Current Activities

Information about forest closures is located at key access points, and closures are clearly marked on-site. Harvest areas are extremely dangerous for visitors and harvest crews, with hazards from falling trees and large equipment. Thank you for your respect of these safety closures!

Updated 6/14/2018  Full Length of 720 Road Closed Starting Thursday (6/14/2018)

Starting Thursday (6/14/2018), the closure of the 720 Road is extended to include the entire length of the road.  See this updated map for details.   

Approximate Closure Duration:  5/15/2018-7/31/2018
Closed Roads: 720 Road
Closed Trails: All unauthorized trails leading into closure area 
Haul Routes: 720 Road
Size:     21 acres            
Prescription:  Clearcut
Harvest Method:  Ground based machinery and cable logging
Reason for Harvest: Revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry.

Posted 6/13/2018  700, 760 Roads and Unauthorized Trails Closed for Harvest Starting Thursday, 6/14/2018

Starting Thursday, 6/14/2018, the 762 and portions of the 760 and 700 Roads will be closed for the Time Out Thin.  The closure will also include the popular unauthorized trails 'Rocky Trail' and 'Iris Meadows,' which will be impacted by the harvest operation.  View a map of the harvest area here.

Time Out Harvest Information

Approximate Closure Duration:  6/14/2018-9/15/2018
Closed Roads: 762, portions of 760, 700 
Closed Trails: All unauthorized trails leading into harvest area (Including but not limited to ‘Rocky Trail’ and ‘Iris Meadow’ unauthorized trails)
Haul Routes: 700, 760
Size: 59 acres
Prescription:  Thinning
Harvest Method:  Cut-to-Length machinery
Reason for Harvest:  Research support and forest health.  Thinning is designed to remove suppressed, poor growing, and ice damaged conifers.

Updated 6/13/2018  Turkey Trott Thinning Starting South of Baker Creek Trail (adjacent to Frost Bite Clearcut) on Thursday, 6/14/2018

Starting Thursday, 6/14/2018, the Turkey Trott Thin will start adjacent to the Frost Bite Clearcut, currently underway.  Closures in place for Frost Bite Harvest will also apply to the Turkey Trott Harvest.  Check out this map for details. 

Frost Bite and Turkey Trott Harvest Information

Approximate Closure Duration:  5/3/2018-8/15/2018
Closed Roads: Portions of 800, 850, and 870 Roads
Closed Trails: All unauthorized trails leading into harvest area
Haul Routes: 800 Road
Size: 12 acres (Frost Bite); 35 acres (Turkey Trott)
Prescription:  Clearcut (Frost Bite); Thinning (Turkey Trott)
Harvest Method:  Ground-based machinery (Frost Bite); Cut-to-Length machinery (Turkey Trott)
Reason for Harvest:  Revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry. (Frost Bite)  Thinning is designed to remove suppressed, poor growing, and ice damaged conifers and to support forest health. (Turkey Trott)

Posted 6/12/2018 200 Road System on Dunn Forest Closed Starting Wednesday, 6/13/2018

Starting Wednesday, 6/13/2018, the 200 Road system on the Dunn Forest will be closed past the intersection of the Scout Trail and the 200 Road.  Please see the attached map for details.  

Cuttlefish Harvest Information

Approximate Closure Duration:  6/13/2018-8/15/2018
Closed Roads: 210, 220, 240, 260, 320, 322, 322.1, and a portion of 200
Closed Trails: None
Haul Routes: 200
Size:     34 acres            Prescription:  Clearcut
Harvest Method:  Ground based machinery
Reason for Harvest: Research support and revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry. 
Demonstration/Research Applications: Effects of early thinning to promote sapwood growth for future pole harvests.

Posted 6/7/2018  Dan's Horse Connector Trail Closed Starting Monday, 6/11/2018

Starting Monday, 6/11/2018, Dan's Horse Connector Trail (which overlaps Road 612.4) will be closed for the "Middle Dan's" harvest.  Dan's Trail and Horse Trail will remain open during harvest operations unless posted closed.  Check out a map here.

