Lightning Sparks Fires in Siskiyou County

YREKA, CA—Lightning filled the sky over most of Siskiyou County on Tuesday, July 10, and employees of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Klamath National Forest (KNF) are busy working on the fires that started from over 1,200 down strikes from the storm.

As of the morning of Wednesday, July 11th, about nine fires have been reported on the State Responsibility Areas protected by CAL FIRE; the largest is about 10 acres in size. Six of these fires are contained. On the KNF-managed lands, about 30 fires have been reported, with most being less than one acre in size. There are about two fires over 20 acres in size. Many of the fires have firefighters walking in to staff the fires, and smoke jumpers have been ordered for the larger fires.

“It’s a dry year, and though we received rain on some of the forest, it wasn’t enough to stop any of the larger fires from spreading.” said Patty Grantham, Deputy Forest Supervisor for the KNF.

Reconnaissance flights are in progress this morning, and more fires may be found once the day warms. More lightning is predicted for today with increased precipitation.

As a reminder, CAL FIRE suspended dooryard burning permits as of July 1st. Though fire restrictions for the KNF are not in place yet, forest vegetation is very dry. All who are in the forest are asked to be extremely careful with fire.

The CAL FIRE information line is now available at (530) 842-2266. This number will have information on the fires managed by the Forest Service and CAL FIRE in the county, and will be updated as the situations change.

Source: Forest Service Press Release

Teacher’s Learning about Karuk Culture

One very special item that Jennifer Goodwin and Erin Hillman shared with teachers this week was the creation of regalia for a girl to dance in ceremonies this weekend. It took many hours of work over weeks to sew and decorate the skin skirts with fringes, shells, beads albalone, deertoes, and braided bear grass but it was beautiful and made a pleasant sound as it moved around. The design on the top was “friendship design.” The skirts were made by grant of $5,000 and worn by Frankie Snyder in her first ceremonial dance. 

 The Karuk Tribe of California Education Program Director, Jennifer Goodwin, arranged an exciting opportunity for teachers in the area schools learn more about the cultural background of the students in their classes. Not only were teachers from Happy Camp Elementary and High Schools but Jefferson Continutation school and Junction School from Somes Bar. It was a pleasure to have Tom Fox of the Northern California Writing Project and transferring soon to the the National Writing Project share current resources for teaching writing.

 A panel was assembled to answer all the questions that the teachers cared to ask about the Karuk culture, past and present. Jennifer and Erin shared the regalia project. Dan Goodwin, tonyu, Blanche, Bud Johnson,  of fisheries, Paula McCarthy, Clayton Tuttle, Ben Harrison and Phinuggtuuf took part in the panel. The brush dance was traditionally done at the home of a sick child for healing and although it is still done for healing, it is done on a regular basis for good health and prosperity to preserve the tradition. There isn’t alot of “pow wow” dancing here but war dancing was mentioned. Community is always open to watch and usually food for all. It’s a way of balancing, a way of living, they said. Because the Karuk never had a reservation each family had their own place that they lived from Bluff Creek to Seiad Valley. When the gold rush intruded into this place, the government wanted to ship them all out to Hoopa, not realizing there was differences between Hoopa Tribe, Yurok Tribe and Karuk Tribe who didn’t speak the same language at all.  The Yurok were “downriver “people and the Karuk “upriver people.” Paula McCarthy siad her mom was sent to Indian School in Riverside and Native Americans there were punished for speaking their native languages. The Karuk Tribe of California started with 10 or 12 acres donated to the Tribe in Orleans and has purchased and developed nearly 600 acress in Orleans, Witchepec, Happy Camp and Yreka since being recognized.  Verna shared how she learned basketweaving from Grace and Madeline Davis and they wanted her to “pass it on.” Kenneth Brink said, “Red devils, blue devils or dust devils”, the Putawan is a devil, but “not so scarry anymore.” The mascot of the Happy Camp Elementary School has been the Putawan for many years. So the teachers learned many new things from the panel on the Karuk culture and hopes are to share further in the future. 

