Beginning Sunday, October 1, the Ochoco National Forest will close the Walton Lake Campground to begin implementation on the Walton Lake Restoration Project. The project will address public safety and forest health in the Walton Lake Developed Recreation Management Area approximately 30 miles east of Prineville.
The work will include a sanitation harvest to remove all host species of a root disease called laminated root rot. Laminated root disease has infected Douglas and grand firs in this area, rotting the trees at the base from the inside. Infected fir trees can fall without warning, creating a safety hazard for recreationists and increasing fire danger.
The Walton Lake Restoration Project will also selectively remove fir trees encroaching on the large, legacy ponderosa pines to reduce the stress of competition and conserve the mature ponderosa forest. Additionally, project work will include the replanting of trees that are resistant to laminated root rot to improve public safety and maintain visual aesthetics surrounding the forest’s busiest recreation site.