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 8/13/2018  Harvest Operations Complete on "Middle Dan's" - Dan's Horse Connector Trail Open for Public Use

The Middle Dan's harvest has been completed, and visitors are welcome to access Dan's Horse Connector Trail at this time.  Please keep in mind that road work still remains to be completed at a later date. 

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

Updated 8/10/2018  Summer Herbicide Application

Summer herbicide application on the McDonald and Dunn Forest will start as early as Friday, 8/17/2018.  Exact start dates are dependent on weather conditions and contractor availability. All treatment units on the McDonald and Dunn Forests will be sprayed by ground application utilizing backpack sprayers. 

During application, staff and/or signage will be positioned at roads and official trails leading into spray areas to keep people away.  Chemical labelling also requires closure of an area to general use until the applied chemical has dried.  The date of application, the name of the chemical used and the industrial re-entry interval will be written on the signs posted at entry points into each herbicide application area. These signs will remain in place for one week.

This herbicide application is intended to control the growth of non-native plant species and competing vegetation in reforestation areas.  This herbicide application will be conducted in compliance with State and Federal regulations and under the supervision of a licensed pesticide applicator.   

View the maps of herbicide application areas here.

Updated 8/9/2018  Main Lewisburg Saddle Parking Area and Oak Creek Parking Area Open for Use

Parking closures have been lifted at Oak Creek and Lewisburg Saddle, and visitors are welcome to use these parking areas again.  The new parking area at Lewisburg Saddle remains under construction, and is closed to vehicular use.  Thank you for your patience!   

Learn more about parking construction at Lewisburg Saddle here.  

Updated 7/27/2018 Fire Season in Effect

Beginning Thursday (6/21/2018) the State Forester with Oregon Department of Forestry has declared Fire Season in effect at Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) 1.  This is expected to be a long and dry fire season, as the rain stopped a bit early this year and long range forecast is for warmer and drier than average conditions.  Conditions on the ground represent what we would normally experience a little later in the summer.  

Industrial Fire Precaution Levels regulate how operations are conducted on forest lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry.  OSU Research Forests staff, researchers, and volunteers follow these regulations carefully to protect forest resources and neighboring properties.

Here is a list of year-round fire prohibitions that apply to all roads, trails, parking areas and lands managed by the OSU Research Forests.  

  • No smoking or vaping (even in parking areas or parked cars)
  • No campfires or party fires
  • No fireworks
  • No use of spark producing devices such as chainsaws, mowers, weed eaters or vehicles (except administrative use)

If you see a fire while out on the forest, CALL 911 (with the location and road number)!  We rely on our wonderful visitors to serve as eyes and ears to help us identify and address problems immediately.  

Posted 7/27/2018 Harvest Operations Complete on the 760 Road - Area Open for Public Use
The Time Out Thin has been completed, and visitors are welcome to access the 760 Road at this time. Road work in the area remains to be completed.

Updated 7/25/2018 Harvest Operations Complete in the 800 Road System - Baker Creek Area Open for Public Use
The Turkey Trott Thin and adjacent Frost Bite Clearcut have been completed, and visitors are welcome to enter the 800 Road system at this time. Please keep in mind that road work still remains to be completed at a later date.

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.

Updated 7/6/2018  600 and 681 Roads Now Open for Recreation Use!  

Logging activities have concluded in the Middle Extendo and Flat Tire timber harvest areas, and visitors are welcome to use the 600 and 681 Roads again.  Road work still remains to be completed in some areas.   

For more information about the Flat Tire harvest and flat-headed fir borers, check out the OSU Research Forests April newsletter.  

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

Posted 6/29/2018 Applications to Hunt on the Dunn Forest Accepted July 1-31!

Are you interested in hunting on the Dunn Forest?  Hunters may apply online during the month of July for the Deer/Elk Bow Hunt, General Rifle Deer Hunt, and Controlled Archery Elk (218R Alsea Unit) Hunt.  Click here for more information and to apply online!  

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 6/12/2018 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.  

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.

Get Involved!

Volunteer or sign your group up to host a project:

(541) 737-6730 

Sign up for updates and quarterly newsletters via e-mail: 

Follow us on Facebook:

Contact us with questions, or call the OSU Rearch Forests Business office at (541) 737-4452

Donate to our trails and engagement program by joining Forest Connection