McKenzie River Reflections

EUGENE: Conflicts involving the National Flood Insurance Act and the Endangered Species Act relating to impacts subsidized flood insurance have had on development in floodplains is now being reviewed by Lane County‘s Land Management Division. In a June memo to the board of commissioners, Keir Miller, a senior planner with the Public Works Department, noted the county had been participating in the flood program since 1970.
“The Land Management Division is responsible for administering the day-to-day activities of the county’s floodplain program, which is accomplished primarily through the application of the County’s floodplain regulations,” his memo stated. “These day-to-day activities include the review and issuance of development permits for structures in the floodplain, maintaining building elevation certificates, providing floodplain information and mapping services at the request of property owners, developers and lenders, conducting education and outreach efforts about flood hazards.”

Painting Belknap BridgeRAINBOW: The Belknap covered Bridge will be closed from August 15th to November 17th for rehabilitation work. The project includes replacing some of the structural elements of the truss as well as replacing the floor decking. The exterior will receive a new coat of paint as well.
In addition, the $830,475 project also involves adding lights down the middle of the bridge (inside) to increase safety, especially for pedestrians. Workers from  Oregon Woods, Inc. will be adding “post tensioning” along the bottom, which helps strengthen the structure.
During the project motorists can take a detour route from McKenzie River Drive to Highway 126, to Cougar Dam Road and then to West King Road. The project is funded in part by two federal programs: the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Project and the Highway Bridge Fund.

Image: Prior rehabilitation included repainting the bridge in 2003.

Blue Pool Fire MapBlue Pool will remain closed through weekend of July 29 & 30

Tamolitch PoolBlue Pool and portion of McKenzie River Trail temporarily closed as firefighters respond to wildfire

MCKENZIE BRIDGE:  Fire crews are responding to the 2-acre Blue Top Fire near Blue Pool and Tamolitch Falls along of the popular McKenzie River Trail (Trail #3507). To protect both the visiting pubic and to allow firefighters to safely manage the fire, the McKenzie River Trail is temporarily closed between the trailhead at Trail Bridge Campground off Forest Road 2600-355 and the trailhead at Carmen Reservoir.

“We realize this is a very popular destination for bikers and hikers.” said Fire Management Officer Randy Harbick. “This closure is in place to protect firefighter and public safety. We will open the McKenzie River Trail and Blue Pool as soon as possible.”

No public access will be permitted to the Blue Bool area. The McKenzie River Trail is still accessible to the west of Trail Bridge Campground and to the east of Carmen Reservoir. Hikers and bikers eager to escape hot valley temperatures and enjoy their national forest are encouraged to explore other beautiful destinations nearby such as Cougar Reservoir or Blue River Reservoir.

BR mapBLUE RIVER: Over a hundred years ago Samuel Sparks dreamed about creating a city. After moving upriver from Cedar Flat in 1895 he acquired a quarter section of land. Fueled by the boom associated with the discovery of gold nearby, he built a cabin and a two-story log house, plus a sawmill, store, hotel and livery stable. By 1911, he and his sons, Dexter and Felix, had surveyed and mapped out a new town tentatively to be called “Sparks City.” But on July 7th of that year, Sparks died, along with his dream.
Today each of the McKenzie River’s nine unincorporated communities have a development density that can’t exceed two-acres. A recently completed study, the “Blue River Downtown Redevelopment & Wastewater Roadmap” could point to ways that limit might change. The study lays out steps for the creation of a community waste-water system and the development of a “downtown district” in Blue River.

Blue River Downtown Redevelopment & Wastewater Roadmap
2015 - 2016
Prepared by Stephen Dobrinich and Aniko Drlik-Muehleck, Hatfield Fellows with Lane County Community and Economic Development
In partnership with Chris Marko, Rural Development Specialist at Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC)

CleanupWALTERVILLE: A local event on the 2016 Oregon Lavender Festival schedule will open this Friday for a three-day run in Walterville. From July 8th to  10th, McKenzie River Lavender will be open for u-cut lavender, farm tours and the farm’s popular Lavender Labyrinth from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Visitors and residents alike can look forward to sipping lavender lemonade, sampling other lavender goodies and shopping for fresh products like handcrafted soaps and lotions, essential oil and pillows.
The family-run farm is located on Highway 126 at 40882, between milepost 15 & 16.
The McKenzie River Guides Association, McKenzie Watershed Council, and McKenzie Flyfishers have planned a fun filled annual family event that involves food, prizes and more. All that will be the reward for volunteers taking part in the annual McKenzie River Cleanup.
Crews will be out in boats as well as scouring the streambanks after 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. sign-into pick up supplies at the Hendricks Bridge Park.  The clean up work runs until 2 p.m. and extends from the Ollalie Campground to Armitage Park.
Following their day’s work, volunteers will be rewarded with a BBQ and festivities at Hendricks Bridge Park, from 1 to 4 p.m.


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.