What's New

Silver Creek LandingThe Lane County Parks draft master plan has been released for public comment. Over the next several months, the county’s staff will be gathering written comments and conducting public open houses in preparation for formal hearings with the Parks Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, and ultimately the Board of County Commissioners. Included in the review are a half dozen parks – from Armitage to the Jennie B. Harris Wayside, as well as a dozen boat landings.
One of the largest is the 32-acre Hendricks Bridge Park between Cedar Flat and Walterville. Planned changes include the replacement and realignment of the existing boat ramp and expanding the parking lot.

 

 

Goose ProjectA document outlining plans for the Goose Project has been released by the Willamette National Forest. The draft record of decision and final environmental impact statement affects 17,932 acres along Highways 126 and 242, near the community of McKenzie Bridge.
District Ranger Terry Baker noted the Goose project was designed to provide a sustainable supply of timber products, reduce hazardous fuels, and “Actively manage stands to improve stand conditions, diversity, density, and structure.”

 

 

 

 

Blue-green algae poses threat to recreation and drinking water

Walterville PondA report from Oregon State University concludes that blooms of blue-green algae (or toxic cyanobacteria) are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the United States. It  may also  be a growing global health threat.
Contributing to the concern are rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels. Many rivers have been dammed worldwide, and wastewater nutrients or agricultural fertilizers in various situations can cause problems in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
No testing for cyanobacteria is mandated by state or federal drinking water regulators, according to the OSU scientists, nor is reporting required of disease outbreaks associated with algal blooms. But changes in climate and land use, and even increasing toxicity of the bacteria themselves, may force greater attention to this issue in the future, the researchers said.

Vets with boatBy Ada Weeks
Perched on a large rock at the Silver Creek Landing, I sat photographing drift boats that came close enough to capture on camera, waiting for my mystery ride to the other side of the river. My assignment was to interview a group of US military veterans during their first McKenzie River fishing trip. Having grown up as a Navy braåç, I knew this would be special.

When a drift boat skillfully came close enough for me to see the fishermen wearing US Army tee shirts, I knew “my ship had come in.” Indeed, with military precision, my boat transport was right on time. Marine veteran, and elite river guide, Greg White, invited me to hop in for the short ride across the McKenzie to the chosen lunch spot.

River guide Buzz Kleven, also a US Army and Marine veteran, was busy setting up the site, complete with table, chairs, cookware, and the largest cast iron frying pan I had ever seen. The military vet fishermen, who had tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany, piled out of the drift boats, and settled in to watch the guides prepare lunch.

Bruce ThorFINN ROCK: The fifteen artists at this year’s 3rd Annual Chainsaw Art Festival once again enthraled onlookers who watched them transform logs into works of art. For some running the saws, the end result may come from within the wood itself. Others, like Bruce Thor of Kent, Washington, approach each piece with an image already in their minds.
“Because I’m a cartoonist, I get ideas and have to have a piece of paper around at all times,” he explains. “I’m compulsively doodling over the winter.”
For Thor, a “third generation Icelandic American,” the attraction for refashioning logs goes back to 1996 when his mother cut down a tree in their front yard. In the process of making, “the worst bear I’ve ever done,”  he burned out her electric saw. But it was a step in a process that nudged him to attend his first gathering of carvers in the coastal town of Westport in 2000.

Biscuit fireAs mountain pine beetles and other insects chew their way through Western forests, forest fires might not seem far behind. Lands covered by dead trees appear ready to burst into flame.
However, an analysis of wildfire extent in Oregon and Washington over the past 30 years shows very little difference in the likelihood of fires in forests with and without insect damage. Indeed , other factors – drought, storms, and fuel accumulation from years of fire suppression – may be more important than insects in determining if fire is more or less likely from year to year.

Cascade winnersFlorenz Knauer, Francisco Mancebo and Dion Smith at the finish line awards ceremony. Mancebo (Canyon Bicycles) and Kristin Armstrong (Twenty 16-ShoAir) won the men’s and women’s opening stage respectively of the five-day Cascade Cycling Classic on Wednesday.

BR crash victimToday, just before 6 a.m., OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a single vehicle crash off the roadway on Highway 20 near milepost 98 (just west of Sisters).
Initial information indicates a 1996 Honda was traveling eastbound on Highway 20 when it left the roadway and struck a tree. The vehicle came to rest on it's side. Upon emergency crews arriving, the found the operator, Troy A Crabb, 35, of Blue River, deceased.

At counterRAINBOW: Ways of getting out and about - from riding bikes to paddle boarding or from rafting to shuttles - now have a new central point to start from, thanks to a new business that will host a grand opening this weekend. The Horse Creek Lodge and the Blazin Saddles Bike Shop partnered for the new enterprise, housed in the former Rustic Skillet Restaurant’s storefront.

Leaburg power plantLEABURG: The Leaburg Hydroelectric Project Historic District in Lane County is among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Leaburg Hydroelectric Project was put into service in January 1930 and continues to generate electric power as part of the Eugene Water & Electric Board system, a municipally owned utility located in Lane County. It is located along approximately five miles of the McKenzie River in the vicinity of Leaburg, and consists of the dam and powerhouse; the reservoir, canal and tailrace; and Leaburg Village, built to house dam workers.

 

 

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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: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.