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Denman's domain

Wildlife commissioner drewheat and praise for policies

Serving the people of Oregon on a local and state level is part of a family tradition for Don Denman. Like his father, Ken, Don is a Medford lawyer and an avid sportsman who has served the state to help ensure responsible stewardship of Oregon's fish and wildlife.

After more than nine years as a member of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, Denman, 73, is ready to pass the responsibility to another and spend more time pursuing his passion for hunting and fishing. The commission sets policies and oversees the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Denman brought common sense to his post on the commission, arguing in favor of restricting bait fishing in the Rogue River to protect wild steelhead, but also advocating a relaxation of the rules below the Lost Creek Lake hatchery so that more hatchery fish could be caught by anglers. He helped develop a number of trout fisheries in the state and worked to limit artificial decoys in hunting.

Denman was respected for his thoughtful approach to issues, but was thoroughly unpopular in some corners, especially for his stand on the Rogue River bait ban. He came in for his share of heat along the way, but withstood the pressure and ignored the personal attacks to do what he thought was the right thing to protect Oregon's fish and wildlife and to enhance the long-term opportunities for hunters and anglers.

Don Denman hopes to soon spend less time in meetings and more time casting a line in a river or stalking a prize buck. We are grateful for the time he has put into those meetings and the effort he has made to balance the needs of the land and of the people who populate it. What's in your garage?Forest fires may be on our minds this time of the year, but as one homeowner recently found out, summer heat can create fire danger right next to your house &

8212; in the garage.

Many of us store combustible materials in the garage. Where else would you put gas for the lawn mower, chemicals for the yard, old paint that you might use later, or propane bottles for camping? All of these are useful items that are needed from time to time, but are potential bombs if they get too hot.

The garage fire was caused by several explosions from stored propane bottles and paint cans. The house was saved, but the garage with a pickup inside, and a detached carport and boat were destroyed. Fortunately no one was injured.

Here are some tips on how to avoid a fire: store containers of combustibles off of cement floors, avoid setting containers in an area where sunlight from a window is hitting on them, leave an air space around each flammable substance, and get rid of out-of-date products. Some get less stable with age. If you have leftover latex paint you can throw it away in your regular trash if it is dried out, adding kitty litter can help speed the drying process.

Rogue Disposal and Recycling offers a yearly event to help the public dispose of hazardous waste products at the Jackson County Expo during the month of May. For more information on this event, call Rogue Disposal and Recycling at 779-4161. If you have products that you would like to remove from your garage before the event at the Expo you can call Safety Kleen Corporation at 776-8066, which provides the service for a fee.