The Great Outdoors: Ryan Ranch Restoration Project

Before there was ever a Deschutes County or City of Bend, there was a 70-acre ranch established in the 1890’s near Dillon Falls that was primarily used for cattle. Today, the U.S. Forest Service owns that land and crews are restoring it back to the wildlife sanctuary that it once was.

Brian Jennings takes us to Deschutes National Forest‘s Ryan Ranch Restoration Project for this week’s Great Outdoors, sponsored by Camp Abbot Trading Company in Sunriver.

U.S. Interior Secretary Signs Order to Expand Opportunities on BLM, USFWS and NPS Lands

U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, an avid hunter and angler, signed Secretarial Order 3356 on Friday morning to support and expand hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands including areas currently under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service.

Zinke says the goal is to improve wildlife management and conservation, increase access to public lands for hunting, shooting and fishing, and put a new emphasis on recruiting and retaining new sportsmen conservationists with more educational outreach programs.
A recent survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found there are 2.2 million fewer hunters in America than there were in 2011.

Secretarial Order 3356 directs bureaus within the Interior Department to:
—produce a plan to expand access to hunting and fishing on BLM, USFWS and NPS land within 120 days
—amend national monument management plans to ensure the public’s right to hunt, fish and target shoot
—expand educational outreach programs for underrepresented communities such as veterans, minorities, and youth.
—in a manner that respects the rights and privacy of the owners of non-public lands, identify lands within their purview where access to Department lands, particularly access for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other forms of outdoor recreation, is currently limited (including areas of Department land that may be impractical or effectively impossible to access via public roads or trails under current conditions, but where there may be an opportunity to gain access through an easement, right-of-way, or acquisition), and provide a report detailing such lands to the Deputy Secretary.
—within 365 days, cooperate, coordinate, create, make available, and continuously update online a single “one stop” Department site database of available opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on Department lands.
—improve wildlife management through collaboration with state, Tribal,​ territorial, and conservation partners.

Interior Secretary Zinke faced criticism from conservation and environmental groups last month after making recommendations to President Trump on 27 national monuments including the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which he wants to reduce in size.

The Great Outdoors: Off-Highway Vehicles and the Ochoco Trails

The U.S. Forest Service is looking at opportunities to give access to off-highway vehicles to the trails of federal wilderness areas, but the latest proposal in the Ochoco National Forest is drawing a lot of criticism. In this week’s Great Outdoors segment, Brian Jennings looks at the ongoing debate between opening public lands to motorized recreation and preserving them for the wildlife that live there.

A special thanks to our Great Outdoors sponsor, Camp Abbot Trading Company in Sunriver, for giving us the time and resources to explore the lakes, rivers and mountains across our beautiful state every Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon on Central Oregon Daily.

Supper Club: Fire Management Policies

Wildfires have been top of mind across Oregon this summer. Although the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge was caused by fireworks, the majority are started by lightning and a bigger issue being debated among experts is whether there should be a wholesale change in our fire management policies. That’s the subject of this week’s Supper Club segment.

Thanks to Nicole, Deana and Chris for joining us and a special thanks to our Supper Club sponsor, Selco Community Credit Union, for giving us the time and resources to talk about the issues that impact our region every Tuesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

U.S. Representative Greg Walden Meets with Forest Service and Public

The U.S. Forest Service-Deschutes National Forest and U.S. Forest Service – Willamette National Forest are considering a plan to limit access to five different wilderness areas in the Central Cascades as concerns grow about the impact of a spike in tourists during the last decade.

As Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan reports, Representative Greg Walden paid a visit to the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station on Tuesday to get an update on the Forest Service’s proposal.

Forest Service Considering Plan to Manage Wilderness Overuse

The number of annual visitors to the Three Sisters Wilderness has almost tripled in the past five years and now the US Forest Service is considering a plan to limit the number of daily visitors to the Three Sisters and four other major hiking destinations in Oregon.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom looks at how they plan to manage the access to prevent any long-term damage to the wilderness.

Forest Service to Clear Damaged Trees at Lake Campground

Families and outdoor enthusiasts across Central Oregon were disappointed when the U.S. Forest Service first announced the closure of the Cultus Lake Campground for the summer. Scores of dead and diseased trees posed a safety hazard for campers, and initially, the Forest Service said crews had to wait until the end of the Northern Spotted Owl’s breeding season to start the removal operation.

As Central Oregon Daily’s Mackenzie Wilson reports, the Forest Service heard the complaints and came up with a new plan to “clear the way” for a possible re-opening of the campground this summer.

Learning the Lay of the Land

You might see them maintaining trails or serving as hosts at campgrounds. Whatever the task, volunteers are an invaluable asset to the U.S. Forest Service and the Deschutes National Forest.

Central Oregon Daily’s Mackenzie Wilson introduces us to volunteer interpretive rangers who help create a memorable experience for tourists and locals who visit our forests and monuments.