8月, 经过两年多的艰苦工作和谈判, 92,000英亩 of our Oregon timberlands in Lincoln and Polk counties were opened to the public for the first time in years.
“这里的当地社区以狩猎为生, 所以这是一个巨大的胜利,米歇尔·梅特卡夫说, 西北娱乐访问经理. “这块地是梅子溪合并的一部分, 以及之前乔治亚-太平洋地区的一部分, 每家公司允许的访问方式不同. We’ve been searching for a way to safely open this land to recreational access.”
Among the logistical challenges were finding a way to ensure security and proper maintenance on the land with the additional traffic on our logging roads. 在大多数情况下, the easiest way to manage those challenges is to add the land to our recreational access programs, 公众可以购买娱乐许可证进入可靠的网堵平台的土地. 但是这些特殊的林场, Alsea和Mid-Coast, 并不是可靠的网堵平台的实心地块, but rather a checkerboard of Weyerhaeuser parcels alternating with a mix of government, 部落和私有土地.
Each neighboring landowner has a different land-use agreement set up with us — and us with them — to use and maintain roads that pass through each ownership. 在某些情况下，这些协议不允许公众访问.
“It gets complicated quickly,” says Scott Marlega, a land use manager based in Oregon. “We spent a lot of time listening to the local teams at Alsea和Mid-Coast, 和周围社区的成员, 找出如何最好地允许安全的公众进入.”
A map of the 92,000英亩 now part of the Oregon Department of Fish & 野生动物的访问 & 栖息地的项目. The checkerboard land in Polk County is the Alsea tree farm; the land in Lincoln County is the Mid-Coast tree farm.
In 2018, a 7,000-acre Oregon Coast Range acquisition from Hancock Timber Resource Group offered a solution when those acres were included in the Access & 俄勒冈渔业部的栖息地项目 & 野生动物.
的一个&H项目, 1993年由州议会建立, uses money from hunting licenses to pay private landholders to open their land for public recreational use, 目的是改善公众狩猎和野生动物准入.
“该项目中的大部分土地位于该州东部, 有很多私人财产的地方,”斯科特说. “Hancock broke new ground by putting a large portion of their coastal ownership in the program.”
这个项目和米歇尔一样, Scott and the Willamette Valley 十大网堵平台 teams were looking for, 他们提出了一项提案，向公众提供200个项目,在美国境内有1000英亩&2019年H项目.
“每个人都很兴奋，”斯科特说. “Weyerhaeuser and Hancock are the biggest private landowners in Lincoln County, so having us both part of the same program gives locals consistency and opens up a lot of new acreage.”
可靠的网堵平台的提议通过了当地Access的第一步评估 & 栖息地的董事会, 然后它被转交给了州委员会, 隶属于俄勒冈州渔业部门 & 野生动物.
“ODFW was really excited to find a way to get our Mill Creek area open to the public because it leads into a large portion of checkerboard ownership,”米歇尔说. “But ODFW had limited budget resources left for our proposal and didn’t have the funds to extend us a grant in 2019. 可靠的网堵平台被要求在2020年重新提交.”
So Michelle, Scott and our 十大网堵平台 teams tweaked the proposal and resubmitted. 而2020年的提议是211个,000英亩, a large portion of which was the checkerboard ownership area of our Alsea tree farm.
“We worked with an ODFW wildlife biologist to determine where to allow motorized access, since non-motorized areas give wildlife like elk and deer a less stressful area to forage,”米歇尔说. 林肯县是一个非常受欢迎的猎鹿区, 而ODFW真正关注的是保护捕猎机会, 所以可靠的网堵平台知道可靠的网堵平台的案子很有说服力. We also committed to putting 10 percent of the grant money received toward improving wildlife habitat or supporting youth hunter education.”
ODFW有预算，但没有为提议的整个土地提供预算. 经过几轮谈判, 他们敲定了一项涵盖92人的补助金,最初提议的000英亩土地, 包括棋盘所有权. Much of the adjacent lands in those acres are public land owned by the Bureau of 土地 Management, 也就是A&H项目 grant will open up not only our land, but also access to all the adjacent federal land.
“这个项目非常适合这块土地，”米歇尔说. “It provides us income to help maintain our road network and fund extra forest patrol security contractors. 与此同时, we’re building a good partnership with ODFW and increasing positive relationships with the community.”
斯科特表示赞同. “ODFW确实选择了最好的野生动物保护区，”他说. “不仅仅是为了捕猎大型动物, 也可以在西莱茨河钓鱼, 确保当地社区有户外娱乐活动, 以及著名的徒步路线，如巨人谷, a Bureau of 土地 Management old-growth forest preserve near Falls City that’s accessible via six miles on our logging roads.”
A的土地&H项目, 有18个门禁入口可以进入, 会参加这个项目五年吗. Scott erected kiosks at each of the 18 gated entry points that include ODFW maps of the access area, 接入点标识方便的位置报告, 还有12条每个人都必须遵守的基本规则.
“You can reach basically everything from those 18 gates,”斯科特说. “And we’ve committed that they’ll stay open later into fire season, until the state raises the Industrial Fire Precaution Level to three.”
Though this year’s extreme fire season in Oregon cut short the expected use of the land, 但这并没有减弱它被加入A的兴奋&H项目.
“Community members are so passionate about this land, just as we are,”米歇尔说. “We’re thrilled to recognize their attachment to it by providing expanded access and habitat education.”