Middle Dan's Harvest Information

Approximate Closure Duration:  6/11/2018-7/31/2018
Closed Roads: Portion of 612.4
Closed Trails: Dan’s Horse Connector Trail
Haul Routes: 612
Size:      19 acres           
Prescription:  Clearcut
Harvest Method:  Ground based machinery 
Reason for Harvest: Revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry.  
Demonstration Applications: Ground based logging and clearcut techniques for high recreation and visually sensitive areas.

Posted 6/7/2018  Recreation Access Prohibited on Private Property to the Northwest of McDonald Forest

We wanted to let everyone know that the property owner sharing a portion of the northwest McDonald Forest boundary has decided to prohibit recreation use on their property, due to resource impacts from unauthorized trails.  You will see signs on-site, and closures will be enforced with support from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.  The property is located north of the 760 and 720 Road systems, and is managed by Mason, Bruce and Girard.   Please contact Mason, Bruce, and Girard at 503-224-3445 with questions. 

Updated 5/18/2018 400 Gate on Dunn Forest Open for Parking

Construction work has been completed on the Dunn 400 Gate, and visitors are welcome to park there again.  Please be sure to park near the logs and to leave the travelway clear in front of the gate.  Also be prepared to encounter heavy equipment working, rock trucks, and other truck traffic along roadways, as road work continues in the 400 Road system.    

As a reminder, this construction occurred to allow the passage of oversized trailers carrying logging equipment in preparation for the Pacific Logging Congress in summer of 2018, and to facilitate future forest management activities.  

Updated 5/18/2018  600 Road Near Oak Creek to be Closed when Flagger is Present Starting Monday (5/21/2018)  

Update (5/18/2018): A section of the 600 Road (between Roads 6020 and 680) will be closed intermittently starting on Monday (5/21/2018).  Cables for the Middle Extendo harvest will be stretched across the 600 Road, and flaggers will be placed along the road to prohibit access when cables are in use.  The Uproute and Extendo Trails can be used as a detour during this time. 

As an FYI, there is no guarantee that visitors descending using the 680 Road will be able to access Oak Creek using the 600 Road during this time (ie - may have to turn around and go back uphill to access Extendo or Uproute).  Check out the map below for further clarification.

View the location of the closure here.  

Original posting: On Thursday, 4/5/2018, harvest operations will start near the Extendo Trail, and are anticipated to last through June. The closures are associated with two harvests:

The Middle Extendo Clearcut will require closure of the 681 Road (closed 24 hours/day, 7 days/week), and the intermittent closure of a portion of the 600 Road. Cables for the Middle Extendo harvest will be stretched across the 600 Road, and a flagger will be placed along the road to prohibit access when cables are in use. The Uproute and/or Extendo Trails can be used as a detour during this time.

The Flat Tire harvest will result in the additional intermittent closure of the Extendo Trail, due to the close proximity of trees being felled adjacent to the trail. The trail will be closed for a brief period of 3-6 days in May or June, when marked as closed on the ground. The Uproute Trail and/or 600 Road can be used as a detour during this time.

The Uproute Trail will remain open for use during both harvests.

The Flat Tire harvest is a last minute addition in response to an invasion of flat-headed fir borers in the Douglas-fir trees growing along the northern part of Extendo Trail. These trees were likely stressed from growing on the dry ridgetop, making them more susceptible to damage from the fir borers. Many trees in this area are dead or dying as a result, and will be removed.  For more information about this harvest, check out the OSU Research Forests April newsletter.  

View a map of the harvest area here (link)

For a reminder of why clearcuts are used as one management tool on the OSU Research Forests, check out this newsletter article, pages 14-16

Middle Extendo and Flat Tire Harvest Information

Approximate Closure Duration:  4/4-6/30/2018 (Middle Extendo); 5/1-6/30/2018 (Flat Tire)
Closed Roads: 681 (24/7 closure), portion of 600 (*only when flagger present)
Closed Trails: Short trail btwn Extendo and 681 Rd (24/7 closure), Extendo Tr. (*only when posted, for approximately 3-6 days in May/June) 
Haul Routes: 681, 680, 600
Detours:  6020 Rd, Uproute Trail, and Extendo Trail (when open)
Size: 31 acres (Middle Extendo); 10 acres (Flat Tire) Prescription:  Clearcut
Harvest Method:  Cable logging (Middle Extendo), ground-based (Flat Tire)
Demonstration Applications: Cable logging and clearcut techniques for high recreation and visually sensitive areas.
Reasons for Harvest: 

  • Middle Extendo: Revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry.  
  • Flat Tire: Remove dead and dying trees infected with flat-headed fir borer, reducing tree mortality and safety hazards along Extendo trail.

