News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Hope for Tomorrow: Canyon leaders offer wishes for future

About the Series:  This is the last story in a package noting the third anniversary of the 2020 wildfires. The goal of the series was to look forward at what challenges lie ahead for Santiam Canyon.

As part of our monthlong series on the Santiam Canyon’s recovery from the 2020 wildfires, Canyon leaders were asked what they would ask for if they were granted one wish for the Canyon:

Kevin Cameron
Kevin Cameron

Kevin Cameron, Marion County commissioner:

“I wish for a $70 million grant to complete the Canyon sewer system.”


Melissa Baurer, Santiam Hospital Service Integration Team

“I wish for our communities who were affected by the 2020 fires to be at home in their rebuilt homes where their children can have a bed to sleep on and can eat around one table, not separated or displaced because of constraints outside of their control.”

Todd Miller
Todd Miller


Todd Miller, SCSD superintendent:

“If granted one wish it would be that each successive day would be better than the last. My wish would be for perpetual growth of hope, opportunities and prosperity to flourish, that this beautiful Canyon gets prettier every day, and that as a community, our support for one another strengthens.”


Joanne Olson, Canyon Service Center:

Jay Alley
Jay Alley

“Our wish is that Canyon residents go through the processes needed so they are ready to evacuate in the event of an emergency or disaster situation.”


Jay Alley, Stayton Fire District chief:

“One wish for Stayton Fire District is that the funding provided to fire agencies by the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal for wildfire prevention, education, personnel, equipment and apparatus continues so we can provide communities the necessary resources to respond and prevent wildfires locally and across the state of Oregon.”

Rob Freres
Rob Freres


Rob Freres, Freres Engineered Wood president:

“I wish the U.S. Forest Service  would award a 25-year stewardship contract allowing Freres to fireproof the Detroit Ranger District and the Santiam Canyon communities.


Brian Gander, Mayor of Gates:

Brian Gander
Brian Gander

“We’d like to get the community involved so they can see the importance of engaging in our goal-setting process and our business district process. We really would like them to be heard. Step out of their door and participate. Write an email. Attend a meeting. Whatever

they are comfortable with. We don’t know what our community voice is. Maybe that works when there isn’t the chaos that existed after the fires. Now, we need to hear their voices. We don’t want it to get to be in the 11th hour and then we hear from them. That’s not easy for city officials.”


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