The May 6, 2021 Press Release is posted below and can also be found here.
April, 2021 - Backyard Bend's Kristian Jamieson interviews Emmy Andrews, our first Executive Director, who provides a quick update on the larger issues for Central Oregon mountain bike trails. Learn about new trail systems in Madras and the Ochocos, COTA's relationship with land managers, and the future of eBikes and public downhill developments.
Bend, Ore— This Thursday, fuel specialists with the Deschutes National Forest will conduct prescribed fire operations adjacent to Bend and within the Phil’s Trail area. The prescribed burn will be visible to residents of Bend and travelers along Century Drive.
The project area is located south of Phil’s Trailhead, west of Bend, and includes portions of KGB, COD, and Marvin’s Garden trails, which will be closed during fire operations. Forest Service Road 4604 also will be closed along with several smaller Forest Service Roads. Closed roads and trails will be signed.
Specialists will underburn approximately 350 acres. Ignitions are expected to take 1-2 days and will occur between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.
Smoke and residual burning will be visible in the area for up to a week post ignition. Subdivisions and neighborhoods on the west side of Bend can expect some nighttime and early morning smoke impacts after the burn. Trails will reopen once deemed safe.
The objective of this prescribed burn is to reintroduce fire into a fire evolved ecosystem and to reduce the potential impacts of a wildfire coming into Bend and Century Drive.
The public is encouraged to close their windows at night and if smoke is on the roadway, turn on headlights and slow down while traveling through smoky areas. The public’s health is important to the Forest Service. While significant preventive measures are taken, many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. If individuals feel impacted by smoke, they should avoid outdoor physical exertion and remain indoors. If people experience serious health impacts from the smoke, they should contact their doctor. For more information about smoke and health, visit the Oregon Health Authority recommendations through this link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx#health
Notice originally published here.
The new Lemon Gulch Trail network project in Crook County is making progress! Lemon Gulch was included in a comprehensive, multi-user trail proposal developed by Ochoco Trails Collaborative Group that was submitted to Ochoco National Forest Service. Their proposal was approved by ONFS and subsequently selected as a priority area for creating new mountain bike trails. Trail route planning was completed during fall, 2020 and the ONFS environmental analysis is now underway.
The Lemon Gulch proposal wish list includes 30 trails (51.4 miles!) and 22,121 feet total descent; 5 green, 10 blue, and 15 black diamond rated trails; 1 uphill-only trail, 2 bi-directional trails, and 27 downhill-only trails - a long yearned for modern shuttle-accessible DH trail network and just 15 miles east of Prineville. If you think Central Oregon would benefit from this type of trail network send in your comment of support.
Here is the scoping info link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58831 and the link to comment online:
The Lemon Gulch project is the first big project in COTA’s collaboration with the Ochoco Trails group.
This paved path would provide a safe way to travel between the southern boundary of Bend to the Lava Lands Visitors Center, running parallel (but separate) to Highway 97. Public comments are welcome via email until May 8 to email@example.com Use subject line, Paved Path.
The Deschutes National Forest Press Release in PDF format with active links can be found below.
The scoping notice can be found here.
Ecological thinning of our overly dense forests is conducted to reduce vegetation and growth on the forest floor, which leaves less fuel for wildfires. This work is especially critical in the forest adjacent to Bend, which happens to be some of our favorite riding areas.
The following trails within the Euro Stewardship contract area are temporarily closed for the safety of trail users as well as the safety and efficiency of timber harvesting and forest restoration operations:
Map and more info can be found here.
ALSO: Prescribed Fire Season is Here
With warmer temperatures approaching, fire managers on the Deschutes National Forest will also be gearing up for multiple prescribed burns planned for our area. The use of prescribed fire in Central Oregon’s fire-adapted ecosystems helps clear out small trees and brush that acts as wildfire fuel, and it also enhances wildlife habitat and plant life.
Throughout the next two-to-three months, you may see some smoke and other temporary trail closures, depending upon the prescribed burning locations. Make sure you're signed up for DCFP's newsletter to receive updates here.
Membership matters! But why?
Interested in serving on the COTA Board? Elections are coming up in May. Yes, being a board member requires a time commitment, at least 15 hours a month, but there’s just no better way to get involved and influence the current and future mountain biking efforts here in Central Oregon (and have fun while doing it). Board positions are 3 year terms.
Check out the Board Job Description here to see what being on the board entails. This election cycle has 3 at-large Board positions, plus the Madras Chapter/Board member and SoDeCo Chapter/Board member spots. Interested? Complete the Nomination Form here by April 30.
The election process timeline:
Any questions, please email the 2021 COTA Elections Coordinators, Darlene Henderson or Kelly Burke.
Check out this great article written by Annie Fast as she shares the who's, what's and why's of our Wanoga winter fat bike trails. Article link here.
Effective January 27, several trails will be CLOSED Monday-Fridays into spring, 2021, so forest thinning projects can be conducted safely. In a nutshell + map below...
What trails are closed:
- Lower Whoops
- Pine Drops
- Upper Phil's Trail (aka Helipad), from Whoops bench area to the 300 road
- EXT (runs parallel to the 300 road from base of Pine Drops to Phil's)
- Portion of Storm King, from Whoops bench area to forest road 4615
When: Trails, and roads within, are closed Monday at 12am to Friday at 3pm. All areas and trails open Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays
Note: 300 road also is currently closed but will reopen once road reconstruction work has been completed.
See below for map and press release from Deschutes National Forest, dated January 27, 2021.
DESCHUTES NATIONAL FOREST PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer, Deschutes National Forest, 458-231-1242
Date: January 27, 2021
Trail Closures to Begin for Public Safety
Trail closures west of Bend to allow for timber sale harvest and restoration work
Bend, Ore.- Beginning this Thursday, several trails on the Deschutes National Forest will be fully closed for the safety of forest users and for the safety of the timber operators doing timber harvesting and forest restoration work in the Euro Stewardship contract area.
The trails within the Euro Stewardship contract area will be closed to all visitors, including all trail users. . Euro Stewardship contract area is located just west of Bend, OR and is part of the West Bend Project and is located within the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration boundary.
Trail closures will occur on the following trails: Lower Whoops, Pine Drops, EXT, the northwest portion of Storm King from the junction with Forest Road 4615 and the junction with Phil’s Trail, and the western-most portion of Phil’s between the junction with EXT (near Forest Road 300) and it’s western terminus at the junction with Pine Drops, Upper and Lower Whoops, and Skyliners trails.
Trail closures will be in place on Mondays beginning at 12:00 a.m. through Fridays until 3 p.m. Trails will be open to the public beginning Fridays at 3:01 p.m. through Sundays until 11:59 p.m. and all Federal holidays. Trail closures will remain in place until work is completed in the area. The public will be notified when the trails reopen. Forest Road 300 also is currently closed but will reopen once road reconstruction work has been completed.
Euro Stewardship contract includes thinning of trees and mastication and/or mowing of brush and small trees. T2, INC. located out of Sweet Home, OR was awarded the contract. The primary objectives of this project are to help maintain and restore forest and ecosystem health and contribute wood products to the local and regional industry. Through the thinning of trees and mastication of brush, followed by prescribed fire Euro Stewardship will help create a forest that is more resilient to fire, insect infestations and disease.
The project was developed in collaboration with the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project and other stakeholders.
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