Current Activities

Current Forest Closures at a GLANCE - CLICK HERE!  

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. 

Harvest Closure Frequently Asked Questions


Posted 9/19/2017  Roads 570 and 590 Closed, Starting 9/20/2017

Approximate Closure Duration:  9/20/17 – 10/6/17
Phase I Closed Roads:  570, 590—entire duration of harvest
Phase II Roads to be closed (currently open): 500 Road (from Vineyard Mountain Trail to Dave’s Trail) - closed approximately 4-7 days only, date TBD
Closed Trails:  No authorized trails closed; unauthorized trails leading into 579 and 590 Roads
Haul Routes: 500, 582; 582 Gate
Harvest Name: 590 Cut to Length (CTL) Thin
Size: 15 Acres
Prescription: Thin from below: removal of suppressed, diseased, dying and damaged trees
Harvest Method:  Ground-based cut-to-length (CTL) equipment
Reason for Harvest: Allow larger trees to grow, fuel reduction
Research/Demonstration Applications: Demonstration of fuels reduction by removing ladder fuels along stand boundaries

View a map of the closure area here!

Updated 9/19/2017  770 and 771 Roads open to recreation use starting the afternoon of 9/20/2017; Closures on 6021 and 6021.3 Road remain in Oak Creek area

Harvest activities have been completed on the 770 and 771 Roads as part of the 770 Thin and Clearcut, and the public will be free to use the area sometime during the afternoon of 9/20/2017.  Road work remains to be completed in the area, and is anticipated for completion this fall.   

The 6021 Uneven Aged Harvest continues in the Oak Creek area, meaning that the 6021.3 Road and a portion of the 6021 Road remain closed for the continuation of the 6021 Uneven Aged harvest.  This harvest is being conducted to produce revenue to support student learning in the College of Forestry, as well as to continue a long-term demonstration project looking at multi-aged management of Douglas-fir forests.  

Click here for more information and a map of the current closures.  

Posted 9/19/2017  Limited herbicide application planned in Arboretum and along Vineyard Mountain Trail the week of September 25th

Staff will be spraying blackberries during the first part of the week of September 25 in two small areas.  

In Peavy Arboretum, spraying will occur along the creek (following all environmental requirements) from the Firefighter Memorial Trail to Randal Pond as a follow up to secure the significant efforts that went into removing blackberries in that area by hand.  Spraying will not occur along trails during this operation.  

Spraying for blackberries will also occur on the Vineyard Mountain 5050 and 5030 Roads during the same timeframe.  

Signs will be posted on-site with the date and time of application, the chemical used, and the Re-entry Interval.  

Posted 9/19/2017  Slash piling near Peavy Arboretum starting 9/20/2017
Large equipment has moved into the area of the 510, 514 Roads and CFIRP Trail to the southwest of Peavy Arboretum.  Starting tomorrow, the equipment will be moving slash into large piles.  No roads or trails will be closed at this time.  

Updated 9/14/2017  760 and Portion of 700 Roads Closed, Starting 9/15/2017  

Harvest activities for the Quick Draw Thin have changed locations.  Public closures now include Roads 681.2, 682, 682.4, 682.6, 682.2, 760, a portion of 700, and all connecting roads.  All UA trails leading into the closure area are closed, including, but not limited to “The Plunge” and “Funnel Cake”. 

This harvest is scheduled to last through mid-October.  It is expected that the 700 and 760 Roads will be opened before then. 

The western portions of portion of 700 and 760 have been closed to prevent visitors from having to backtrack uphill.  Please respect closures at the locations they are posted, and be aware that Benton County Sheriff's Office will be providing enforcement support.

Hauling is occurring on the 600, 680, and 700 Roads, and parking limitations are in place at the Oak Creek and 700 gates.

Click here for a map of the closure area and more information about the project.

Information about the harvest:

  • The Quick Draw Thin is approximately 141 acres, designed to remove suppressed, poor growing, and ice damaged conifers.  An additional 7 acre clear-cut is designed to produce additional revenue to support student learning in the College of Forestry and to address an understocked stand. 
  • Harvesting will be completed by a ground-based harvester, which removes the tree from the stump and cuts it to specified lengths.  A forwarder then picks up the logs and brings them to the road for loading onto a truck.  In the steeper portions of the harvest area (30% slope +), both the harvester and forwarder will use a new technology called a tethered assist cable system to minimize soil compaction and allow for operation during wetter periods.  
  • Researchers from OSU College of Forestry are conducting a study on the tethered assist harvesting system, looking at machine traction, soil disturbance and compaction, operator health and safety, and operation costs.

