McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!

Fire danger leads to land closures

On Sierra Pacific’s former Senecca lands

 

August 4, 2022 | View PDF



Due to the increased risk of wildfires in the region, Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) closed its Oregon forestlands to public access, last Friday, July 29th. Officials said the decision to close the lands was based on several risk factors including increasing weather temperature, excess dry vegetation, low moisture levels, and long-range weather forecasts.

“Oregon’s wet spring followed by the warm summer has led to an over-abundance of vegetation that has dried out and makes our forests more susceptible to wildfire,” said Courtney Griesel, SPI spokesperson. “To help ensure public safety, support those men and women preparing for frontline emergency response, and to protect our forest resources, Sierra Pacific is closing its Oregon lands to public access and recreation.”

Oregon’s fire conditions have changed dramatically in recent years. While fire prevention is the first line of defense against large wildfires, it is also essential that suppression during fire season be a priority. As wildfire conditions appear to worsen, finding a solution will require year-round efforts, additional boots on the ground, more efficient communication, and a fundamental review of which methods are appropriate and effective in each risk situation.

The forestlands closed are those acquired from Seneca in October 2021 and follow Seneca’s past wildfire protection measure practices. The public’s use of SPI roads and walk-in access to the company’s privately-owned lands will be prohibited. Public roads that cross Sierra Pacific lands are not affected by this closure. Also remaining open for recreational access will be those SPI roads that are shared with federal landowners that are designated for public use. SPI has committed to regularly evaluating the situation and keeping interested parties updated on any changes. We anticipate the closure will remain in effect until moisture levels and long-range weather forecasts improve, likely in late fall 2022.

To learn more about the company’s recreation access policies, please visit the website at: http://spi-ind.com/OurForests/RecreationAccess. For inquiries associated with the closure, contact SPI

 

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