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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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May 30, 2012     The New Era Paper
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May 30, 2012
 

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1t , ra - May 30, 2012 VoUR COMMUNITY Page 13 Forest Service begins plannin00 By Scan C. Morgan Of The New Era The U.S. Forest Service Sweet Home Ranger District is looking for public input to help plan the future of 10,000 acres of forest 30 miles east of Sweet Home. That process began May 22 with two public meetings. Scientists described the geological, hydrological features of the planning area as well as its wildlife, plant life and other resources, what they called the inherent qualities of the land. The Cool Soda Planning Area is located up Soda Fork Road off Highway 20, and is part of a "checkerboard" of forest properties managed by Cascade Timber Consulting or the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service, CTC and the South Santiam Watershed Council are using a community-based planning process to develop restoration proposals for the area. The team is working together across ownership boundaries to look at the potential for restoration in the Soda Fork Watershed. "We're so excited to embark on this collaborative learning journey together," said Sweet Home Ranger Cindy Glick. Cool Soda area "Our Cool Soda all-lands approach includes partners, stakeholders and the public, all focused on promoting landscape health across ownership and management boundaries. We want to know what interested citizens value about Cool Soda's natural resources. This information will help determine what should be maintained or restored." The Forest Service has cooperated with CTC for a hundred years, Glick said. The partners know how to build roads, fight noxious weeds and suppress fires, but they are less knowledgeable about how to improve water quality and re-establish endangered fisheries. "We're thinking it would be great if we can figure out an incentive where the private landowner would be compensated," Glick said of the all-lands management of private forests in the interest of the public. The Cool Soda all-lands approach is rooted in the best available science and relies on community-based input to develop a restoration proposal that meets the public's interest, Glick said. It begins by developing a common understanding of the landscape and its inherent ability to produce a variety Photos by Sean C. Morgan Lance Gatchell, hydrologist, describes the geology of the Soda Fork basin. of both ecological and economic goods and serves, such as clean water, recreation, forest products and wildlife habitat. Based on what has been gathered at this point, the team developed presentations for concepts of what's really possible, she said. The team provided an introduction to the planning area, and solicited ideas. The team will rank the key benefits in the area. Based on input and the values of east Linn County residents, the team will hold another meeting on June 14 where it will See Soda, page 14 Quartzville fence goes up to protect threatened areas By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era The U.S. Forest Service Sweet Home Ranger District and the Northwest Mineral Prospec- tor's Club teamed up Saturday to build and install wooden fencing along several riparian areas in the Quartzville Corridor. The Respect the River Proj- ect was created to help protect the riparian areas, particularly threat- ened and endangered fish species and their habitats, from recreation impacts. The new fencing was in- stalled to protect vegetation and prevent further stream bank ero- sion in dispersed camping areas along Quartzville Creek. "We're not closing sites." said Jon Meier, Detroit and Sweet Home recreation planner for the Forest Service. "We're just trying to limit the impact to the riparian areas." Almost all trails between camp sites and the water remain open, he said. The only closures might be in places where there are three trails. All camp sites will still have access to the water. The fences will mainly keep people off of the vegetation, he said. "The main goal is to keep the site from getting any bigger than it is," Meier said. The project was only on the National Forest portion of the Quartzville Corridor, which begins where routes 11 and 1133 meet, the single lane portion of the road painted with solid white lines on both sides. "We get quite a bit of (camp- ing), especially during the summer, especially on holidays and week- ends," Meier said. The camping is free and close to the river, but the Forest Service doesn't have any es- timate on how many campers use the area. As the camping season gets under way, Meier said, he urges campers to pack out their trash. Waste management is always a concern at dispersed camping sites. The Forest Service also is con- cemed about fires, he said. Camp- fires should never be unattended or left burning. Even though camp- fires usually go out on their own this time of year, it's still a good habit and practice to make-sure they're out before leaving camp. "It seems this time of year is when we find them left behind," Meier said. Campers can still get a ticket abandoning a fire even this time of year. He also urges campers to be cautious along the water. Streams run