Jill McClaran wears her blonde hair to her waist and spurs on her cowboy boots. The 27-year-old spends her days in the saddle herding cattle along the basalt rims and airy benches of Hell’s Canyon. Out of cell phone range and hours from the nearest town, this University of Idaho graduate looks over a thousand McClaran Ranch cattle as they graze the rugged and wild eastern Oregon grasslands.
Over the past three years, the U.S. economy flew off the tracks and along with it Oregon. There was the housing crisis in which no one could say definitively who owned their mortgage; the credit crunch in which banks were given free money but would not lend it; the overt failure of the financial system in which Wall Street once again reminded us that it cares for none but its own and owns Washington; the once-a-decade failure of credit rating agencies, building on their Enron and Worldcom successes and still well compensated by the businesses they objectively scrutinize.
In February 2006, Governor Kulongoski called for 25 percent of all Oregon’s energy to come from renewable resources by 2025. Since the governor’s Action Plan For Energy, the state has courted and installed energy projects in solar, geothermal, wave and wind. In October 2009, Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy filed an application as Antelope Ridge Wind Power Project for a 300-megawatt facility on private grazing lands ten miles southeast of La Grande.
Bill Stoller never pictured himself settling down in his hometown of Dayton, Oregon, but an interest in wine and a passion for farming brought the multimillion dollar business owner back to his roots. “You can take the boy out of the country,” Stoller says, “but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”
John Callahan, a white boy from Connecticut, was an oddball choice to be named the literary executor of an African-American great novelist who becamce known for his one racially themed novel, Invisible Man. Yet Ralph Ellison’s wife chose a kindred soul in Callahan, whose own writings are interested in race and ethnicity.
Christopher Marley has become something his childhood fears could never contemplate—an artist who works with insects and other natural specimens to create framed arrangements of preserved bugs. Around this fascination with insects, Marley has built an empire of his own, with works that adorn stylish homes across the world.