Blue River

BR mapBLUE RIVER: Over a hundred years ago Samuel Sparks dreamed about creating a city. After moving upriver from Cedar Flat in 1895 he acquired a quarter section of land. Fueled by the boom associated with the discovery of gold nearby, he built a cabin and a two-story log house, plus a sawmill, store, hotel and livery stable. By 1911, he and his sons, Dexter and Felix, had surveyed and mapped out a new town tentatively to be called “Sparks City.” But on July 7th of that year, Sparks died, along with his dream.
Today each of the McKenzie River’s nine unincorporated communities have a development density that can’t exceed two-acres. A recently completed study, the “Blue River Downtown Redevelopment & Wastewater Roadmap” could point to ways that limit might change. The study lays out steps for the creation of a community waste-water system and the development of a “downtown district” in Blue River.

Blue River Downtown Redevelopment & Wastewater Roadmap
2015 - 2016
Prepared by Stephen Dobrinich and Aniko Drlik-Muehleck, Hatfield Fellows with Lane County Community and Economic Development
In partnership with Chris Marko, Rural Development Specialist at Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC)

Blue River mapBy Jim Baker, Blue River CDC & McKenzie Action team
The McKenzie Action Team, a group of community volunteers, hosted an open session on February 17 for residents to gather and discuss options for dealing with septic tank issues in Blue River.
There has been a long festering problem with aging and failing septic tanks. In addition, the small lots in Blue River do not meet modern standards for building due to septic requirements.
As a result, many of the business properties in Blue River cannot reopen or expand. Building lots stay vacant and a home owner often can’t even add a bedroom to their own home for they’re growing family.

Salmon at CougarBLUE RIVER: Hatchery raised male spring Chinook are far less fit than their natural counterparts. That’s the conclusion of a report on the trap and haul operation at the 518-foot tall Cougar Dam on the South Fork of the McKenzie River. In addition, researchers found that overall, natural origin females return as larger adults, giving them a spawning advantage in the wild.
The trap and haul operation, which began in 2010, traps both hatchery and wild spring Chinook salmon. They are then trucked above the dam and released into the river. The work aims to reintroduce salmon to habitat lost during the dam’s construction 50 years ago.
Spring Chinook salmon in the upper Willamette River are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Overall, they’ve lost 32 percent of their historical habitat in the Willamette River system due to dams. About 25 miles of their range in the McKenzie River was lost, according to the report published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

BR crash victimToday, just before 6 a.m., OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a single vehicle crash off the roadway on Highway 20 near milepost 98 (just west of Sisters).
Initial information indicates a 1996 Honda was traveling eastbound on Highway 20 when it left the roadway and struck a tree. The vehicle came to rest on it's side. Upon emergency crews arriving, the found the operator, Troy A Crabb, 35, of Blue River, deceased.










Photo Courtesy Curtis Irish


McKenzie River Reflections




McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.