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 9/1/2017  Harvest Closure Violations Resulting in Hazardous Situations

On Thursday (8/31), approximately a dozen individuals chose to go through the clearly marked closure on the 770 Road while the logging crew was felling trees directly adjacent to the road.  In addition, two groups entered the closure on the 600 Road near Lewisburg Saddle while the logging crew was felling trees directly adjacent to the road.  

In both of these situations, the people entering had to intentionally go through/around a fence strung across the road to access the harvest site.  You may not hear harvest activities from the closure location - this does NOT mean that harvest operations are not occurring.  For example, the saw could be turned off temporarily during cutting, or the closure could be located some distance from the harvest area.  

Logging crews will be working on the harvest this weekend!  Benton County Sheriff's Department will also be on-site to cite people going through the closures.  

Here are the hazards associated with harvest areas:

  • Trees falling, sometimes across roads and trails
  • Large machinery moving around and transporting logs
  • Compromised ability to communicate hazards due to loud noises and distance
  • Danger to harvest crews while trying to respond to unpredictable hazards associated with untrained people passing through the area 

Finally, we have been having lots of problems with people removing closure information, signs and markings, which has led other people unknowingly entering closure areas on several occasions.  We replace these materials as soon as we catch them, but please be aware that this could occur, and review the closures online before heading out on your visit. On-line materials are kept up-to-date.  

Why are closures 24/7, and why are they so big? Check out these Frequently Asked Questions  

Posted 9/1/2017 Fire Danger and Hot Temperatures 

With the holiday weekend approaching, fire season well underway, and high temperatures predicted, we wanted to remind everyone about the dangers of fires on the forest.  With so much at stake, including miles of beautiful forest, hundreds of neighboring properties, and decades-long research sites, we're requesting your help in making sure that we keep the forest green.

Our policy: We do not allow fire of any kind (including, but not limited to, smoking, barbecues, campfires, fireworks, or anything else with a flame or a spark) on the OSU Research Forests, including parking areas. Motorized vehicles and equipment (including mowers and weedwhackers) are also prohibited on the Forests, unless specifically authorized.

Beyond being an awesome forest visitor and following our fire regulations, you can help by spreading the word to your neighbors, family members and friends.  If you see any unsafe behavior, report it to us or to the Benton County Sheriff's Office at (541) 847-5100.  If you see a fire on the forest, call 911 immediately.  

Posted 8/28/2017  600 and 610 Roads Partially Closed at Lewisburg Saddle Starting 8/29/2017

Logging operations for the Bowtie Clearcut will be starting Tuesday morning, 8/29/2017.  Portions of the 600 and 610 Roads will be closed near Lewisburg Saddle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  During this closure, the 610 Road will not provide through-access between the Jackson Creek area/Horse Trail and Lewisburg Saddle.  Ridge Trail will serve as a detour for visitors using the 600 Road.  Learn more about the harvest and view a map of the closures here.  

This clearcut is designed to provide revenue to support student learning in the OSU Research Forests, as well as provide a demonstration opportunity.  A larger number of trees, including oaks, maples, Douglas-firs and snags (standing dead trees) have been marked to be left standing in this clearcut, and carefully arranged with the   topography of the landscape.  The intention is to develop techniques for clearcuts in popular areas to provide a more complex aesthetic landscape, as well as providing valuable wildlife habitat. 

Posted 8/25/2017  Deer/Elk Bow Hunt Starting 8/26-9/24 on the Dunn Forest
The Deer/Elk Bow Hunt is occurring on the Dunn Forest August 26-September 24, 2017.  Fifty individuals were randomly selected from 98 applicants (with an advantage given to hunters who applied last year but were not selected). These hunters were sent a permission letter in the mail, granting them access to the Dunn Forest for walk-in hunting.  

You may or may not see hunters while you are out on the Dunn Forest over the next month.  Here are some tips from the USDA Forest Service on hunting safety for hunters and other recreators. 

