Communities, Front Page, Oakridge/Westfir, Outdoors

5 Rivers Group continues to ask Forest Service to take better care of its land near Oakridge-Westfir

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According to Forest Service rules, defecation is not allowed within 200 feet of a stream or waterway in a national forest.  This illegal latrine is in the flood plain, just upstream from Oakridge on Salmon Creek.

By BEN OLSON/For The Herald — The Forest Service should take a more proactive stance in discouraging illegal and dangerous behaviors on the land that it controls, 5 Rivers Group members agreed at an Oakridge-Westfir gathering Wednesday night.

Educating campers about fire danger and dealing with campers having open fires when there is extreme fire danger is much less expensive than having to fight the wildfires that can result is another group objective.

I attended the meeting to see what these citizens were focusing on. I was aware that members occasionally met on Saturday mornings with pickup trucks and their work gloves to clean up messes left near town by people who failed to pick up after themselves before they moved on.

If you’ve driven up any of the scenic roads along Salmon Creek, the North Fork and other spots in the past few years, I’m sure you’ve seen the abandoned RVs and dirty campsites.

Five Rivers Group members met last September to clean up the most egregious and dangerous campsites. Rather than continually spend time and efforts picking up after people, the group is attempting to make inroads with the community and with the Forest Service to address some of the root causes of the problem.

According to their Facebook page, the Oakridge and Westfir members are interested in cleaning up our forests and rivers. Their goals are to promote a safe community, a clean forest and a quality outdoor experience for everyone. They intend to pursue forest policy changes to achieve these goals.

Here is a link to the timelapse of the Dead Mountain Trailhead abandoned RV clean up: Dead Mountain Complete Timelapse

If you are interested in joining the group, go to the 5 Rivers Group on Facebook and become part of the team, or at least monitor the good work that they are doing.

The group will present a petition to the Forest Service requesting that it become more engaged with the concerns of the citizens of Oakridge and Westfir. The link to that petition can be accessed by clicking here.




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