USFS tourism info moves outdoors
MCKENZIE BRIDGE: Visitors seeking information on hiking trails and other recreational opportunities won’t find it at their usual connection point this summer. Due to budget constraints, the McKenzie River Ranger Station, and other district offices throughout the Willamette National Forest, won’t be open on weekends this year.
District Ranger Terry Baker said rather than being open on Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, Forest Service employees will interact with the public out in the field. “We’ll have folks at recreation sites, trails or the wilderness rather than having the office open,” Baker said. In addition, people can find other sources. “We’re looking at several ways of working with a lot of local businesses to provide information and general training about a few different things. As much as we can, we’ll still have that presence.”
Last year, the national forest contracted with Travel Lane County to have phone calls transferred to them after hours on weekends and Sundays. Expanding that to Saturdays as well is a possibility, Baker said.
“It’s a challenge for us and was not the easiest decision to make. We’re trying to do everything we can to give people the service they need,” he said.
Image above: The lobby of the McKenzie River Ranger District is a source for a number of local area maps and brochures, along with informational displays and videos.
McKenzie River Reflections