Posted 1/30/2018  Alternative Trailhead Transportation Strategy

We are pleased to share with you the results of a community effort to develop a strategy to address issues related to vehicular use on access roads and at trailheads.  This strategy was developed to address current issues including safety, congestion, and access while also developing tools to make it easier for visitors to access the forest without their car.  

Alternative Trailhead Transportation Strategy

Posted 1/30/2018 Upcoming Changes to Oak Creek Trailhead Parking

Starting in March 2018, bollards will be placed on NW Oak Creek Dr. to physically prohibit unsafe parking that often occurs there during busy times.  This parking restriction will assure the road is kept open for access by recreation, administrative, and emergency traffic, and reduce the potential for accidents. These parking restrictions are a Condition of Approval from the 2017 Conditional Use Permit the OSU Research Forests received from Benton County Planning Commission to allow further development of Forest trails.  

The restrictions will not reduce parking in the main parking area at Oak Creek.  On very busy days, cars sometimes stretch south of the county maintenance sign (south of the buildings) along NW Oak Creek Drive, and some vehicles park with one wheel almost in the ditch and the other out into the lane of traffic.  The bollards will be placed along this section of road to keep the lane of traffic open during very busy times, but the main parking area will remain open for use.  

During busy times, parking spaces will be in high demand at Oak Creek, and it is expected that there will not be space for everyone to park.  We plan to have a webcam available in April for visitors to use in planning their trip.  In the meantime, if parking is full at the trailhead, please find another location for your adventure.  FYI, parking is not permitted along NW Oak Creek Drive, or on neighboring properties, including the Audubon Center. Check out the new bike racks installed at Oak Creek Trailhead for your use!  

The Oak Creek parking area will be closed for a brief time this summer, as contractors re-surface the parking area, paint lines to indicate parking spaces, and install a turn-around.  During re-paving and painting this summer, parking areas will be clarified for safety, including the currently unmarked parking between the buildings.  This project is not expected to increase parking capacity at the site.  These improvements will result in a safer, more user-friendly parking experience.  

Updated 9/6/2017  OSU Research Forests Conditional Use Permit Application Granted by Benton County Planning Comission

The OSU Research Forests applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) with the Benton County Planning Commission in July-September, 2017.  Most of McDonald Forest and the portion of Dunn Forest that is within Benton County are zoned for Forest Conservation. While some activities are automatically allowed in the Forest Conservation Zone (timber harvest, forest road construction, herbicide use, etc.), recreation uses and facilities require Conditional Use Permit review and approval by the Benton County Planning Commission.  The application was approved with revised "Conditions for Approval" at a Benton County Planning Commission deliberation session on 9/5/2017.  For more information, see our Recreation Planning webpage.

Special Newsletter Edition: Conditional Use Permit

Posted 8/17/2017  Bells for Bikes Pilot Test at Oak Creek

In an effort to make our trails safer and more enjoyable for every type of user, the OSU Research Forests, in partnership with Peak Sports, are ringing in something new. Bells will be available at the Oak Creek trailhead for mountain bikers to borrow for their trail ride. These bells will easily attach to the riders’ handlebars or saddle and will provide an easy way to alert other forest users that a bike is approaching. Visitors will simply take a bell out of the bell box at the beginning of their ride and return it when they’re done. If you would like your own personal bell, they are available for purchase at Peak Sports. 

This pilot test, running from August 17, 2017 – October 31, 2017, is hopefully just the beginning of improving enjoyment for every type of trail user that comes to our forest. If you use or encounter these bells on the trails, go ahead and fill out this survey in order to provide us with feedback and make improvements before we fully implement this program at other trailheads in the Research Forests. 

Road Work

Intermittent road maintenence activities occur on the OSU Research Forests.  Please yield to the trucks.  Use extreme caution when approaching operating equipment and only pass when given the OK.

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