McKenzie River Reflections

Willamette National Forest – Campfires and use of chainsaws limited beginning Monday, August 22, at 12:01am

Due to increased fire danger levels, the Willamette National Forest will initiate the following public use restrictions on campfires and chainsaw effective 12:01 am on Monday, August 22nd:
1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, stove or campfire, including a charcoal fire, in the Menagerie and Middle Santiam Wilderness areas.

ODF logoHIGH TEMPERATURES, LOW HUMIDITY AND GUSTY WINDS

The heat is on! A wave of hot dry windy weather is expected to hit the region Thursday and last through Saturday. Just a single spark under these conditions could lead to a significant and costly wildfire. Fire managers are reminding the public to be extra careful with fire as they seek ways to stay cool.

Dump chartClosing the dump sites is not about bucks,” Dennis Powers of McKenzie Bridge reminded the Lane County Board of Commissioners at their meeting last Tuesday. “Highway 126 is a heavily traveled beautiful area,” he noted. “A lot of dollars come into Lane County because of this.”
Powers observations were part of the messages McKenzie area residents had for the board to consider before deciding whether to approve a consultant’s report that in part recommends the closure of eight of the county’s 16 waste transfer stations. The closures were expected to help the county offset a $1.5 million annual waste management deficit.
Also opposed to the closure of the McKenzie Bridge transfer site was Marilynn Cross of Nimrod, a former consultant herself who wondered about missing data. “What are the costs of diminishing services in our rural communities?” she asked, adding that “cost” was mentioned in only two places of the 43 pages of the report she’d reviewed. Cross predicted increased costs of travel for people hauling their own garbage as well as higher rates for those contracting with local hauler, McKenzie Disposal.

EUGENE: Conflicts involving the National Flood Insurance Act and the Endangered Species Act relating to impacts subsidized flood insurance have had on development in floodplains is now being reviewed by Lane County‘s Land Management Division. In a June memo to the board of commissioners, Keir Miller, a senior planner with the Public Works Department, noted the county had been participating in the flood program since 1970.
“The Land Management Division is responsible for administering the day-to-day activities of the county’s floodplain program, which is accomplished primarily through the application of the County’s floodplain regulations,” his memo stated. “These day-to-day activities include the review and issuance of development permits for structures in the floodplain, maintaining building elevation certificates, providing floodplain information and mapping services at the request of property owners, developers and lenders, conducting education and outreach efforts about flood hazards.”

Painting Belknap BridgeRAINBOW: The Belknap covered Bridge will be closed from August 15th to November 17th for rehabilitation work. The project includes replacing some of the structural elements of the truss as well as replacing the floor decking. The exterior will receive a new coat of paint as well.
In addition, the $830,475 project also involves adding lights down the middle of the bridge (inside) to increase safety, especially for pedestrians. Workers from  Oregon Woods, Inc. will be adding “post tensioning” along the bottom, which helps strengthen the structure.
During the project motorists can take a detour route from McKenzie River Drive to Highway 126, to Cougar Dam Road and then to West King Road. The project is funded in part by two federal programs: the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Project and the Highway Bridge Fund.

Image: Prior rehabilitation included repainting the bridge in 2003.

Blue Pool Fire MapBlue Pool will remain closed through weekend of July 29 & 30

Tamolitch PoolBlue Pool and portion of McKenzie River Trail temporarily closed as firefighters respond to wildfire

MCKENZIE BRIDGE:  Fire crews are responding to the 2-acre Blue Top Fire near Blue Pool and Tamolitch Falls along of the popular McKenzie River Trail (Trail #3507). To protect both the visiting pubic and to allow firefighters to safely manage the fire, the McKenzie River Trail is temporarily closed between the trailhead at Trail Bridge Campground off Forest Road 2600-355 and the trailhead at Carmen Reservoir.

“We realize this is a very popular destination for bikers and hikers.” said Fire Management Officer Randy Harbick. “This closure is in place to protect firefighter and public safety. We will open the McKenzie River Trail and Blue Pool as soon as possible.”

No public access will be permitted to the Blue Bool area. The McKenzie River Trail is still accessible to the west of Trail Bridge Campground and to the east of Carmen Reservoir. Hikers and bikers eager to escape hot valley temperatures and enjoy their national forest are encouraged to explore other beautiful destinations nearby such as Cougar Reservoir or Blue River Reservoir.

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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: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.