every activity mentioned, we could see each other’s face light up with a sense of pride for the department and for our community. We also spoke about the loss of two wonderful people that have given so much of their time and energy for the betterment of our community. And we realized that as a department we are very fortunate to have a strong community council (HPCC – High Prairie Community Council) supporting our efforts. The support we have is clear, with all the time and effort HPCC and other volunteers have put in during 2019. Everyone can take pride in the accomplishment of the fire district’s long and short-term goals, as well as the realization of hopes for improving the quality of life and safety for all here on High Prairie. Since you are all supporters of the High Prairie Fire Department in one way or another – by volunteering, paying taxes, and with monetary donations – we want to share with you the highlights and accomplishments of the last year.

Fire District volunteers responded to 96 calls in 2019. The types of responses will be tallied up over the next month and reported in the April High Prairian. We were fortunate in that we experienced a minimum number of fire responses within our district boundary over the last year. We can say with confidence that our community members were vigilant in reporting smoke sightings, making smart decisions on when they used gas powered equipment and paying attention during severe fire weather conditions when red flag warnings are issued. All these well-thought-out actions enhance the protection of life and property not only for you but your neighbors as well. A huge thank-you to all for making our volunteer firefighting jobs much easier and safer!     

In March, we accepted the keys to KCFPD 14 Schilling Road Station, hereafter referred to as Station 2, from the contractor. The May dedication, with special guest Gina Mosbrucker and 60 members of the community, marked the completion of 16 years of effort to create Station 2. It stands today as a milestone for what we can accomplish as a community of volunteers working together. It showcases the efforts of individuals to foster political support to secure Washington State funding totaling $434,000. Our Fire Commissioners’ involvement has been key in the success of this project from the beginning and provided research, reviews and oversight to the project manager. Fire district secretary Glenna Scott was also a major player, keeping on top of multiple business processes to ensure we met all requirements of the Department of Commerce, who was administering the state funds. 

Although completed in fall 2018, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the “Rain Cavern” project as the water source to Station 2. Working together, with the past and present fundraising activities of the HPCC and the considerable time, material support and hands-on efforts of High Prairie residents, we accomplished this goal of creating a safer community by expanding fire service protections for our residents on the east side of the fire district. This also expanded the 8A fire protection rating with its insurance cost savings for all residents within a 5 mile radius of our two stations. 

Between May and September, due to the Wahkiakus bridge repair, the HP fire district volunteered to protect additional property outside our boundary for residences which normally fall within the Klickitat fire district. No responses to the area occurred throughout the summer, while great improvements to Schilling Road were being completed by the County for safer ingress and egress by residents and fire personnel. In addition, I certainly appreciate the county chip-sealing Schilling Road to Station 2, which was not in the original county road improvement plan.   

Expiring firefighting equipment has been at the forefront of the fire district’s concerns over the last year. In particular, SCBA’s (self-contained breathing apparatus) bottles were set to expire. The SCBA packs and masks were recertified, and 19 new SCBA bottles were purchased at a cost of $19,000. We were helped in this immediate effort by the HPCC donating all the proceeds of the Oktoberfest to the fire department. Their donation of approximately $2,500 was accepted by the Fire Commissioners at the December meeting. Ongoing efforts continue by the department to find grants or other funding sources to upgrade our SCBA equipment to align with 2018 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. 

In 2019 the fire district received grant funding from Northwest Farm Credit Services to replace tires on the Aid vehicle and to purchase a portable fuel tank for the Command rig. This allows us to keep fire apparatus operational in the fire district and to ensure the apparatus stay on the fire line during extended incidents. 

Generous donations by residents occurred throughout the year and we are so thankful. In memory of Tom Doll donations were received in the amount of $1,400. These donations will be expended to purchase protective personal equipment for our volunteer firefighters. Tom was a pillar of our community and he is greatly missed.  

