A mysterious hoof disease has been decimating elk herds in southwest Washington for more than a decade. As the disease spreads into eastern Washington, Oregon and Idaho, Washington State University (WSU) prepares to open a $1.2 million research center devoted to studying how the disease is caused and transmitted.
After a long and controversial investigation, researchers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) associated hoof disease with bacteria known as treponemes. However, a vocal coalition of hunters, conservationists and concerned citizens have come to believe that the root cause is a toxic brew of chemicals routinely sprayed by industrial timber companies.
As WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine takes the reins of this high-stakes investigation, will researchers finally study the public’s longstanding hypothesis? Or will more delays and inaction continue to fuel accusations that powerful timber and chemical interests have overwhelmed the possibility of an honest investigation into the true cause of elk hoof disease?
“Artist Trust is proud to announce the recipients of its 2019 Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) Award! Sixty-one artists from across Washington State received grants of $1,500 each, totaling $91,500 in funding.”
“Now in their 31st year, Artist Trust GAP Awards are project-based grants open to Washington State artists of any discipline. They provide support for artist projects, including the development, completion, or presentation of new work. Funding may be used for artist fees, materials, equipment, travel, and many other needs related to an artist’s project.”
Thirty-nine years ago, Mount Saint Helens grew tired of sitting silent and blew its top. One year ago, Jon Gosch released a novel titled “Deep Fire Rise” and the book has been generating plenty of noise in its own right.
“Deep Fire Rise” is a fiction work set in the morning shadow of Mount St. Helens during the months and moments leading up to, and immediately after, the infamous eruption. Gosch, who grew up in Longview and was raised traipsing the backwoods of the Cascade mountains, drew on his moss-backed experiences in Southwest Washington in order to paint a vivid picture of a particular time and place.
Since its release, the literary effort has drawn rave reviews from readers and critics alike, and this year the book was selected by the Western Writers of America as a finalist for Best Contemporary Novel at the annual Spur Awards. While “Deep Fire Rise” did not wind up with top honors this spring, the book continues to resonate with readers who harbor an intimate knowledge of volcano country, as well as those who are just getting to know it for the first time.
After rejections by dozens of literary agencies, I published my novel Deep Fire Rise with Latah Books — a small publishing house in Spokane, Washington. Now, Deep Fire Rise has been chosen as one of three Spur Finalists for Best Western Contemporary Novel by the Western Writers of America. It may not be a Pulitzer, but it sure is sweet to be recognized for something that I put my heart and soul into.
Thank you to the Spur Award committee for their nomination, and to the WWA organization for honoring the best of the west!
On July 14th, my discussion about elk hoof disease with John Kruse, host of Northwestern Outdoors Radio, will replay on 60+ stations throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Originally airing last fall, the segment was recently awarded first place in the conservation/nature category by the Outdoor Writers Association of America. The national organization met in June for its 91st annual conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Thanks again to John Kruse for tracking this important issue. Your listeners are lucky to have such a strong outdoors advocate.