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February 1, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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February 1, 2012
 

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6B Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter USDA releases new Plant Hardiness Zone Map The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map, updating a useful tool for gardeners am oarchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail. The new map -- jointly devel- oped by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University's (OSU) PRISM Climate Group -- is available online at planthardiness.ars.usda.gov. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA. For the first time, the new map offers a Geographic Information System (GIS)- based interactive format and is specifically designed to be Internet-friendly. The map website also incorporates a "find your zone by ZIP code" function. Static images of national, regional and state maps have also been included to ensure the map is readily accessible to those who lack broadband Internet access. "This is the most sophisti- cated Plant Hardiness Zone Map yet for the United States," said Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA under secre- tary for research, education and economics. "The increases in accuracy and detail that this map represents will be extremely useful for gardeners and researchers." Plant hardiness zone designations represent the average annual extreme minimum temperatures at a given location during a particular time period. They do not reflect the coldest it has ever been or ever will be at a specific location, but simply the average lowest winter temperature for the location over a specified time. Low temperature dur- ing the winter is a crucial factor in the survival of plants at specific locations. The new version of the map includes 13 zones, with the addition for the first time of zones 12 (50 - 60 degrees F) and 13 (60 - 70 degrees F). Each zone is a 10-degree Fahrenheit band, further divided into A and B 5-degree Fahrenheit zones. To help develop the new map, USDA and OSU re- quested that horticultural and climatic experts review the zones in their geographic area, and trial versions of the new map were revised, based on their expert input. Compared to the 1990 version, zone boundaries in this edition of the map have shifted in many areas. The new map is generally one 5- degree Fahrenheit half-zone warmer than the previous map throughOUt mucn or the United States. This is mostly a result of using temperature data from a longer and more recent time period; the new map uses data measured at weather stations during the 30-year period 1976 - 2005. In contrast, the 1990 map was based on temperature data from only a 13-year period, 1974 - 1986. Some of the changes in the zones, however, are a result of new, more sophisticated methods for mapping zones between weather stations. These include algorithms that considered for the first time such factors as changes in elevation, nearness to large bodies of water and position on the terrain, such as valley bottoms and ridge tops. Also, the new map used temperature data from many more stations than did the 1990 map. These advances greatly improved the accuracy and detail of the map, especially in mountainous regions of the western United States. In some cases, advances re- sulted in changes to cooler, rather than warmer, zones. While about 60 million American gardeners, as well as those who grow and breed plants, are the largest users of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, many others need this hardiness zone informa- tion. For example, the USDA Risk Management Agency uses the USDA plant hardi- ness zone designations to set some crop insurance stan- dards. Scientists' use the plant hardiness zones as a data layer in many research models such as modeling the spread of exotic weeds and insects. Although a poster-sized version of this map will not be available for purchase from USDA, as in the past, anyone may download the map free of charge from the Internet onto a personal com- puter and print copies of the map as needed. As USDA's chief scientific research agency, ARS aims for a better future through agricultural research and information. ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to help answer agricultural ques- tions that impact Americans every day. Air Force memorial planned for Redding veterans cemetery Northern California Veter- ans Cemetery in Igo, Calif., nine miles west of Redding, is a place of honor, dignity, reverence and reflection. It's a very special place, espe- cially to America's military veterans, their families and friends: a quiet, yet uniquely proud place. A place where many of our nation's heroic soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coastguardsmen have come to rest with their comrades-in-arms. One day in the not-too- distant future, five new memorials will be incremen- tally added to these hallowed grounds: one memorial for each of the five military services, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. They will be placed geometrically around the cemetery's main flag circle, the favored site of such programs as Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Wreaths Across America. In November 2011, Secre- tary Peter J. Gravett, Califor- nia Department of Veterans Affairs, formally approved the service memorial project concept. Included in this approval was the go-ahead to begin work on the first of the five service memorials, this one dedicated to the men and women of the United States Air Force. If things go as planned, a dedication ceremony of the Air Force memorial is slated for 2013. "Although it will be the first service-oriented monu- ment at the state-operated facility, it will likely not be the last," said Stephen Jorgensen, cemetery admin- istrator. "We included the concept of memorials for all five branches of service -- the Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army and Coast Guard -- along with this proposal and that concept has been ap- proved by Secretary Gravett. Now we have a place for . each service memorial and we have set parameters for height and size for all of them," Jorgensen explained. The 14-foot-tall bronze and stainless steel memorial, a symbol of the Air Force's history and mission, is titled "Into the Wild Blue Yonder." When constructed, it will include a bronze globe 6 feet in diameter resting atop a 3-foot-high pyramid with an 8-foot-square base. Encircling the globe and thrusting six to eight feet upward will be a stainless steel contrail or aircraft path ending in a deltoid-shaped aerospace vehicle. "Each side of the pyramid base will feature a different inscription including a memorial dedication, an ex- planation of the memorial's symbolism, lyrics to the Air Force song and the evolution of the Air Force," explained retired Air Force Col. Pete Stiglich, of Cottonwood, who is chairing the Air Force memorial committee com- prised of local veterans and civilians. Assisting with design development is local artist/sculptor Gideon Carl Turner III, of Redding. "What we are doing is creating a shrine to our veterans, both living and dead," Jorgensen explained. "It has never been my vision for this place to simply be a cemetery. A shrine must con- tain a variety of memorials where people can come to ap- preciate the history, sacrifice and military contributions of the countless veterans who have served our country so unselfishly." Kellie Jokela, who chairs the Northern California Veterans Cemetery Support Board, said of the Air Force monument, "I cannot think of a better way to show our appreciation for the dedica- tion of those who served in the U.S. Air Force than to have a memorial erected in their honor." ' Fundraising is under way to cover the costs of creating the memorial and construct- ing it onsite at the veterans cemetery. Inscribed pavers are being sold that will be used to create the pad upon which the memorial will be placed. Donations are also being accepted from individuals and corporations,'and other fundraising opportunities are being planned. Anyone interested in learn- ing more about the Air Force memorial or wishing to pur- chase an inscribed paver for a loved is invited to visit the Air Force memorial's official website at usafmemorial.org. Donations can be mailed to NCVC-SB, P.O. Box 177, Redding, CA 96099-0177. Make checks payable to NCVC-SB, and indicate on the memo line the donation is intended for the Air Force memorial project. Those who would prefer to make personal contact are invited to call Col. Pete Stiglich at347-9276. Do you or someone that you know need .... suppor! around c h!ldh'oo d issues iof sexua!.a,buse? Call the Plumas/Sierra Crisis Line ,, at 1-877-332-2754 or 283-4333 for confidential referrals or PCIRC/Rape Crisis Center 283-5515 or Sierra SAFE 993-1237. Crisis Line Resource 283-4333 .z:. Center 1-877-332-2754 or 283-5515 A program of Plumas Crisis Intervention & Resource Center ,.. .... ..... ' '" ' t' '" ...and o nuch moro is just 1 c c K AWAY PLUMAS COUNTY DINING GUIDE A full color magazine produced by Feather Publishing Co., Inc. Featuring fine dining in Plumas County! This is a publication that people will keep all year long. 30,000 copies printed and delivered to approximately 250 outlets throughout Plumas County. 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