The sudden loss of Jake Jakabosky, High Prairie’s KCFPD 14 2018 Firefighter of the Year, was a shock to our High Prairie community. It was most deeply felt in the members/brotherhood of firefighters of the department. Jake’s smile, knowledge & experience, dedication and commitment to safety and resolve that every responder returns home from every incident will greatly be missed. I was truly honored to emcee the ceremony to celebrate Jake’s life, as he gave the last 12 years to the Fire Department. We miss you and we know you are keeping an eye on us during every call. 

I do want to thank HPCC’s involvement, dedication and consistent generous support for many of the 2019 functions with the High Prairie Fire Department and community events. From helping build the rain cavern, to hosting the firefighter appreciation dinner and the Station 2 dedication ceremony, to the Oktoberfest donation, to name a few, all their efforts are vital to the success of the fire department and our community. Thank you for all your time to volunteer!  It has been a privilege to work with such a dedicate group of volunteers. Amazing how much we can accomplish as a community by working together. 

I want to personally thank the Fire Commissioners, support staff, department officers and our volunteer firefighters. We all have given many volunteer hours in support of our community and I am grateful for your service and dedication. It has been an honor!

As we roll into 2020 it is my sincerest hope that we can build on the impressive accomplishments of this year, the history of exceptional community service and the commitment to the safety, welfare and security of our High Prairie homes and those of our neighbors. BTW, check your batteries in your smoke detectors and keep your chimneys clean. Happy 2020!



2019 – Lucky!  2020 – Get Ready!

Tom McMackin

Like greater Klickitat County, High Prairie had a very fire-quiet 2019! We were blessed to a degree with strong soil moistures from the 2018-19 winter precipitation and late snowfalls. This set the stage for strong, robust growth of vegetation in all areas. That moisture strength carried well into summer, with relatively mild heat patterns and moderate weather system activities throughout the region well into the fall. There was a high degree of LUCK factoring into the seasons, given our typical summer/fall fire lottery history!

The fire seasons have been, and continue to be, catastrophic for some communities near and far. We see them daily in the broadcast news and media. California and Australia are probably the first places that come to mind. The conditions of weather, climate, human development, and population growth are a few of the dynamic factors in all wildfire incidents. Within the various tragic events, however, are stories of life and property survival for individuals who had prepared themselves and their properties for sudden, disastrous possibilities.

Decisions and actions in the face of such calamity are shaped by prior decisions and actions. Physical awareness and effort, combined with mental preparation and diligent planning, can significantly raise our chances for personal and property survival. Each of us can make a difference, personally and in our community, by learning as much as possible about the potential for man-made and natural catastrophes and taking action to mitigate their impact on us at home and for our neighbors. As we learn and take action, we’ll get better at making the decisions required not only to survive, but to flourish and appreciate the beautiful places we call home! The FireWise and Ready, Set, Go! programs are excellent resource foundations in that effort.

In 2019, High Prairie’s FireWise and Ready, Set, Go! program activities were minimal due to everyone’s busy schedules; but it’s all still active and available. I will continue to be the contact person for the FireWise program effort for all High Prairie/KCFPD 14 residents, as well as any other interested communities or individuals. My contact information will continue as item #1 in the resource listing at the end of these High Prairian articles. I will also continue to provide links to information and other sources related to living safely and actively in the beautiful Wildland Urban Interface environment (WUI, aka Woo EE!!!) we call home.

A FireWise presentation in Spring 2020 will give everyone an opportunity to increase their practical knowledge. Preparation for Evacuation, with action plans for individuals and our community, will be a top priority, along with an overview of programs and resources available. If you would like to participate, present information, or assist in planning or participating in this event – or if you want to be more involved in the FireWise effort on High Prairie – please contact me!   

FireWise To-Dos

Now or Already done by January 10, 2020!

All pruning, complete removal, or firewise fire ladder fuel trimming (8-10’ up from the ground, but not more than 1/3 of the tree’s height), particularly pine trees close to all homes & structures… then out to the 100’ perimeter boundary as a fire fuels buffer. In the next few weeks, haul all the trimmings well away from any healthy trees into an area for chipping or burning as part of later general Spring vegetation clean up. 

These trimmings should be on the ground ‘NOW’! Doing this work in the time frame from November into early January interrupts pine bark beetle reproductive patterns; provides for wound healing as a natural protection for happy, healthy pines; and eases the task of keeping your home safely firewise.

