Free 'Women and Wealth' workshop planned

LA GRANDE — Melinda Wells, of Walker Wells, an insurance, investment and financial advisory firm, will present "Women and Wealth," a free educational workshop Tuesday in Ackerman Hall, room 208, at Eastern Oregon University, La Grande.

Women are 80% more likely than men to be in poverty after age 65, Wells stated in a press release, adding, "It is critically important that women specifically educate themselves." She cited a Vanguard study that showed men have 50% higher balances in their retirement plans than women — even though women are 11% more likely to participate in a retirement plan than men. This imbalance, according to Wells, has created a retirement savings gap between men and women.

"As a fiduciary, I am always committed to working in my clients' best interests. They are the best part about working in this industry," Wells stated in the release. "I am excited about sharing this information with women because of firsthand experience with families that struggle through financial education."

"Women and Wealth" will offer a high level but generic education workshop on the unique financial needs of women. The class is limited to 20 participants. To reserve your spot, contact Wells at 541-963-7433 or

Cove City Council meets Tuesday

COVE — The Cove City Council discusses upcoming budget training, goal setting and other items during a meeting Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. at city hall, 504 Alder St.

The council also will hold a public hearing on a conditional use permit variance for Bear and Lavender.

Repairing cackling goose a first for wildlife center

Gizmo the goose

Gizmo the cackling goose is recovering at Blue Mountain Wildlife, Pendleton, from injuries it suffered in a collision with a date center fence near Boardman.

PENDLETON — Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton is helping a cackling goose to recover after a serious collision with a fence.

Blue Mountain Wildlife is the premier wildlife rehabilitation facility in Eastern Oregon, serving an area the size of New York state. The center cares for hundreds of ailing birds a year, primarily raptors. But the center reported aiding a cackling goose is a first.

Employees at the Amazon Data Center near Boardman found the injured goose inside the facility’s perimeter fence and named it Gizmo, according to the center’s weekly update. The data center is on the flight path between the Columbia River and a field where geese feed during the day.

Gizmo, however, did not quite clear the fence on the way back to the river. The collision fractured the metacarpals in the left wing and the tibiotarsus in its left leg. Center staff worked to repair the injuries, even giving Gizmo a leg cast.

"Gizmo is eating," according to the report, "and will hopefully be recovered in time for spring migration."

BLM will publish priority list of land access issues, invite public review

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of its efforts to implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the Bureau of Land Management is seeking public assistance in identifying agency-managed lands on which the public can hunt, fish or use for other recreational purposes but to which there is no legal public access or where access is significantly restricted.

Recommendations from the public will aid the BLM in creating a report to Congress that provides options for reasonably providing access to such lands, such as by acquiring an easement, right-of-way or fee title from a willing owner.

The bureau plans to post its first priority list online at its ePlanning website by March 12. The BLM will update the priority list every two years for at least the next decade. The public nomination period to identify parcels for inclusion on the bureau's priority list will open Friday and close Feb. 29. The bureau will publish subsequent updates prior to the release of future lists to seek additional information and suggestions from the public.

All lands nominated for inclusion on the priority list must be managed by the BLM, encompass at least 640 contiguous acres and have significantly restricted or no public access. The BLM also must consider the likelihood of resolving identified access issues when determining whether to include parcels on the list. When submitting nominations, the public must include the location of the land or parcel, total acreage affected (if known), a description or narrative explaining the lack of access and any additional information the BLM should consider when determining if the land should be on the priority list.

The bureau will not include personally identifying information concerning owners or ownership of any parcels in preparing the priority list or related congressional reports. Public nominations will be accepted via the BLM’s ePlanning website.

This effort advances a primary goal of the Dingell Act (S. 47), which President Donald Trump signed in March 2019. To learn more about the Dingell Act and how it affects public lands, visit

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