The Willamette Valley Visitors Association has launched its sixth annual ornament hunt from Nov. 17 until Dec. 31, 2023. In partnership with Cascade Volunteers, 200 locally crafted wooden ornaments will be hidden along non-wilderness trails on the Willamette National Forest.
A deeper understanding of the short- and long-term effects of the Cedar Creek Fire will be clearer as we slowly gain access in the coming year.
The Central Cascades wilderness areas of Oregon are home to iconic mountain peaks, high alpine meadows and lakes, and old growth forests. In an effort to preserve the natural beauty and wilderness experience for you and future visitors and to better manage recreation-related impacts, these areas will be managed with use limits, or quotas, to ensure the protection of these landscapes now and into the future. Find out what is new in 2023, and start planning your trip.
The Beachie Creek, Holiday Farm, and Lionshead Fires burned over 176,000 acres on the Willamette National Forest in 2020. Explore the backstories, post-fire hazards to consider, maps, Burned Area Recovery summaries, and more on our Willamette Wildfires page. Trail and recreation site closures are still in effect. Visit our recreation page for up-to-date information.
Since 1992, we have hosted twenty-three biologists from Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Ireland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bhutan, and Austria between one and nineteen months. Visiting biologists are directly involved in district and forest wildlife program activities.
This volunteer opportunity is open to all current and future wildlife biologists who reside outside the U.S., and who have some experience with ornithology and conservation education. One purpose of this program is to develop and strengthen professional and personal ties between foreign nationals, U.S. citizens, and institutions.
On July 26, high level officials from the Government of Indonesia concluded a one-week, hands-on tour to learn how U.S. Forest Service specialists participate in collaboratives with partners to manage forests for “the greatest good.” This trip directly supports our agency’s strategic goal of applying knowledge globally. View this feature.
We are working to restore the ecological health of watersheds and aquatic and riparian ecosystems in close coordination between partners, watershed councils, and landowners. Healthy floodplains serve many benefits for people and the environment, such as reducing the impact of flood events, recharging ground water tables, protecting water quality, maintaining and support biological diversity, and providing spawning and rearing habitat for fish and other aquatic species. "We are thinking outside the channel," says USFS Hydrologist Johan Hogervorst. These projects will help ensure healthy functioning streams and resilient ecosystems we have always relied on for future generations to come...Learn more
The USDA Forest Service is entrusted with the responsibility of preserving cultural resources, and nominated the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. On May 10th, 2018, the Willamette National Forest signed the operating plan and special use permit for the restoration of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge. The new permittees, Susan and Dwight Sheets will be working with community members and foundations to renovate the CCC-built Lodge to its former condition...learn more
Planning your next Pacific Northwest National Forest adventure? There's an app for that!
The new recreation app is based on a mapping interface that allows visitors to find recreational opportunities near them. The app also provides information on hiking trails, camping, picnicking, boating areas, and more across 16 national forests, one national scenic area, and two national volcanic monuments in Oregon and Washington. In addition, users will find other important information on passes and fees, visitor center locations and office hours, and alerts on fires and road closures.
The Terwilliger Hot Spring is now open. Learn about its history and all the cooperating agencies and volunteers who have helped to steward it over the years. View this feature.
Come explore the beautiful Sweet Home Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest! The Sweet Home Nature and Heritage Tours offer incredible opportunities to learn about the plants, animals, geology and cultural history of the Sweet Home area, located on the edges of the Willamette Valley and within the spectacular Cascade Mountains.
Sweet Home Nature and Heritage Tours will take you to the out-of-the-way spots with a friendly group to explore, learn and have a wonderful time while coming to appreciate why the Sweet Home area is such a special place. Whether you’re a budding naturalist or a long-time explorer of Pacific Northwest, Sweet Home Nature and Heritage Tours will be an experience you will long remember...learn more
Between 2011 and 2016 the Forest Service noted substantial increases in visitation to the five Central Cascades Wilderness Areas coinciding with notable increases in vegetation trampling, loss of meadow and riparian vegetation, tree damage, human and dog waste, widening and braiding of trails, overcrowding and unsafe parking conditions, and compaction of sites in these areas. Despite wilderness rangers taking enforcement measures and doing daily outreach, education and patrolling of these wilderness areas the impacts continued to increase as annual visitation grew.
In the winter of 2016 Forest Supervisors reached the conclusion that a change in management strategies for the wilderness areas was needed. In January 2017 they created a team of resource specialists to gather data and devel-op a range of management strategies to meet the mandates of the Wilderness Act, as established by Congress.…learn more
On Tuesday, May 23rd, the McKenzie River District successfully completed a prescribed burn to reduce fuel post timber harvest and reduce wildfire risk.
Youth & Community Engagement Coordinator, Angelica Muñoz, reports on what it is like to be an Outdoor Ambassador for the Willamette National Forest.
Modeled after a U.S. Forest Service program on the East Coast, the Freshwater Snorkel Program on the Willamette National Forest, is beginning its second year. In partnership with the Calapooia Watershed Council and South Santiam Watershed Council, the program allows underserved and underrepresented youth, as well as youth from rural schools and communities, to learn about watershed health and where their water comes from through snorkeling. Click here for more information.
Alerts & Warnings
- Delays on Forest Road 46, temporary closure starting mid-December
- Landslide on Forest Road 19; one lane traffic
- FIRE CLOSURES: Lookout, Bedrock, Cedar Creek, Beachie Creek & Lionshead
- Portion of McKenzie River Trail closed; trail detour in place
- Christmas Tree Permits Available Now; 6th Annual Ornament Hunt Nov. 17-Dec. 31