FireWise Survey & Planning [ FireWise zones 0 to 5’ / 5’ to 30’ / 30’ to 100’ ]

> In the 9′ to 5’ zone ( Especially since all the oaks & shrubs are bare )

Walk around your house, other buildings and property

  • Inspect them from roof peak to the ground – taking note of debris & leaf litter in gutters, valleys and other nooks & crannies needing to be safely cleared away in the Spring and checked during fire season
  • From the foundation on the ground level – identify more natural litter or vegetation needing clean up or maintenance and any firewood or other items that would be more safely stored away from structures out 30’

> In the 30’ to 100’ zone – ( With the grasses matted and bushes & trees bare of leaves )

  • Identify any clear up trimming or removal that would reduce fire from traveling to a structure for Spring and early Summer work.
  • Develop your maintenance plan for mowing or landscape work to keep these areas fire safe from fire running on the ground or windborne embers or burning material falling from a fire nearby or far away

Attending to these tasks now will make accomplishing the work and maintaining the safety of your property throughout the coming fire season simple and easy!


Contact Tom McMackin for more information on the ‘FireWise’ and ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ programs; for comments, questions, or suggestions; to get more involved with the High Prairie FireWise effort; or to get connected with resources available to us as a recognized FireWise Community. Contact: email at, or by phone message at 509-365-2786.

FireWise online –  or

Ready, Set, Go! online –  or


Looking Back: Centerville

Submitted by Barbara Parrish
Courtesy of Jeffery Elmer

116 Years Ago
The Oregonian, May 11, 1903

CENTERVILLE: On the direct line of the Columbia River and Northern Railroad, 36 miles by rail from the terminus on the Columbia River at Lyle, and seven miles from Goldendale, lies the town of Centerville, with a present population of about 250. There are present in Centerville two general merchandise stores, two hotels, three blacksmith shops, one barber shop, two drug stores, one hardware store, one billiard, two telephone exchanges, two livery stables, one butcher shop, three churches (Methodist, Christian and Catholic), a graded public school, one real estate office, a weekly newspaper, one shoe maker, one laundry, a public hall, seven secret societies, one wagon shop, and two chopping and planing mills. The railroad warehouse in Centerville contains 80,000 bushels of wheat, in sacks, which was brought in and stored for shipment from within as radius of about five miles.


Now’s The Time: Get Help With Stray Or Feral Cats

Rebecca Sonniksen 

Kitten season will be upon us soon and now is the time to spay/neuter those feral/stray cats you have been so kindly caring for over the winter. In a matter of months those few cats will quickly multiply. The average cat can become pregnant with a litter of 3–5 kittens. Given she can have 2– 3 litters a year and those kittens reach puberty around 6 months the reproduction cycle continues at an alarming rate.

(Left) Abandoned at a truck stop, Lulu was rescued and brought to CGCR where she given the attention she needed before being adopted.

There are many things than can start a feral cat colony – caring neighbors feeding stray cats; pet owners who move and abandon cats; or unaltered owned cats becoming lost from their homes. When unmanaged those cats will breed uncontrollably. The result is unwanted kittens which often die young or live miserable lives. 

So how do you help these homeless cats?  If you find a cat injured, homeless, or feral, there are no publicly funded agencies on either side of the Columbia River to come to the rescue; but thanks to a handful of concerned individuals there is help. 

The Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue (CGCR), founded in 2006 by a group of residents, is one such organization. CGCR operates out of a clinic in the Lyle Community Center (not to be confused with the Lions Community Center, located 2 blocks away). 

Their target area includes Hood River County and northern Wasco County in Oregon, part of Skamania County and western Klickitat County in Washington.  Since 2013 CGCR has fixed more than 5000 cats. In 2019 it spay/neutered over 600 and adopted over 300. 

A clinic is held once a week and appointments are necessary. To schedule an appointment go to fill out an online spay/neuter appointment form. The clinic is only for unowned stray and feral cats. On a typical clinic day, there are usually 15–20 cats spayed/neutered but sometimes there are as many as 60 cats, which requires a weekend. 

