Features

What is open and closed on the Willamette National Forest?

Recreating in the national forest is an activity loved by millions of people. Whether it be hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, camping, or just going for a drive, the national forests provide fun, excitement, and solace to many.

A year in the life of an Outdoor Ambassador

Youth & Community Engagement Coordinator, Angelica Muñoz, reports on what it is like to be an Outdoor Ambassador for the Willamette National Forest.

2021 Central Cascades Wilderness Trip Planning

The Central Cascades wilderness areas of Oregon are home to iconic mountain peaks, high alpine meadows and lakes, and old growth forests. Crystal clear streams, wildflower meadows, rugged mountain views, young lava flows, and much more can be found in the Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington and Three Sisters Wilderness areas.

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 2021, and start planning your trip (n.b. this permit system which was initially scheduled to start in 2020, but has been pushed back due to COVID-19).

Final Decision Issued for Central Cascade Wilderness Strategy Project

The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests have issued a decision notice for the Central Cascades Wilderness Strategy Project. The decision will manage entry at trailheads within three Cascade wilderness areas beginning the summer of 2021.

From the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through the last Friday in September, wilderness day use will be managed with a permit system at 19 of 79 trailheads across Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness areas.

• Mount Jefferson will have a day use permit system at seven trailheads (32 percent of all trailheads),

• Mount Washington will have a day use permit system at two trailheads (20 percent of all trailheads) and

• Three Sisters will have a day use permit system at 10 trailheads (21 percent of all trailheads).

 

International Visiting Biologist Program Volunteer -

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.

Learn more here.

Forest Managers from Government of Indonesia visit Willamette National Forest

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.

Thinking Outside the Channel: Innovative River Restoration Work

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

Santiam Pass Ski Lodge Restoration

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

Forest Service Recreation App Now Available on Android and iOS Devices

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.

Healthy Watersheds, Healthy Communities

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

The Journey Back to the Springs

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.

Sweet Home Nature and Heritage Tours

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

Preserving Wilderness Character: Balancing Increasing Visitor Use with Impacts

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

Buy Your Christmas Tree Permit Online

It is the most wonderful time of the year to visit your national forest and find the perfect holiday tree for your home!

Christmas Tree Permits are available at our Springfield Interagency Office as well as, Detroit, McKenzie River, Sweet Home and Middle Fork Ranger District offices. 

This year permits can also be purchased online through the Open Forest pilot program.



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