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Silver Creek LandingThe Lane County Parks draft master plan has been released for public comment. Over the next several months, the county’s staff will be gathering written comments and conducting public open houses in preparation for formal hearings with the Parks Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, and ultimately the Board of County Commissioners. Included in the review are a half dozen parks – from Armitage to the Jennie B. Harris Wayside, as well as a dozen boat landings.
One of the largest is the 32-acre Hendricks Bridge Park between Cedar Flat and Walterville. Planned changes include the replacement and realignment of the existing boat ramp and expanding the parking lot.

 

 

Excerpts from the August 27, 2015 Sheriff’s Reports

Aug. 13: 1:33 am: Suspicious Vehicle – 87000 block, Dowdy Lane. Involved is a late 90’s dark colored hatchback with no plate lights. Complainant passed the vehicle that followed him to his house & sat outside for 5 minutes, then left.

Goose ProjectA document outlining plans for the Goose Project has been released by the Willamette National Forest. The draft record of decision and final environmental impact statement affects 17,932 acres along Highways 126 and 242, near the community of McKenzie Bridge.
District Ranger Terry Baker noted the Goose project was designed to provide a sustainable supply of timber products, reduce hazardous fuels, and “Actively manage stands to improve stand conditions, diversity, density, and structure.”

 

 

 

 

Blue-green algae poses threat to recreation and drinking water

Walterville PondA report from Oregon State University concludes that blooms of blue-green algae (or toxic cyanobacteria) are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the United States. It  may also  be a growing global health threat.
Contributing to the concern are rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels. Many rivers have been dammed worldwide, and wastewater nutrients or agricultural fertilizers in various situations can cause problems in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
No testing for cyanobacteria is mandated by state or federal drinking water regulators, according to the OSU scientists, nor is reporting required of disease outbreaks associated with algal blooms. But changes in climate and land use, and even increasing toxicity of the bacteria themselves, may force greater attention to this issue in the future, the researchers said.

Bruce ThorFINN ROCK: The fifteen artists at this year’s 3rd Annual Chainsaw Art Festival once again enthraled onlookers who watched them transform logs into works of art. For some running the saws, the end result may come from within the wood itself. Others, like Bruce Thor of Kent, Washington, approach each piece with an image already in their minds.
“Because I’m a cartoonist, I get ideas and have to have a piece of paper around at all times,” he explains. “I’m compulsively doodling over the winter.”
For Thor, a “third generation Icelandic American,” the attraction for refashioning logs goes back to 1996 when his mother cut down a tree in their front yard. In the process of making, “the worst bear I’ve ever done,”  he burned out her electric saw. But it was a step in a process that nudged him to attend his first gathering of carvers in the coastal town of Westport in 2000.

Concentrations of wildfire smoke affecting Lane County air quality

 

Smoke levels have elevated air quality warnings to the moderate range for several days now in the Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, and Oakridge areas. Heavier smoke levels could push the air quality index (AQI) into the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG)” level or even up to “Unhealthy.”

Phone Scammers Claiming to be Law Enforcement Officers

Navigation Obstruction - McKenzie River below Bellinger Boat Ramp

Biscuit fireAs mountain pine beetles and other insects chew their way through Western forests, forest fires might not seem far behind. Lands covered by dead trees appear ready to burst into flame.
However, an analysis of wildfire extent in Oregon and Washington over the past 30 years shows very little difference in the likelihood of fires in forests with and without insect damage. Indeed , other factors – drought, storms, and fuel accumulation from years of fire suppression – may be more important than insects in determining if fire is more or less likely from year to year.

Campfires in Developed Sites Now Prohibited

A campfire ban will go into effect across the Willamette National Forest on Saturday, August 1. Extremely dry conditions in conjunction with current and expected weather forecasts have elevated the potential risk of wildfire throughout the area.

This temporary ban prohibits all campfires, even in developed sites and in campfire rings. Smoking is also prohibited, except in vehicles, trailers, and buildings.

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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.