Saturday there was a Mardi gras gathering in Happy Camp. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors decided to close our Happy Camp Airport due to lack of maintenance and user fee income. They have applied to the State of California for abandonment of our Happy Camp Airport as well as the Butte Valley Airport.
This did not set will with some of the Happy Camp Community. Katherine Dagastino is the Executive Director of Hope for Happy Camp, a new nonprofit organization in Happy Camp. She invited the community to the Mardi Gras Dinner Party and Silent Auction Saturday. Jeff Ellison and Francine Banzali, were serving the red beans and rice with andouille sausage, salad as well as beverages and desserts for purchase. There is usually nothing so effective to getting a gathering than serving food!! Wonder why that is.!!
The purpose of the benefit was to Save the Happy Camp Airport, providing the committee with funds to begin the process of legalities and Federal Aviation Administration requirements, such as the airport being too short for commercial planes, which would pay the fees to use the airport for coming in. There is also no lighting for evening use. Those who have been researching the issues causing this action mentioned that some trees may need to come down in adjoining properties, weeds and the runway maintenance issues. The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States is a national authority with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation
Wendy Beth Buchanan said that in a town full of loggers, it shouldn’t cost us $150,000 to get some trees trimmed. Many residents use firewood and could use the wood as well as being experienced loggers. There was a signup sheet for community members to help remedy some of the problems such as removing sprawling shrubbery and overgrown trees too near the runway. The runway itself may need a total resurfacing which may cost at least $150,000.
The information which Katherine printed out mentioned that our community has few ways of accessing the outside world. In major calamities, when roads may be closed by flood or fire, Katherine feels the airport serves as the only link to help citizens in need. It is true that when Greyback Road to Oregon is closed due to impassable snow, and there is flooding of the Creeks and Klamath River over Highways, or fire, smoke, mud and rock slides, when traffic may be diverted, it can be difficult getting out of town by driving on Highway 96. . If you wish to volunteer to help in the labor of making the Airport more welcoming or to donate to the expenses give Katherine a call at 901-679-6192
We have great appreciated the helicopters from Mercy Flights who can come to take injured or ill patients to medical treatment. During the infamous, 1964 flood the Red Cross brought in food and necessities by helicopter as well
When Larry Wright lived at the airport he mowed lawns and had a campsite available.It was always fun to see the fishing enthusiasts fly in and come down past our cabin to fish in the Klamath! Of coursE, Lairy Dobbins ran a shuttle service up to the airport to the Dunaway House, which tells you it was long ago.