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Community Involvement A High Priority

We at New Earth are proud of our involvement in the community and the surrounding area. We feel that it is not enough just to be in business here -- our commitment goes much deeper than that. We would like you to know of our interest in building a sustainable community and hope that what you read here will make you proud to be a part of the New Earth family.

Hatfield Group

In response to the drought of 1994, the 104th Congress authorized the Hatfield Upper Klamath Basin Working Group to restore the ecosystem, stabilize the economy, and provide drought relief. This Group has been very active in restoring wetlands and encouraging sustainable agricultural practices. One of its largest projects involves 4700 acres that New Earth, PacifiCorp, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Nature Conservancy have purchased from Tulana Farms. New Earth and PacifiCorp have each provided more than one million dollars, returning 3600 acres to wetlands. Of particular interest to this restoration are the Shortnose Sucker and the Lost River Sucker (C'wam), both endangered species. These fish are an important part of Klamath Tribal heritage, which includes a celebration of the "Return of the C'wam" every spring. The wetlands are in the middle of the best spawning habitat and their restoration should lead to the recovery of these species. Also part of the group's work on the former Tulana Farms is the cultivation of the remaining 1,100 acres with seed potatoes, barley, and alfalfa and the assessment of sustainable agricultural techniques that may be beneficial to the environment.

Riparian Park

On a piece of surplus city property scheduled to be sold and developed, New Earth saw potential for a New Earth partnership project to restore wetlands. New Earth purchased the land from the City of Klamath Falls and began preparations to connect the project to the Link River. In the summer of 1996, flooding of the project began restoring the wetlands.

Each summer, a group of at-risk teenagers help work at the site. They have helped seed the marsh grasses, weed, transplant native vegetation, trim, and nurture a wide variety of plants that are vital to the wetlands habitat. Not only are these teens helping to restore a vital part of the local ecosystem, they also learn basic horticultural skills and the value of hard work.

The project is now entering the evolutionary and educational phases. The wetlands will be available for school groups to use for field trips and ongoing environmental monitoring. Its urban location also makes it a natural for those who enjoy birding and fishing.

Contributions

Chamber of Commerce
New Earth is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Oregon State University
OSU is the host of the Intermountain Agricultural Conference, which focuses on finding new practices in agriculture. This is vitally important to the Klamath area, since agriculture is the county's top economic industry with an annual income of $220,000,000. Aquaculture (Algae) is now recognized by Oregon State University Extension Service as a viable industry with $100,000,000 in annual sales.

New Earth also participates in the OSU community outreach Master Gardener Program.

Merle West Medical Center
New Earth helps publish Healthy Communities, a community newsletter promoting healthy lifestyles, mailed free to Klamath Falls residents.

United Way
New Earth is an annual contributor to United Way.

Eagle Refuge

When Weyerhaeuser sold its eastern Oregon timberlands, it offered to give 400 acres along Klamath Lake to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Unfortunately, ODF&W was unable to take on any more property due to severe budgetary constraints. Determined to facilitate this opportunity to protect our endangered national symbol, New Earth will provide an endowment that will pay the taxes and the fire assessment for the property. In the future, the land will be managed for eagle habitat -- rather than timber production.

Additional Contributions

Assistance League® of Klamath Basin
This service organization provides clothing to the children of low-income families. At its major annual banquet fundraiser, beautifully decorated Christmas trees are sold. A tree is purchased by New Earth each year, with the proceeds being generous enough to clothe five children. In addition New Earth has donated grants totaling $3,000.

Operation Stronghold
This nationwide organization serves to enlist private landowners in establishing wildlife habitat on their property. The Stone House Ranch and the Wetlands are enrolled in this conservation program.

Oregon Institute of Technology's Solar Station
There are five first-class solar stations worldwide that monitor solar radiation, and one is here in Klamath Falls. New Earth has provided a location to set up the station. These amazing stations can also measure the potential for solar energy and photosynthesis. To develop the local station, Dr. John Ritter of OIT's Applied Environmental Sciences drew on his years of work with NASA.

Downtown Redevelopment Board Member
New Earth has been actively involved in the redesign of the downtown area. As a result of the redevelopment, there are new period lamps, benches for pedestrians, trees, flower planters, and geothermal sidewalks that make shopping in the downtown area a pleasure in both summer and winter.

International Bald Eagle Conference
New Earth is a corporate sponsor of this annual February event, which brings people from all over the world to visit one of the largest wintering sites of bald eagles. This is the oldest birding festival in the United States, and it has led the way toward this national symbol's recovery.

Klamath Watershed Council
The council is a volunteer, grassroots landowner-based approach to Klamath watershed health and is part of the Healthy Streams Partnership. The council's work, which is funded by the Governor's Watershed Enhancement Board, seeks to improve water quality in the Klamath Basin.

Teaming with Wildlife
This is a national campaign to prevent species from becoming endangered and to nurture a new generation of wildlife stewards by securing funding for state-level nongame wildlife conservation and related education and recreation programs. A coalition of more than 3,000 organizations and businesses supports the need for such funding by officially endorsing Teaming with Wildlife. More than 200 Oregonians have endorsed this campaign.

 

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