Here is a map of the area where hunting is allowed, for your reference.

Posted 8/25/2017 CPI Brushing Power Line Corridor Across from Adair Village
On Tuesday, 8/29/2017, Consumers Power Inc. will be mechanically removing brush to address invasive species in the power line corridor running parallel to Highway 99 near the 540 and 547 Gates. Roads and trails in the area will remain open to public use. Herbicide will be applied in this area in the spring of 2018 as a follow up treatment.

Posted 8/25/2017 OSU Research Forests in Search of a New Person to Join Our Team!
The OSU Research Forests is seeking an Inventory, GIS, and Reforestation Forester to join our team! This is a full-time (1.0 FTE), 12-month, fixed term professional faculty position to lead the inventory, GIS, and reforestation programs. Interested in joining us? Check out the full listing and let us know if you have any questions!

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. 

Posted 7/31/2017  Illegal Vandalism Results in Injuries to Two Forest Visitors

This weekend, someone/s removed signage, pulled down flagging, and damaged fencing at several locations associated with the Quick Draw harvest, which started on Friday.  This resulted in serious injuries for two cyclists descending from McCullough Peak onto the 680 Road.  At this location, an a-frame barricade with closure signage had been set 80 feet before high visibility orange fencing strung across the 680 Road (securely attached with a nylon cord).  Over the weekend, someone removed the warning a-frame.  Someone also broke or cut the fencing material so that they were able to pull it back like a curtain, leaving a nearly invisible nylon cord suspended across the road.  Two cyclists descending from McCullough Peak were seriously injured in separate incidents, one by hitting the nylon cord, and the other by falling to avoid the fence.  Both resulted in emergency room/urgent care visits.  The unlawful actions of by someone/s removing the visual cues resulted in two severe accidents involving visitors to the Forests!

The warning a-frame has been re-placed 80 feet before the fencing on the 680 road, with ribbon strung out to the side to indicate an upcoming closure.  In addition, the fence has been lowered so the cord is lower than handlebar height, and pink ribbon has been weaved into the fencing for higher visibility. 

These warnings only work if they are in place.  This type of vandalism is dangerous with real consequences.  Please spread the word and help us prevent this from happening again.   

Updated 7/11/2017  Public Closures for Broom Stick Clearcut Lifted - Public Free to Use the Area

Harvest operations have been completed on Broom Stick Clearcut, and visitors are free to use the area, including Roads 770 and 6023.  

Harvest Information:  This 29 acre clearcut was designed to produce revenue and to support student learning in the College of Forestry.  In addition, researchers with the College of Forestry are evaluating effects of harvesting on stream characteristics. Researchers will be measuring stream temperature and flow dynamics to determine if there is a correlation with harvesting activities.  Per Oregon Forest Practices Act guidelines, a minimum of two, high value wildlife trees were left standing, as well as a minimum of two downed logs will be left per acre.  A 50-foot, no-cut buffer protects a small stream located along the northern edge of the unit.  OSU Research Forests will re-plant the stand with approximately 13,000 Douglas-fir seedlings.

Posted 6/13/2017 Public Closures for Grand Stand Harvest on the Dunn Forest Starting 6/13

Starting Tuesday, 6/13/2017, closures associated with the Grand Stand Harvest area will be in place on the 110 Roads (and connecting roads) on the Dunn Forest.  Parking will be limited at the 100 Gate, and hauling will occur through the 100 and 110 Roads. This harvest is scheduled to run from June-September, 2017, and closures are in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

See a map of the closure area here.

The Grand Stand consists of 67 acres of thinning, and a 7 acre clearcut. The thinning portion is designed to remove diseased, damaged and dying trees resulting from the 2014 ice storm. The clearcut portion is designed to provide revenue to the College of Forestry and to remove trees being impacted by root rot. Revenue generated in these operations will support teaching, research, demonstration and learning in the College of Forestry. 

The harvest will employ ground-based harvest methods in both the clearcut and thinning areas. Per Oregon Forest Practices Act guidelines, a minimum of two, high value wildlife trees will be left standing, as well as a minimum of two downed logs will be left per acre in the clearcut area. A 50-foot, no-cut buffer will protect a small stream located within the unit.  After harvest, OSU Research Forests will re-plant the stand with approximately 3,000 Western Red Cedar seedlings. 

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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