by Walter Mow
In this second installment of articles, I have taken the liberty of dissecting and explaining some things this article does not explain.
Paragraph (a3) accuses FWS personnel of flooding out a number of ranches on the Silvies Plain. I have found no evidence to substantiate the claim. What can be proven is that a series of weather events known as “The Pineapple Express” in the 1980s created flooding conditions that forced many of the ranchers to leave.
NOTE: A Pineapple Express forms when a branch of the jet stream dips into the tropical Pacific, picking up warm, moist air and streams toward the west coast of the United States. The orographic lifting of this moisture laden air causes the moisture to fall as rain and snow. Steens Mountain at the extreme south end of the Malheur refuge rises to near 10,000 feet, the rain and snow would flow off the mountain flooding large areas of the Silvies Plain.
Much of Harney County Oregon is a natural basin of basalt this prevents water to penetrate very deep; combined with a shallow top soil, it is prone to flooding when heavy snows rapidly melt or heavy rains fall on the highlands that surround it.
This is the sad story of the Hammond Family and the events that eventually resulted in the death of Robert LaVoy Finnicum. Again, it is a long story, but one that highlights just how vulnerable any of us are when we have something our government wants.