 Besides delving into discussions on “What connections there are or could be between writing in school and writing in real life in Happy Camp,” there were opportunities to talk to tribal members about their culture and Tribal employees about how they use writing in their employment, working with language as Susan Gehr, writing grants like   or writing lessons to teach. reports, minutes, agenda’s and articles.  

New Events Calendar!

By Linda Martin

Judy Bushy has been busy putting together a new events calendar for Happy Camp News. The new calendar is interactive and you can add events that are important to you or any community groups you belong to. You can add your birthday or your anniversary, all types of public meetings, and special events. All new additions to the events calendar will be approved by the editor before they appear in the public access calendar.

Please do not add yard sales or business-related events. They can be advertised in Classified Ads. We’re getting a new program to make Classified Ads interactive and easier to access. Another announcement will be posted when that feature is ready.

Greyback is open for 2007

By Judy Bushy

Page Mountain Snow Park on Grayback Road in Oregon.

When you talk about “Over the Hill” in Happy Camp, it has nothing to do with anyone’s age! Ever since prospectors found gold here back in the good old days of the previous century, people have been mining north of Happy Camp in places like Indian Town, Waldo, O’Brien, and other little places that have disappeared.

If the Oregon tax collector came to visit, they announced that they were citizens of California. If the California revenue man came by, they announced that they were Oregon residents. Even before that, the Karuk Tribe headed over the hill to trade with tribes in Illinois Valley. Greyback Road has been the center of our double-minded residency ever since.

Driving over the hill is a fantastic route with rare Brewer Spruce and Port Orford Cedar trees. At the top of the hill is a side road off to the Tanner and Bolan Lakes. Bolan Lake was the site of a popular prospecting place that had a bowling alley in the tavern about the same time that Indian Town was prospering. Nowadays they are popular hiking, fishing and camping retreats for the backpacker.

The Page Mountain Snow Park, at the top of the mountain, is on the Oregon side and blocked to us in the winter, but that doesn’t deter enjoying the summer and fall pleasures of hiking and exploring there.

‘Over the Hill’ is a popular path to take whether you go to the Taylor Sausage spot for Saturday night music, stop by Dairy Queen or prefer the Chinese menu at the Golden Dragon Gate. It used to be that there was an outdoor drive-in theater but since the days of home video entertainment, that closed. There is a wild animal cat park that is well worth a visit.

Cave Junction has always been the gateway to the Oregon Caves National Monument. Well, since they will celebrate the hundred-year anniversary in the next couple of years, it has been a long time. Oh, for an expert to teach us spelunking. But barring that, Oregon Cave tours are fascinating.

The Selma Farmer’s Market, the Kirby Historical Museum, burl and wood carving shops, are all good reasons to get out to Oregon.

If you live in Happy Camp, there is no way to go anywhere else, unless you drive Highway 96. You can drive 75 miles to the east of Happy Camp and come to Yreka, and I-5 freeway. You can drive west on Highway 96 to Willow Creek. Once you get to Willow Creek another little drive, total of 120 miles, and you’ll be in Arcata on the way to Eureka and ocean beaches.

Sometimes the Klamath River floods and we can’t get out to Yreka. Sometimes there are rock or mudslides down the mountain and we can’t get out to Willow Creek. All winter long another road, up over Greyback into Oregon that meets with Hwy 199, is closed by snow. But in the summer, that scenic route is one of the favorite routes and the only way out of Happy Camp if you don’t take Hwy 96.

The cabin at Page Mountain Snow Park

State of Jefferson Scenic Byway - Grayback Road

Public Hearing: Transportation Needs

The Siskiyou County Public Works Dept. is holding a Public Hearing next week to get input from Happy Camp residents about public transportation needs in our area. We all have a pretty good idea what those problems are, but the Siskiyou County Public Works Dept. needs to hear from the people who are affected.

