Notice: Popular Recreation Forest Near Bend Slated for Logging
We are horrified by the Forest Service's extreme logging proposal for the forest just west of Bend along Skyliners Road and Century Drive toward Mt. Bachelor. Imagine a huge virtual clear-cut of about 14-17,000 acres with few ponderosa pines left, shrubs ground down to stubble, stumps, skid-trails, clear-cuts across lodgepole pine stands, and only tattered fragments left of the higher mixed fir forest. This area is now a popular recreation forest with 140 miles of summer and winter trails, including an extensive mountain bike trail system, and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobile trails.
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project volunteers surveyed all the timber sale units and found that most of the area is not "overly dense," nor at any "uncharacteristic risk" of natural wildfire, insects or disease, as the Forest Service claims.
The Forest Service is not offering any "restoration only" alternative that would avoid logging impacts to species needing dense forest, such as mule deer, elk, goshawk, pileated woodpecker, Northern spotted owl, and American marten.
We are concerned that the Forest Service is planning 478 acres of commercial logging within the wild-land scenic river corridor of the Deschutes River next to popular trails and rafting—even though the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality listed the Deschutes River as water quality impaired for temperature, sedimentation and turbidity. Yet the forest service plans to log well within the sediment delivery zone of 300 feet, including logging trees up to 60 feet tall up to 20 feet from the river and trees less than 20 feet tall up to 12 feet from the river, potentially affecting redband trout.
The Forest Service is planning to use Forest Plan amendments to drive winter range deer cover further below Forest Plan standards, allow for scenic values to be impaired for five years, and eliminate more of the older open canopy ponderosa pine than allowed.
The Forest Service is likely to gut this beautiful large area of public forest and greatly degrade its value for wildlife and recreationists without significant public outcry. If you are concerned, please help by mailing or faxing your comments on the "West Bend Project DEIS" by Monday, June 3 to: Kevin Larkin, Bend Fort Rock Ranger District, 63095 Deschutes Market Rd., Bend, OR 97701
— Karen Coulter, director, Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project
Editor's note: We screwed up! In this week's print edition we incorrectly stated that the above letter was written by Kevin Larkin, district ranger for the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District. That is obviously not true (see above). The letter was written by Karen Coulter.
In reply to the Bike Issue (5/30):
You Enduro racers are not welcome. Last year you showed up and trashed Tiddlewinks and Funner in a weekend and left town without doing any repairs. The trails were trashed for the rest of the summer. Thanks for ruining our trails.
I know that the promoters of the event donated money to COTA. But that didn't fix the trails. To the promoters: Next year, please don't schedule a race in Bend.
I also know that COTA received a grant to specifically build trails for racing. And that is where things have gone wrong. COTA has decided to focus its resources on a couple of hundred riders (i.e. racers) and not on the thousands of mountain bike riders who come to Bend for recreation. I'm sure the races bring tourism and money to Bend for recreational riding.
Recreational riders don't go near as fast and need to brake as hard as the racers. Have you noticed that the trails at Phil's are not trashed even through thousands of mountain bikers ride those trails?
The current vision of COTA is not sustainable. The trails it is building will continue to erode because of the massive abuse they receive from the racers. I think COTA should redirect its focus on sustainable trail building that would increase the number of recreational riders who continue to bring money to this town.
And don't forget, it was locals who built these trails. And it can be the locals who quit supporting COTA and businesses that support races.
—Local mountain bike riders
1970 heading home from a training ride on Hwy 99W. Turned down the hill into downtown Tigard clipping along at about 30 mph. Lady pulls her Crown Victoria out of the alley into my line and stops dead. I hit her right in front of her side-view mirror. Bike stops, I fly. Scrubbed some speed off sliding across the hood and windshield, scrub some more off via a large potted juniper. Land, roll, stand, and stagger back to my bike, which is essentially impaled into the space between car door and fender. Calm the lady and her kids down. Accept a twenty for my wheel and walk on home.
And then there was the time I took a track bike for a test ride in Beaverton, and both (unglued) tires came off in a curve on Scholls Ferry Road. Not quite such a happy ending...
In reply to Broken Top In The News (Bent Blog 5/30)
"Give it up for Eli who managed NOT to talk about which brewery he went to after his adventure and which seasonal he sucked down and what subtle aroma was present in those first heady moments of his consumption."
I sense a tear in the space-time continuum around Bend. Such things cannot happen.
— That Jack Elliott
In reply to Beers on Bikes (Culture 5/30)
The CyclePubs are manufactured in Bend, which helps support a handful of local jobs, I happen to know one of the guys who makes them, and he said they are working on making them faster. But, I agree, it is annoying to get stuck behind one.
I thought it was a Dutchman from Amsterdam, Netherlands, who thought of it? Details about this are unclear to me. But, it was a Bendian/Sacramentonian software developer named James Watts who first brought it to the U.S. after he noticed it while vacationing in Europe, where they have beer on tap in the middle, don't require a sober driver at the helm, and people often dress up in superhero costumes while they're riding. At least we're not in Europe, but it does sound fun.
Too funny, Bri. Rad "hate" face too.
But the only legitimate gripe about the Cycle Pub is this:
Every 30 minutes all evening. Getting stuck behind one is not annoying; you are just impatient. Relax, you live in Bend. You are not in a hurry.
I live on the route and I got two words for you come the hot weather: Super Soaker.