Del Norte County: 1977

The year 1977 was full of activities throughout Del Norte County. In Smith River, new lily ideas shared Lily Field Day brought experts from colleges, scientists, jobbers, and others interested in the bulb industry together with the growers to spend a day exploring the future. Research and Development chairman Birger Dalstrom opened the meeting and introduced the main speakers. 

Sharon McKinney, Dr. Al Roberts of Oregon State University, a specialist in ornamental horticulture, had developed test fields to try new bulb strains. James Green, also of the State University talked about micro irrigation and fertilizer injections and Dr. Bob Lindstrum, a USDA inspector, talked about the need for less fertilizer as the plant can only absorb so much and overfeeding creates nothing but waste. 

A little further south, a state senate bill authorized an $8 million acquisition of the Lake Earl property. The dune area and Lake Tolowa would be managed by Parks and Recreation, and Lake Earl and surrounding wetlands would be managed by the Department of Fish and Game.

The purchase had been in the works since the recommendation of the California Coastal Commission. It was deemed as having a high degree of statewide significance and importance.

In a ‘Del Norte Triplicate,’ editorial, publisher Jim Yarbrough stated that $8 million was not nearly enough to compensate the private owners and that included the lakes themselves. Yarbrough warned that the deal would consume more than expected as had the Redwood National Park.

Yarbrough acknowledged that much of the property is not useful for agriculture and has had building permits tied up by the Coastal Commission. Saving dunes and wetlands was not a bad idea since it takes the burden from private owners who cannot use their land for anything except running a few cows or sheep.

At the opposite end of the county, the Klamath Salmon Festival celebrated its 11th annual parade and feast. The theme for the day was “Redwoods to Peanuts.”

It was a day for the 4,000 plus visitors to understand the pressure put on Del Norte County by the federal government’s acquisition of more land to enlarge Redwood National Park. The floats and entries were judged on how well they depicted the theme.

Teri Philips was crowned as Festival Queen and was also in the Fourth of July parade. Long time business leader Jack Morris was the Grand Marshal of the parade.

Besides the barbecued salmon dinners that were served all day, there was music, a logging show including Jack and Jill double bucking, art show, fashion show, and much more. It was a true celebration of the town of Klamath and its comeback from the floods into a growing community.


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