Recreation

Water hazardsMCKENZIE RIVER: Crews from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team, with the assistance of Eugene/Springfield Fire, responded to multiple water emergencies over the holiday weekend, including two on the McKenzie River, and four on the Willamette River    The rescues on the McKenzie River occurred approximately ½ mile downstream from Harvest Landing in Springfield where fallen trees and other environmental factors can become a hazard.  There are large rocks just under the surface of the water at the river left bank that boaters should be aware of.  A log has already been removed from the water, and the Sheriff’s Office is evaluating the area for other potential hazards.
“While the rivers in Lane County provide a great place to recreate, they can be unpredictable and dangerous.  ,” according to LCSO Sergeant Carrie Carver. She recommended a few safety tips to help keep people and their loved ones safe while out on the water:

19 DetoursBLUE RIVER: Improvements will be underway this summer to the Aufderheide Scenic Byway (Forest Service Road 19) that connects the communities of Blue River and Westfir. Work will include placing new culverts, laying new asphalt and cleaning ditches. The work is expected to cause delays of up to 30 minutes in two locations.
All the roadwork will be south of Box Canyon (the halfway point between the two towns). Travelers using the northern section of byway will not be delayed.
Officials are advising travelers there will be a detour that may add 30 minutes to travel times.  From the Blue River side, could follow Forest Service Road 1928 to Oakridge. It is graveled, but in good shape for a passenger car. Motorcyclists, trucks with trailers and RVs may have difficulties.

Seeding pondWALTERVILLE: After almost two years of extensive planting to establish native trees, shrubs and wetland plant species at the Walterville Pond five miles east of Springfield, the conversion from a man-made pond to a naturalized wetland is nearly complete.
The restoration project was started in 2014 to improve the natural habitat value while retaining the area’s recreational benefits, according to Eugene Water & Electric Board officials.
EWEB built the pond several years after completing the Walterville Canal to store water to supplement generation at its Walterville Powerhouse. Use of the pond for power generation ended several decades ago, but the utility continued to maintain levels by pumping water from the adjacent canal. The 4-mile-long canal diverts water from the McKenzie River to the power plant, located on Camp Creek Road.
In 2012, federal dam safety regulators classified the pond as a “high hazard” facility after concluding it could cause a breach or a potentially catastrophic failure of the canal embankment.

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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.