Have you skied at Meissner Sno-Park this year? Have you parked in the new lot, checked out some of the new trails or warmed up in the new shelter? If you have, you are the beneficiary of the tremendous efforts of the Tumalo Langlauf Club (TLC).
Unfortunately, the grooming at Meissner is in peril of being discontinued before the end of this month for financial reasons.
Over the summer, TLC spent $5,000 on maintenance and $3,000 for a new packer bar to replace a damaged tiller on the groomer. The club took out a $15,000 loan to construct the new shelter. TLC also provided volunteer labor to peel the logs, build the shelter and parking lot and clear six miles of new trails.
This winter season has presented many challenges to the grooming budget. The old machine has struggled to get through the wet heavy snow and the big drifts, and the windstorm knocked down many trees that needed to be cut and cleared from the trails.
TLC Vice-President Ken Roadman explained the latest trouble: "This morning, our PB 130 blew a main line on the machine and fluid went onto the ground. We will have to take it to the shop for repairs, so who knows how much that will be."
"This is a 'Community Ski Area' and we are happy to provide the grooming for the people. Saying that however, we need help. Grooming donations at the trail head are running at 1/2 the amount we had by this time last year even though the number of users has greatly increased. We need donations in order for us to continue grooming. It has been great to see all of the people out enjoying a wonderful winter recreation area. Please consider donating to our grooming fund so that this program can continue."
You may put your donations in the red donation box at the trailhead, or you can mail them to TLC at P.O. Box 2032, Bend, OR 97709.
SAVE THE METOLIUS
Do you enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing or boating along the Metolius River? If you do, you know it is a fragile, unique place. In the span of a few miles, the cold, clear river bubbles up from the base of Black Butte in a series of aquifer-fed springs. Cool temperatures and high velocity make it host to abundant wildlife, including rainbow and bull trout. The Metolius is managed by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife with a "wild trout" emphasis. Today, the Metolius' aquifer is stable, recharged by snowmelt sufficient to keep it flowing at a fairly constant volume.
Sadly, the future of the Metolius is at risk because of two destination resorts (DRs) that are trying to elbow their way in, bringing with them thousands of homes, condos, hotel rooms, and, of course, two 18-hole golf courses. Just what we need! The water these homes and golf courses will take from its aquifer and the fertilizers that will flow into the river will pose a grave threat to the region.
At present, no landowner has a "right" to develop a DR in the Metolius basin or anywhere else in Jefferson County. When these land owners bought their properties, they had two rights and two rights only: to cut lumber and to build a single home on their property.
If you want to help save the Metolius, you can write a letter to your Oregon State Representatives and Senators urging them to prevent the zoning for, and construction of, DRs in the sensitive Metolius River basin. When you send in your letters, please copy Central Oregon Landwatch at Metolius@centraloregonlandwatch.org, which is keeping a detailed public record of testimony.
SUPPORT DOG TRAILS AT KAPKA
Does your dog love skiing with you? I know mine loves it even more than Milk-Bones and a belly rub. As you may be aware, the Forest Sevice is planning a new Sno-Park at Kapka Butte and it is currently soliciting your opinions about the project. Included in the proposal are much-needed new dog-friendly skiing and snowshoeing trails at higher elevation than our current options at Wanoga and Edison.
If you care about this issue, e-mail your comments by the deadline of February 1, to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Kapka Scoping Comments" in the subject line.
If you only have 30 seconds, simply let them know you support the creation of dog-friendly ski/snowshoe trails. If you have a couple of minutes, you can write more about why this is important to you. This is also an opportunity to officially voice your support for a non-motorized Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone.