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May 6, 2014
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Letter: Explore practical preparation for water conservation in Douglas County

Discussion of climate change

I love crunching crisp carrots — sweet, sliced, locally grown, ready-to-munch from a bowl of cool water in the fridge.

As I nibbled the last carrot recently, I thought, “What if I could no longer enjoy local carrots during the summers because we ran short of irrigation water when we no longer got enough snowpack to feed our streams?”

I anticipated an upcoming community discussion on this type of question. It’s an opportunity for residents to share perspectives and policy proposals about adapting to climate extremes. The program is “Climate Change and the Future of Douglas County, a Community Discussion,” and it will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 13 at the Roseburg Public Safety Center, 700 S.E. Douglas Ave.

One small group looks at local food production. Resource people include a water monitor, a water conservation advisor, and a farmer. Other small-group discussions focus on forest health, land use, transportation, ocean resources, recreation and tourism, public health, and energy. For more information, readers may e-mail jblong@dcwisp.net or call 541-672-9819.

One specific change that helps sustain food production here and globally is to add biochar to some vegetable-growing soils. Biochar is biologically-active charcoal, mostly fixed carbon. As a soil amendment, biochar helps some soils hold moisture during dry summers and retain nutrients during wet winters. It’ll improve the tilth of heavy clay soils. And biochar makes acid soils sweeter — kinda like those carrots!

Jim Long


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The News-Review Updated May 27, 2014 10:39AM Published May 6, 2014 01:20PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.