Pawsitivity is a similar organization. Founded in 2018 by High Prairie resident Elke Neubauer and Hood River resident Stina Larson, it targets the Centerville and Goldendale communities. It is part of the Rowena Wildlife organization but uses the Feral Cat Coalition in Portland twice monthly for spay/neutering services. To contact Elke call or text 509-261-0689.

The mission of both these non-profit all-volunteer grass roots organizations is to provide services to feral and abandoned cats. Cats are vaccinated, treated for parasites, and spayed or neutered. The cats and kittens that are adoptable are often placed in foster homes where, thanks to the kindness of volunteers, they are socialized in preparation for their new “forever” homes. These services are donation-based, so these homeless cats are treated regardless of income. Donations are not only appreciated  but necessary to sustain their efforts. 

Trapping is often necessary to catch feral cats. Both organizations help by lending out humane live traps and will demonstrate the technique. Pawsitivity does it’s own trapping and drove over 6600 miles picking up traps and cats. This past year they spay/neutered 240 cats and kittens and found homes for over 70. 

Feral cats have their ears tipped, which marks them as having been spayed or neutered. The adult cats are typically returned to their caregivers or go to barns where they will be provided with food and shelter. 

People often ask: can’t you just take them away? The question is, where? Thousands of tame cats are put to sleep in shelters and since feral cats cannot be handled, they have no chance of survival in the shelter. As Animal Control shelters know, eliminating the cats doesn’t eliminate the problem. 

The only proven method to control the population is TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release). Grounded in science, TNR stops the breeding cycle of cats and therefore improves their lives while preventing reproduction. This program has been shown to be the most compassionate approach/solution to feral and stray cat overpopulation. Once all cats in a colony are spayed/neutered and released, the number will start to dwindle by natural attrition. This doesn’t happen overnight but in time there will be no more unwanted kittens, no more fighting and no more spraying by the males. 

Act now to prevent needless suffering and cruelty for these abandoned cats. Help give them a second chance at a loving and caring home and create a more compassionate community. Contact CGCR at, or call or text Elke at 509 261-0689.

(Above) Rescued by Pawsitivity from a hoarding site. Jack, very shy and missing an eye, depended on his friend, Benjamin. They found a wonderful home together.

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How Turkeys Really Got Started On High Prairie

Doug Taylor

(Left) The birds are pictured in Ben and Letitia Taylor’s backyard by the smokehouse on the right.

Here is a picture of some turkey toms that came to the Ben Taylor residence from the Heine Kline Place back in the 50s. I had got some hens from Heine with the same breeding. Ernie Struck got one of these toms + 16 hens from me with the same breeding. I had always used domesticated turkey toms however and all the turkeys ran together.

Many of these neighbors had upwards of 200 turkeys or more, such as myself, Carl Parrish, Ernie Struck, Ben Taylor, and Wilbur Johnson. The turkey population on High Prairie did well, especially with the infusion of a little wild blood. We did not have the predator problem that we have now. I have found turkey nests with as many as 13 eggs, all hatchable, with the hens raising most of the poults. With so many turkeys it was natural for some of the toms to accumulate hens and disperse with other neighbors beginning to acquiring flocks.

These turkeys are great flyers and I have seen them cross the Klickitat River and probably establish turkeys on that side. By the late 60s the turkeys were even well-established down John’s grade through the lower loops into the state land.

It was not unusual, even before the game department had a season, that some hunters would shoot at the flocks along the road, also helping to disperse them. 

The game department, seeing how well turkeys were doing on the Prairie, established some in Wahkiacus and other parts of the state. Some of the neighbors that did not have turkeys noticed that the turkeys were invading their wheat fields. So I know that the game department set up at least two traps for turkeys to remove and place in the other areas of the state of Washington. 

Notice how these birds are colored. Heinz had said he got some wild birds from the South, but from the looks of them they were also mixed with tame breeds. Many of the birds here now are from the same breeding. For many years my hens would hatch at least one red turkey, which the game department did not like to see, because they knew they were not wild birds.

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