Reminder to hunters and visitors – 4 road closures in place on Fremont-Winema

Release Date: Sep 25, 2019

Contact(s): Tamara Schmidt


LAKEVIEW, Ore. – The end of summer and beginning of fall on the Fremont-Winema National Forest brings cooler weather, excellent hunting and golden days with aspens changing color.  It’s a great time for visitors interested in hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, biking and exploring.

However, officials with the Fremont-Winema National Forest and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) would like to remind those enjoying the forest to remember to observe and respect road closures.

There are currently four in place – two each on the Bly and Paisley Ranger Districts.  Three are culvert replacements and one is a bridge replacement.  All of them are in the ODFW Interstate Unit.

The projects started during late summer and will continue into fall – potentially as late as November 30 and are in the vicinity of popular recreation spots.

“We are concerned about the safety of hunters and the recreating public, who are going into the closure areas and conflicting with the contractors,” said Forest Recreation, Engineering, Archaeology, Lands and Minerals Staff Officer Catherine Callaghan.  “This is impacting the contractor’s ability to get the work done and we are concerned for public and employee safety in these construction zones.”

The work being done is a little different from other types of road construction work.  The fish and aquatic species need to be cleared from the area before excavation and culvert and bridge removal can begin.  This can make it appear that the road is still passable.

As construction activity increases, roads in these areas will be impassable.  There are not easily accessible places to turn around within the project areas, especially for large trucks pulling trailers.

Signs are placed at major intersections before the road closures to ensure plenty of space for large vehicles to turn around.

The projects are important for watershed health, habitat and passage for fish and aquatic species.  They are also improving road infrastructure and safety.

“While this work in the Fremont-Winema National Forest may be inconvenient for hunters and recreationalists this fall, the work is benefitting fisheries and water quality, which provides benefits to all wildlife.  In particular, these projects are going to provide adequate fish passage that will allow better habitat utilization for all life stages of aquatic species and make upstream habitats accessible again to native and game fishes,” said ODFW Klamath Watershed District Fish Biologist Ben Ramirez.

Forest managers and ODFW officials want to encourage visitors to plan their trip, identify alternate routes to avoid the road closures and, if they do come across construction equipment and contractors, to be respectful and turn around.

“This is a great opportunity to explore some other parts of the Forest and take a different road.  All recreation areas are accessible – some may just require a less-direct route,” Callaghan said.

The closure orders are:

Order Number 06-02-01-19-02 – Deer Creek Culvert Replacement Project located on Forest Road 3428 and Forest Road 3428014, which runs between Forest Roads 34 and 28.  Closure is located just west of Clear Springs Campground.

Order Number 06-02-01-19-03 – North Fork Sprague River Culvert Replacement Project located on Forest Road 3372 between the junctions with Forest Roads 3372015 and 3372100. Closure is located around .75 miles northeast of the eastern boundary of the Gearhart Wilderness Area.

Order Number 06-02-03-19-01 – Watson Creek Culvert Replacement Project is taking place on 1.7 miles of Forest Road 3372 between the junctions with Forest Roads 3372022 and 3372021.  The road is also known as the Trunk Road and the closure is approximately 4 miles due north of the Gearhart Wilderness Area. 

Order Number 06-02-03-19-01 – Boulder Creek Bridge Replacement located on Forest Road 28. The road is closed for approximately 3.3 miles between the junctions of Forest Roads 2800332 and 2800450. 

Forest visitors with questions regarding the closures can contact the Fremont-Winema National Forest at 541-947-2151, the Bly Ranger District at 541-353-2427 or the Paisley Ranger District at 541-943-3114.

All four closure orders are in place until work is completed or November 30, 2019, whichever occurs first.  There will be public notification as the closure orders are lifted.

Violations of the closure order are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than 6 months or both.

For questions regarding the Interstate Unit, please contact the appropriate ODFW office or visit https://myodfw.com/interstate-unit-75. Information on the Interstate Unit is available from the Klamath office, 541-883-5732.

For more information on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema, follow the Forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/R6FWNF.

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