Monthly Archives: July 2018

Umpqua NF Calf-Copeland restoration field trips Aug. 4 & 14

Smoke plumes rise above a forested ridge

ROSEBURG, Ore. – July 30, 2018 – The Umpqua National Forest will host two public field trips about the Calf-Copeland Restoration project Aug. 4 and Aug. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please note that field trip dates may be changed if wildfires start in the Calf and Copeland drainages along the North Umpqua River. If you plan on attending one or both of the field trips, please RSVP to Holly Cotton at (541) 957-3490.

The Calf-Copeland Restoration Project proposes to restore landscape resiliency to fire, preserve old-growth habitat, and save centuries-old ponderosa and sugar pine on over 3,000 acres. The project would also improve aquatic habitat by changing motor vehicle access on about 19 miles of roads and trails, placing logs in Calf Creek, and repairing two small wetlands.

The planning area is located in the heart of the Umpqua National Forest and includes the Dry Creek Community. The popular Twin Lakes roadless recreation area is also within the planning area although no activities are proposed to occur there.

The field trip scheduled Saturday, August 4, will highlight the past impacts of fire on the project area, potential fuel treatments, and restoration of pines.

Planned stops will include viewing fire effects in and around the project area, a discussion of some of the proposed shaded fuel breaks, and an example stand for pine restoration.

The second field trip, scheduled Tuesday, August 14, will highlight changes to the roads system and the roads’ relationship with streams and fish habitat.

Planned stops will illustrate roads that are currently too overgrown to support vehicle traffic, damage associated with a failed culvert, and how the agency would like to help restore aquatic conditions.

Both field trips begin and end at the North Umpqua Ranger Station, 18782 North Umpqua Highway in Glide, Ore. There will be a half-hour presentation at 9 a.m., followed by the field trip. Return time is 4 p.m.

Please bring water, lunch, weather-appropriate gear, and hiking shoes or boots, and be prepared to carpool to site locations.

Since 1987, over 50,000 acres have burned in or adjacent to the planning area, and tens of thousands more acres have burned nearby.

Due to the risk of large, uncharacteristically severe wildfires, part of this project’s goal is to reduce the risk of stand-replacing forest fires at a landscape scale, especially in high quality northern spotted owl habitat.

The oldest and most stately pines are also dying at an alarming rate, perhaps as much 25 percent every 10 years, due to a combination of overcrowding, insects and disease.

Without managing the landscape, ponderosa and sugar pines will continue to disappear. These watersheds, particularly Copeland Creek, also represent key areas with a high potential for fish restoration and improved water quality in the North Umpqua basin.

The scoping materials for the Calf-Copeland Restoration Project are available for review online at: www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46990. A paper copy of these documents may be requested by contacting the Umpqua National Forest at (541) 957-3200.


A dead sugar pine tree

A dead sugar pine tree located in the proposed Calf-Copeland Restoration Project area, in an undated USDA Forest Service photo.


Source information: Umpqua National Forest public affairs office staff

Ochoco NF employee assists Puerto Rico forest with hurricane recovery

Heidi Scott poses on the wall of a small reservoir, beneath a waterfall

PRINEVILLE, Ore. – July 9, 2018 – An Ochoco National Forest employee recently returned from a five-month assignment to El Yunque National Forest, helping to rebuild the forest’s recreation infrastructure following 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

Heidi Scott, lands & recreation special use administrator for Ochoco National Forest, served as the El Yunque’s first recreation planner, helping to develop a forest recreation and interpretation plan and strengthen connections to surrounding communities.

Hurricane Maria, which formed in September last year, is regarded as the worst natural disaster to affect Puerto Rico on record. The Category 4 hurricane toppled trees, bridges and structures across the National Forest, and left several million Puerto Ricans without power, water or cell service.

When Scott first arrived on the island in January, there were approximately 500 contractors and an incident management team working to clear debris from roads and trails just to allow workers back into the National Forest, Scott said.

Most workers were housed in a hotel on the beach with a generator for electricity and no running water. The local power grid did not come back up until May.

During her detail, Scott helped to reestablish recreation infrastructure, lay plans for new recreation opportunities, and assisted the Forest in finalizing a new Forest Plan.

Fore example, she helped to reestablish visitor services when the hurricane rendered the existing visitor’s center, El Portal Rainforest Center, uninhabitable. The building will be under construction for the next couple years, so Scott helped the Forest revitalize an old ranger station into a new visitor’s center, and installed a series of kiosks, called “portalitos,” in surrounding communities to bring the visitor information to the community.

One of the best parts of the detail was experiencing a National Forest so different from the other forests in North America, she said. Keeping an eye out for the West Indian Mongoose in the field was a standard precaution (because they can carry rabies) and it was not uncommon to encounter the Puerto Rican Boa in the forest.

While re-construction efforts on the forest will take years to complete, Scott said she hopes to return in a few years to see the results.

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Source information: Patrick Lair is the Public Affairs Officer for the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grasslands in central Oregon.