Winter range closures are in effect December 1 through March 31. Winter range is habitat deer and elk migrate to in order to find more favorable living conditions during the winter. Winter range is found predominantly in lower elevations of central Oregon and is extremely important to mule deer survival. Winter ranges usually have minimal amounts of snow cover and provide vegetation for forage, hiding cover, and protection from the weather. In Oregon, mule deer migrate, often long distances, to lower elevations to escape or minimize exposure to snow cover.
Expending energy or stopping feeding activities to avoid humans causes deer to use energy reserves that might be needed to get them through the harshness of winter. Animals respond better to disturbances that are predictable, so please respect winter closures on trails and roads.
We are restoring the forest adjacent to the City of Bend to improve forest health, create a diversity of plant and wildlife habitat and to protect our communities and quality of life.
Historically in Central Oregon small wildfires or insect infestations occurred creating a forested of different aged trees, underbrush, and openings, which allowed a diversity of wildlife and plants to flourish and kept forests resilient to large scale disturbances. The goal of this work is to restore a more resilient and healthy forest.
Large logs and woody debris are an important habitat feature for bull trout, chinook salmon, redband trout and other salmonids. Large wood can reduce streambank erosion, store gravel and create pools that are important for fish habitat. These functions enhance fish and invertebrate populations. Large wood is used as cover for all stages of trout and salmon and creates protected areas for fish to resists large floods.
The Metolius Watershed Analysis identified that the upper Metolius River was one of the few river segments that did not meet the objectives of in- stream wood and fish habitat likely from past wood removal and logging along the river. The recommendations called for restoration of large wood to restore habitat for fish (USDA Forest Service 1996 and 2004).