Ranger District planning another field trip for input

The U.S. Forest Service wants more input on the use of forestlands east of Sweet Home and will hold a second field trip in less than two months to make that happen.

The Sweet Home Ranger District hosted a field trip on July 17, with approximately 25 persons participating, into the Trout Creek drainage to discuss the development of a management plan for the area.

The Ranger District will complete a similar plan for the Cool Soda Planning Area, including the Cool Camp and Soda Fork areas, this year.

The goal of the field trips is to get public comments early on in the process to help design individual projects to meet a variety of district objectives, engaging as many interests in the land as it can, private timber, conservation, recreation, the public and other agencies.

The next field trip will be into the area north of the Menagerie Wilderness on Thursday, Sept. 4.

Amanda Colton, a natural resources staffer for the Ranger District, said the trip will provide “a great place to have a discussion about tradeoffs.

“There is a lot of public/private interface in this area. Fire risk is a concern because of the closeness of private land to the Menagerie Wilderness. In addition, this area is important for big game as it is part of their winter range and we would like to have some discussions about the possibility of enhancing/creating early seral (forest growth) habitat.

“Dispersed camping is also prevalent along the roads above the Menagerie. Since many resources have important ties to the area, we would like to have a discussion with our stakeholders about what potential they see for the area and what ideas they have for how to best manage the multiple uses.”

Colton said feedback from the Trout Creek trip on July 17 included such suggestions as:

– Making at least the river side of Moose Mountain Road into a day use area. Dispersed camping should be away from streams and bathrooms should be considered for the site.

– Enhance oak/madrone areas and used small gaps in the forest to create early seral habitat.

– Consider connectivity and landscape context and provide maps to help that thought process.

– Maintain suitable habitat for spotted owls and their prey.

– Focus on thinning managed stands that already have road access, enhance processes for downed wood, keep treatment stands small and use them to learn.

– Cooperate with adjacent private landowners to help achieve Forest Service goals for habit and ecological diversity.

Those interested in participating in the Sept. 4 field trip are asked to RSVP by Aug. 29. If circumstances, such as wildfires, pull away district staff, a backup date of Sept. 12 is planned.

The ranger district will provide transportation. Participants should bring a lunch, sunscreen, hiking boots, etc.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Colton at (541) 367-3540 or by e-mail at [email protected]. Colton will be out of the office until Aug. 20, so an alternative contact is Anita Leach at [email protected].