McKenzie River Reflections

South ForkBLUE RIVER: The U.S. Forest Service is looking at 834 acres along the South Fork McKenzie River for some restoration work. The area extends from the base of Cougar Dam to the confluence with the McKenzie River (approximately 4.5 miles). Features include the mainstem channel and all the current or historic side channels along with the floodplain. Most of the project area is under Forest Service ownership, except for approximately 32 acres owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The project was designed to improve habitat, ecological function, and biological productivity for endangered species including spring Chinook salmon and bull trout, Pacific lamprey, and other native fish, western pond turtle, amphibians, beaver, and waterfowl. It is currently in the preliminary design phase with an expected final design by December, followed by and environmental analysis and documentation completed by March of 2016. Officials say comments are appreciated anytime, however, for input to be timely and considered in project design, they should be received by December 13, 2015.

Cafe porchVIDA: Other restaurants and area residents alike have responded to a destructive fire at the Vida Cafe by opening their wallets.
Last weekend, Ike’s Pizza ran a three-day fundraiser by pledging to contribute 20 percent of their sales to a rebuilding fund for the cafe. “On Monday we presented Sue (the cafe’s owner) with a check for $1,000,” said Jack Koehler of Ike’s, who noted they still have a donation jar on their counter.
Downriver, Heather Hernandez-Reja, owner of the River Stop Restaurant in Walterville plans a similar move this Friday., from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. she’ll kick in 25 percent of her sales to the fund while also pledging to match other customer donations.

Root wadThe Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) has selected the McKenzie Watershed Council to receive a Salmon License Plate grant for a project in McKenzie Bridge.  The grant money comes from the extra fee Oregonians pay when they purchase Salmon Plates for their vehicles.  
The “Deer Creek Floodplain Enhancement Project” totals $118,580 and will place large wood in Deer Creek to increase the stream’s complexity and reconnect the stream to the surrounding floodplain, improving habitat for Chinook Salmon and Bull Trout in Lane County.
Details of the project include pulling 24 live stream-adjacent Douglas fir or Western red cedar trees directly into Deer Creek with their root wads intact via a truck mounted yarder. Fifteen of the trees will be part of new large logjams that will be placed with an excavator.



McKenzie Varsity Sports Schedule This Week

The McKenzie Athletic Department will hold its annual Fall Sports Awards ceremony this Tuesday, November 10, in the High School cafeteria. The event will start at 6:00 pm. and will honor the Eagle's 2015 Volleyball and Football athletes. Admission is free to all. There are no other McKenzie Varsity Sports contests scheduled this week.

Hwy. 242 closesWith approximately 6 inches of snow already accumulated on the west side of the McKenzie Pass Highway, and more snow expected through the week, the Oregon Dept. of Transportation has closed OR 242, west of the summit, for the season.
The highway was closed to through traffic at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10th, from the junction with 126 to milepost 76.7, three-quarters of a mile west of the Dee Wright Observatory. Access to the observatory will still be available from Sisters until additional snow accumulates on the eastern roadway.

Witness reports ashes from BBQ were dumped

Vida Cafe firemanVIDA: A deputy State Fire Marshall, along with two McKenzie Fire & Rescue staff, spent several hours last week sifting through fire-damaged sections of the Vida Cafe. Unfortunately, they were unable to narrow down what caused the landmark structure to burn around 4:30 a.m. on October 24th. When the fire was reported, the caller had observed flames coming from the rear of the structure.


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.