higher and colder during this part of the year. Meier also asked that campers be courteous to their neighbors. For more information about camping in the Sweet Home Rang- er District, call the district at (541) 367-5168. / Parks From page 1 The department this year is largely financially self-sufficient, independent of the county Gen- eral Fund, and revenues are up, he said. "I think there's still more room for growth in our revenues," he said. Reservation records from Sun- nyside County Park suggest that the vast majority of visitors come from the northwest portion of the state - Eugene to Portland - with others coming from Bend and many from the coast - Newport and Lincoln City. "We go to the coast to see something different. They come here." Carroll said. He said mid-week usage of the campgrounds is on the rise. as well as "shoulder season" camping, during May and September. A lot of that is spur-of-the-moment deci- sions to go camping. "One of the advantages of be- ing a local entity is you don't nec- essarily have to have reservations early in the year." Carroll said. "You can just come out when the weather is good and use the facili- ties.'" Another factor that dictates usage is fishing. "Use of Waterloo Park. in par- ticular, depends on how good the fish run is." he said. Steady growth over the past years has resulted in no-vacancy signs at most parks through much of the summer, including some of the U.S. Forest Service camp- grounds along Highway 20 that the county began managing last year. "We're starting to pretty much run at capacity everywhere," he said. "Even during mid-week." Carroll said plans to develop new camping facilities in the area of Green Peter Reservoir may help alleviate some of the need for more space. Changes coming to Green Peter For the past two years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Linn County Parks have been working cooperatively to develop a plan for the future of recreation at Green Peter Reservoir. The purpose of the plan is to improve resource management and public safety and identify opportunities to enhance boating and camping opportunities at the reservoir. One of the issues addressed by the plan is the "dispersed camping" that occurs on the narrow strip of Corps land between Green Peter Reservoir and Quartzville Road. On summer weekends, the area is packed with RV's and tent camp- ers. despite the lack of facilities and the close proximity to a busy road. The Corps is concerned about the unsafe conditions and resource damage that is caused by this activity, officials say. "The Corps needs to make some changes in order to live within our resource constraints and authorities, which do not sup- port dispersed camping," said Tami Schroeder, Willamette Valley Projects park manager. "By shift- ing camping activity to designated areas and expanding the county's role in managing recreation at Green Peter Reservoir, we will be able to work within our budget and improve the quality and safety of recreation in this area." This summer, the Corps of Engineers is conducting an envi- ronmental assessment for Phase One of the Green Peter Reservoir Recreation Plan, which includes closure of roadside camping areas, expansion of the county-operated Whitcomb Creek Campground, and creation of a designated camp- ing area at Trout Creek. also to be operated by the county. The environmental assess- ment will be available for pub- lic comment in late July or early August. Implementation of these changes may begin in 2013. Future projects described in the plan include upgrading the boat access at Billings Park on the south side of the dam and creating desig- nated boat-in campsites with cab- ins and yurts. To read the entire Green Pe- ter Reservoir Recreation Plan, go to: http://www.co.linn.or.us/parks/ generalinfo/parkplanning.html "We are very excited about working with Linn County Parks to develop additional recreation opportunities at Green Peter." Schroeder said. "This area has so much potential, and we are happy to be making some positive chang- es." Other New Park Developments Two new cabins have been completed at River Bend County Park and three more are in the works, with construction expected to begin as early as this summer. The cabins are part of the second phase of the park, which will total 83 camping sites in addition to the cabins when completed. The county has also received a grant to install more restrooms and showers at River Bend. "That should help complete the infrastructure of that park," Carroll said. "We'd still like to put in more playgrounds and improve river access, but those will come with time."_ Sunnyside has a new park ranger, Ken Connor. Clear Lake Resort has a new dock system this summer and cabin renovations have continued, With interior painting and new heaters installed in all of the cabins. The new gas stoves, which replace pro- pane units, look like wood stoves and are much more efficient, Car- roll said. 05 FORD EXPEDITION Eddie Bauer 4D Nice Classy SUV! Stock#8178 02 MAZDA PROTE6E 5 06 FORD ESCAPE XU Hatchback 4D 4D Great little SUV Very economical & loaded Nice, sporty car! with options Stock#8196 Stock#8141 $14,99 $7995 995 3195 S. SANTIAM HWY, LEBANON, OR 97355 I 541-258-2175 I (DLR # 3102) MOH-FRI: 8:AM TO 6:PM I SAT: 9:AM TO 6:PM I SON: 9:AM TO 5:PM ! .+ ,+",:ltz-.zmwitlL| Illiil iJign+nu+am:L[t ,llLL:LI|:li+' [I|IL tail. ll,IL'I,i I+'--' iIiIUHJI..