By: Ralph Bloemers, Crag Law Center


    Aerial View

    The Eagle Creek Fire burned in a mosaic pattern, only 17% burned hot, and over 50% of the area within the fire perimeter was unburned.

          The fires burning throughout the West in recent summers has captured the public’s attention, heightened the call for solutions and resulted in proposals to eliminate environmental safeguards and open up our public lands to more logging. Increased awareness of climatic changes, including heat waves in the Pacific Northwest have further heightened tensions and a feeling of vulnerability to natural disasters. Recent winters have delivered record amounts of rainfall and severe winter storms, and summers have been marked by the longest recorded periods without significant rainfall, leading to very dry conditions in our forests. The wildfire season in the West has lengthened from an average of five to seven months, and the number of large fires over 1,000 acres has nearly doubled.  Within this we wonder how our treasured forests are natural areas, parks and forests are doing, and what we can do to protect our communities.

          Emerging Gorgeous after the Fire

          Since the Eagle Creek fire burned in the Columbia River Gorge late in the summer of 2017, Ralph has spent countless hours visiting and talking with people in the communities directly affected by the fire.  He has visited fire burned areas from the air and on the ground.  While the firefighters fought valiantly to defend homes in Cascade Locks, Hood River and Corbett from the fire, it was ultimately the weather – heavy rain and no wind – that put the fire out.   The media described the fire as consuming nearly 50,000-acre of forests, yet experts have surveyed the forests from the air and the ground and determined that only 17% (approximately 8,000 acres) burned at high intensity.  And the burned forests were not destroyed; instead they are now a free-for-all for young animals and plants to thrive. 

          Many of our treasured trails have been seriously impacted, and remain closed.  Over the past year, Ralph has joined trail crews organized by the Pacific Crest Trail Association and Trailkeepers of Oregon to rebuild fire damaged trails.  While the trails are in need of significant repair, the forests around them are alive and well.  Trail crews have enjoyed lots of wildflowers and wildlife and have spent significant effort clearing back new vegetation from the trails. 

          Since the fire, Ralph has visited historical museums and dug through the archives to find photos and document the extent of fires in the Gorge, in the Gifford Pinchot and Mt. Hood National Forests.  And, he has worked with a National Geographic filmmaker to document the prolific and rapid emergence of new plants after the fire through time-lapse cameras that we have set to take a handful of photos every single day since the fire was extinguished. 

          Please join us for a visual journey into the past and see how the amazing forests of the Gorge and Mt. Hood have burned and emerged gorgeous.  See into the future through the lens of recently burned forests that now provide fields of wildflowers, new homes for wildlife and opened up amazing vistas.  Fire stimulates the forests, and this engaging all ages presentation will feature historic photography of old burns and the view today, from the same location.  We will travel to recently burned forests, share new time lapse showing the flush of new growth, flyover the mosaic fire patterns in the Gorge and learn the Best Kept Secrets about fire.    


    After Fire

    What a difference seven months makes!  Time lapse cameras capture the prolific recovery of the forests after the Eagle Creek fire near Cascade Locks.

    Photo Credit: Ralph Bloemers, Crag Law Center

     New Growth


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  • New Communication Methods

    Begining the 2018-19 School Year, communication will be primarily through the Remind and Possip programs. 

    Remind allows two way communication between teachers and parents.  Teachers and the school will regularly post information through this app.  If you have more than one student at CLES you will need to join all of their teachers' classes.  You will also need to join Ms. Moreland's CLES school "class" to get school wide information.  Please use the links below to sign up for Remind.

    For Remind Push Notifications (using the Remind App on a smartphone)

    CLES "Class"

    Mrs. Schmidtmann's K/1 Class

    Mrs. Dorsch's 1st Grade Reading & Math Class

    Ms. Haifley's 2/3 Class

    Mr. Gries's 4/5 Class

    For Remind Text Notifications

    Text the appropriate code/message below to 81010

    For the school Remind texts: @76f4gb

    For Mrs. Schmidtmann's K/1 class: @kschmidtm

    For Mrs. Dorsch's 1st grade Reading and Math class: @sdorsc

    For Ms. Haifley's 2/3 class: @mshaifl

    Mr. Gries's class: @mrgriess4

    Possip is a text or email program that sends you a survey every Friday so you can give feedback to the school.  Please be specific in your comments so that we can share praise with staff and are able to address any concerns you have.  If there are things several families would like to see addressed they will be addressed in a Remind post from the school.  If there are individual concerns, and you choose to provide your name and contact information,  you will be contacted by the school office or principal to try to resolve concerns.  Please use the link below to sign up for Possip.  

    Possip Sign-up Link

    *While there are red asterisks next to cell phone and email, you only need to provide one notification method.*


    If you would like your communication by either paper or robo-phone call please contact Merideth in the office, 541-374-8467, to let her know your preference.

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  • Cascade Locks School Bus Routes/Schedules

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  • Cascade Locks Elementary School
    Cascade Locks is located in the heart of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge where the famous Pacific Crest Trail crosses from Oregon to Washington over the Bridge of the Gods. Cascade Locks Elementary School is a Kindergarten through 5th grade school with an average of 68 students.   We pride ourselves on the ability to give the individualized attention every student deserves. 
    Amy Moreland
    PO Box 279
    300 Wa Na Pa
    Cascade Locks, OR 97014
    Phone Number: 541-374-8467
    Fax Number: 541-374-8446
    Start and Dismissal time: 7:40 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.
     Late Start Monday: 8:40 am start time
    Office Hours:
    7:10 am - 3:15 pm