Wallowa County Search and Rescue Ropes team practices a rescue earlier this year. Contributed photos
Wallowa County Search and Rescue Ropes team practices a rescue earlier this year. Contributed photos

Eastern Oregon Search and Rescue to hold annual training at Salt Creek Summit June 25-27.

If you’re taking the USFS 39 Road to Halfway or Hells Canyon this weekend, expect some possible delays, along with ATV’s, pickups, people, and maybe even extra help if you get into trouble.  Search and Rescue (SAR) units from across Eastern Oregon will hold their annual training exercise in the Salt Creek Summit area this weekend, June 25-27. 

“This training is a huge value to all of our volunteers to be able to network and train with multiple agencies from NE Oregon,” said Wallowa County SAR Captain Brent Neely. “

Participating counties frequently call on each other for mutual aid for specialized rescues or extended searches and having experience training with each other’s teams is invaluable.” 

There may be significant traffic and UTV/ATV congestion in and around the Salt Creek Summit parking area during this time frame. The parking lot will be open to the public but parking may be limited due to the volume of SAR equipment and tents staged there.

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About 100 Search and Rescue volunteers from ten Eastern Oregon counties (Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Union, Umatilla, and Wallowa and Wheeler) are expected to take part in the exercises.  Most will be camping in the Salt Creek Summit area, near where most of the training will take place. Wallowa County Search and Rescue volunteers are hosting the event.

The training includes work in fast tracking, responding to a swiftwater (water rescue) emergency, advanced incident command, land searches, K-9 land searches, civil air patrol searches, and searching using a drone. 

“If you plan to recreate or travel in this area, please be aware of this training,” said WCSAR event coordinator Paige Sully. “However serious it may appear, we are not engaged in an actual search and rescue incident response.”

The Wallowa County SAR volunteers have developed the training exercises that also include equine packing and rescue.

“There are thousands of volunteer hours that go into planning and training at this event,” Neely said. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the SAR members for the personal time, energy, and money they donate to make our Northeast Oregon SAR teams the best they can be.”

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Ellen Morris Bishop
Freelance Writer and Author at TERRANES, LLC | paleobishop@gmail.com | Website | + posts

Conservation, Editorial & Sports Photography

About Ellen Morris Bishop:  
As we become a more urban, urbane, and technologically-driven society, I thnk itis essential top re-establish our ties to landscape and place. I've tried to accomplish this through both images and words, as well as interpretive work. With a Ph.D. in geology, and specialization in the exotic terranes of the Northwest, it's natural that Pacific Northwest landscapes--their geologic history and ecosystems--are my specialty. When not shooting assignments or stock images, I teach geology at Eastern Kentucky University. My photographs try to reveal the landscape's changing forms through time., and human's changing relationship with nature.  My images and interpretive work are used by the Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, National Park Service, Oregon State Parks, Contdon Museum, High Desert Museum and many others.  

Photography and Photographic Equipment:
While it's true that great images are not about equipment, great landscapes deserve to be honored with the best optics and sensors possible. My still photography is captured with a Nikon system that includes d800, D750, and D7100  bodies. Nikon's principal advantage: the extraordinary dynamic range and resolution of the D800 and D810. When paired with an external GPS unit, Nikon DSLRs also tag each image as it's shot with accurate GPS data in the EXIF data. When reverting to a more elemental mode, I shoot with a Wista 4x5 large format camera  (and film.) Writing and Interpretation:
More than any other science, geology is engaged with story. Geologists are, of necessity, yarn-spinners with a long reach in time. But even in papers that herald stunning new discoveries, the story is often obscured to general readers by scientific terms and academic text. My mission is to unveil these stories through images and understandable words that tell the science in rich and compelling detail. This is  the purpose of In Search of Ancient Oregon (Timber Press, 2004) and other works.

Ellen's books can be found here