US Forest Service

Blue Pool diversMCKENZIE BRIDGE: The location of a bowl where spring-fed waters form a crystal clear pond is no longer privy to just locals. In recent years increasing numbers of hikers, bikers and cliff jumpers have all been going to the Blue Pool on the McKenzie River National Scenic Trail. Their numbers, and the impacts of their visits, have become issues for the McKenzie River Ranger District, which manages the site.
District Ranger Terry Baker said about five years ago those numbers ran a range of about 20 to 30 per day. In the last two to three  years another zero could be added at times, like one recent weekend when a Forest Service video recording showed 200 cars crammed into the parking lot at the Trail Bridge Reservoir.
Baker credits a variety of online social media outlets, websites and news articles for contributing to Blue Pool’s popularity. “It just becomes more and more of an attraction,” Baker said, “so we have increased visitation.”

Blue Pool AccessMCKENZIE BRIDGE: Due to increased fire danger levels, the Willamette National Forest placed public use restrictions on campfires and chainsaws starting on Monday.
“We understand this is an inconvenience for our visitors but fire danger levels prompt us to issue these restrictions” said Sean Stafford, Fire Staff for the Willamette National Forest.
Except in campfire rings at posted, developed and designated recreation areas building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, stove or campfire are now restricted.
Smoking, too, is affected except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable material.
In addition, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, stove or campfire, including a charcoal fire, in the Middle Santiam Wilderness and Menagerie  areas is not allowed.

RoofingThe rustic-style buildings at the Fish Lake Guard Station have been recognized as representative examples of federal administrative architecture made with local, natural materials that blend with the surrounding landscape. Built by the U.S.

Fire dangerLightning-caused wildfires have burned more than 50,000 acres of forest in southern Oregon. While the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Western Lane and South Cascade districts escaped most of the thunderstorm activity, the districts are concerned about another source of fire starts: people.

Trash in forestPhoto Courtesy USFS
Trash piles in the woods are causing officials to consider clamping down on areas where dispersed camping will be allowed.

MCKENZIE BRIDGE: Due to on-going damage to natural resources, the McKenzie River Ranger District is proposing expanding the camping restrictions near Cougar Reservoir and adding a new camping restriction adjacent to the lower McKenzie River National Recreation Trail. Officials say that in these locations, long-term campers have left large accumulations of garbage, food items, hazardous substances, improperly disposed of fecal waste, and damaged vegetation and soils. The new regulations would also prohibit campfires in these areas.

Several closures lifted or reduced

Forest Road 1910

The hard work of fire crews to improve containment of the Buckhead Complex fires has enabled fire managers to lift or reduce several closures on the forest. Effective today (August 24) the closures for North Fork Trail, Forest Road 1910 and the Waldo Lake area closure (which included the Pacific Crest Trail) have been lifted and the areas are now open to public access.

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.