If you can speak for yourself or on behalf of a friend, neighbor, family member, client, etc. please plan on attending.

The Public Hearing will be held on Monday, June 4th from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 PM at the Happy Camp Family Resource Center.

Happy Camp High Distinguished School

To some, Happy Camp High School with only 87 students, may seem humbly insignificant. This little school has the high distinction to come to be a Distinguished School, recognized by the State of California. This was awarded after the school had undergone rigourous evaluation. As Dick Holmes, Superintendent of the Siskiyou Union High School District, said, most of the people at the big award ceremony in Anaheim didn’t even know where Siskiyou County was, let alone Happy Camp.! But little Happy Camp won the award. We can be very proud of our principal, Ernie Micheli, and the teachers and staff who work diligently to give our students a good educationm and a dose of love and concern.

A letter that Ernie Micheli wrote last year sums up just some of the ways that Happy Camp High School works to educate our future citizens and community members. “We are a small school with an enrollment of 87 students. We are in the middle of a six-year Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation.

“Fully 100% of our sophomores passed the math segment of the California High School Exit Exam last spring—92% did so with the Language arts portion of the same test. Also, we are compliant with “No Child Left Behind” requirements. Our Academic Performance Index has been rated at 780. Because of our academic successes, we (have been awarded) Distinguished School status.

“Technologically we have 3 computer labs available. Our shop program completely built a motorcycle and is currently building a hotrod. We also field an eight-man football team and volleyball teams in the fall. During the winter months we have four basketball teams—2 girls and 2 for the boys. Spring has baseball, softball and track available for students.

Ernie also said that the “hard working staff that is caring, informed and current in their academic area” is responsible for this success. He sees students interacting with their instructors and fellow students to learn each day. We will indeed miss Mr. Micheli as principal but, as he said, he has high expectations that “we will continue to have positive experiences.”

When the committee came to check out the school for this distinguished School award, they talked with students and teachers, with staff and with members of the community. They observed classes. They asked questions. They learned that Spanish classes with Dorie Ekman-McDonald and German classes with Angelika Brown are taught. Some students even study the Karuk language during Indian Club at lunch. Jennifer Goodwin has taken Indian Club students to visit colleges they might someday attend as well as having these Indian Club meetings, which are open to all students whether Native American or not.

They learned students have won awards in desk top publishing with classes by Diane Oliver at the high school lab and Rosie Bley at the Computer Center. There are basic computer classes with Monica VanBaren also. VanBaren also teaches the upper social studies classes and counsels students to meet their goals. They saw that the school is cooperating with the Forest Service in providing Fire Science class as an elective class taught by Dan Bushy. This enables some of our students be better prepared for summer jobs or a career in fire fighting or forestry.

They learned that there was also an Emergency Medical Technician training in the spring with the help of Ambulance crew. Living in such a remote and isolated place, there are times when EMT service is all that we can get before a 75 mile journey to the nearest hospital. This training will be of benefit to the students just “in case” in their own lives, as well as to some members of the class are interested in nursing or medicine careers.

Students who need special help are assisted to have an appropriate education by Elizabeth Laney and her aide, Carol Dyer. Cate Roscoe is the new teacher in math and her enthusiastic students have been measuring things all over the building, inside and out. John Kufner is still faithfully teaching science as he has since my first son was in high school. Larry Gabbert taught the kids to build a custom motorcycle that has won awards. Denise Bearding not only teaches English subjects. but has also gathered the students writing in a publication, “Indian Expression,” and enhanced their artistic talents.

Besides teaching Freshman Social studies and other important areas, Dorie Eckman-McDonald, with the help of Cate Roscoe, has had a study time for students on Wednesday evenings during the school year. Not only are teachers there to help students with homework that may be causing them difficulty or to catch up from an absence, but they feed them supper too. In this and countless other ways, the staff of Happy Camp High School encourages and nurtures the students of our school

Give them a hand when you see them, and “congratulations!” on having a Distinguished School!

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