Weyerhaeuser transfers road to county

Audrey Caro

Linn County Commissioners approved on Dec. 19 the transfer of Upper Calapooia Road from the Weyerhaeuser Company to Linn County.

Darrin Lane, Linn County roadmaster, presented the resolution at the Linn County Board of Commissioners meeting on Dec. 19.

Linn County will be responsible for maintaining the road as a public road for vehicular and pedestrian, according to the agreement.

The document states Weyerhaeuser grants Linn County rights to “construct, maintain, repair, reconstruct, improve and/or relocate the road within the easement area,” with the understanding that “the road will remain suitable for daily hauling of logs and other forest products and for periodic transport of heavy forestry equipment, including logging yarders.”

Weyerhaeuser reserves the right to cross the road, and also to “construct, maintain, repair, reconstruct, improve and/or relocate private roads that intersect or otherwise connect to the road, including erecting and maintaining gates across its private roads.”

The company also can post signs indicating “no trespassing” and “no river crossing.”

Among Linn County responsibilities is to “erect and maintain suitable ‘no parking’ signs at all truck turnouts along the road, a notice near the beginning point that there is no public access to the Calapooia River and an ‘End of County Road’ sign at the ending point, and reasonably enforce the foregoing (as well as enforcing signs posted by Weyerhaeuser.”

According to the document, the county also shall install no parking signs, maintain periodic law enforcement patrols, and promote an “adopt-a-road” litter control program.

The agreement gives some background information on the roads in the area. Linn County maintained a road along the Calapooia that passed through Weyerhaeuser and other properties before Sept. 11, 1954.

About that time, Linn County vacated a portion of the county road to facilitate the bringing of federally-owned timber to market within Linn County.

Also around that time, Weyerhaeuser and other landowners granted easements to the U.S. Forest Service that followed the route of the vacated roadway.

The Forest Service surrendered and terminated its easements in June of 2008.

“Between 1954 and 2008, the roadway covered by the Forest Service easement had been improved and relocated so that as of the time of surrender by the Forest Service, some portions of that roadway lay outside the written legal descriptions for the vacated roadway,” according to the agreement. “Due to the expense thereof, neither party has resurveyed the existing road in relation to the vacated roadway boundaries, but in 2012 the county performed a GPS delineation of the centerline of the existing roadway.”

In 2008, the county and Weyerhauser “discussed Weyerhaeuser’s obligation to reconvey the roadway to the county,” according to the agreement.

While the county was interested in maintaining public access to the roadway, they recognized the historical forest-product related uses of the roadway.

In March of 2012, they entered into an agreement that “deferred the roadway reconveyance, included a mechanism to develop a program to manage public access to the existing roadway, provided for conveyance of the portion of the Existing Roadway owned by Weyerhaeuser should the agreement end and identified certain other matters the parties agreed would be addressed in connection with such conveyance.”

That agreement ended on Dec. 31, 2016 and the agreement approved on Dec. 19, 2017 was prepared.

There is sixth-tenths of a mile of the road that goes through Giustina Resources, Lane said.

“This deed that we’re getting through Weyerhaeuser only deeds us the road through their property which is everything except that first six tenths of a mile,” he said. “It will be our intention that following your acceptance of this deed, that we will contact Giustina and ask them to quit claim that first six tenths of a mile.”

“That has been your plan of attack all along and I appreciate you reaffirming that,” said Commissioner Will Tucker.