Forest Updates

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 Closures Map - Unavailable Due to Technical Errors

Previous Years' Harvest Info Sheets

Posted 07/07/2020 Cougar Sightings Near Vineyard Mt. Today

ODFW reported several cougar sightings today from the Vineyard Mountain / Nettleton Road area.

Cougar sightings have become increasingly common in local natural areas, especially on the trails and roads near creeks and ridges. As cougar habitat shrinks, the number of encounters with people have increased. 

Hiking tips:

  • Cougars are most active from an hour before sunset to an hour after sunrise.
  • Be cautious and avoid walking alone.
  • Make noise as you hike so as not to surprise a cougar.
  • Keep dogs close as they can attract cougars.

If you encounter a cougar:

Report any cougar sightings or encounters to ODFW: (541) 757-4186

Fire Season in Effect Today, 7/6/2020

Beginning today (7/6/2019) the State Forester with Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has declared Fire Season in effect at Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) 1 and the start of Public Regulated Use.  Industrial Fire Precaution Levels regulate how operations are conducted on forest lands protected by ODF.  OSU Research Forests staff, researchers, and volunteers follow these regulations carefully to protect forest resources and neighboring properties. Public Regulated Use describes restrictions to public use of lands protected by ODF and all forest lands within one-eighth of a mile.  

In ADDITION to the restrictions described by ODF through Public Regulated Use, OSU Research Forests prohibits the following activities on all roads, trails, parking areas and lands, year-round:  

  • 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 and vehicles)

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

Deer And Elk Hunt Applications Open NOW Through 7/31

Applications for the 2020 Dunn Forest Deer/Elk Bow Hunt, General Rifle Deer Hunt, and Controlled Archery Elk 218R Alsea Unit Bow Hunt are being accepted between July 1-July, 31, 2020. Visit our Hunt Information page to apply.

TWO Car Break-Ins

Updated on: 06/30/2020 - 13:20

There have been TWO car break-ins in the last few days: Saturday, 6/27, in the Arboretum Forest Parking lot and yesterday, 6/29, at Lewisburg Saddle. Remember to keep your valuables out of sight or take them with you when you leave your vehicle. Report any incidents to Benton County Sheriff's Office: 541-766-6858.

Original Message: Hi, folks. A car break-in was reported in Peavy Arboretum Wednesday, 1/22/2020. Benton County Sheriff's Office has been notified. Take care not to leave your valuables in sight when leaving your vehicle and reduce your chances of becoming a car prowl victim.

Review these tips from Benton County Sheriff's Office.

Closure Near Powder House Trail Lifted

Harvest operations for the Beetle Juice 1-4 units are complete, meaning the 582 Road system is now open for public use.

Please be aware that road work remains to be completed. Be prepared to use caution when traveling these forest roads due to uneven surfaces.  

400 Road System Open to Recreation

Updated on: 06/27/2020 - 10:59

Harvest operations are complete for the Dunn CFIRP 10 & 11 harvests, meaning the 420 Road is now open for public use.

Please be aware that road work remains to be completed and be prepared to use caution when traveling the 400 & 420 Roads due to uneven surfaces.  

Harvest Closure On 500/580 Roads Starting 6/23/2020

Davie Crockett 1 Harvest Information
Approximate Closure Duration:  12 Weeks
Closed Roads: Portions of 500/580, 587
Closed Trails:  Firehouse Trail
Haul Routes: 500 Rd, 580 Rd
Detours: Dave's Trail, 500 Road
Size: 19.9 ac
Harvest Method:  Ground-based and cable logging
Prescription:  Clear-cut w/ structural retention (4.5 trees/acre retained). Replanting planned for 2021 or 2022.
Reason for Harvest:  Revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry. This harvest site will be used to demonstrate how a clear-cut can be designed to reduce the aesthetic impact for both on-site visitors as well as viewed from far away. 
Stand Age:  84
Additional Considerations: Approximately 4.5 trees per acre will be left in the stand, exceeding requirements of Oregon Forest Practices Act (FPA).  Harvest was designed with uneven boundaries, carefully placed trees within the unit, and trees left along the roadside to retain shade and reduce impacts on aesthetics.
Consistent w/ Forest Plan? Yes

View map of harvest area here.

Closure Near Dave's Trail Starting 6/17/2020

Updated on: 06/16/2020 - 11:32

Davie Crockett 4 Harvest Information
Approximate Closure Duration:  10 Weeks
Closed Roads: 584
Closed Trails:  No authorized trails will be affected; all unauthorized trails leading into the harvest area will be closed.
Haul Routes: 580 Rd
Size: 18.4 ac
Harvest Method:  Ground-based
Prescription:  Clear-cut w/ structural retention (2.8 trees/acre retained). Replanting planned for 2021 or 2022.
Reason for Harvest:  Revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry. 
Stand Age:  84
Additional Considerations: Approximately 2.8 trees per acre will be left in the stand, exceeding requirements of Oregon Forest Practices Act (FPA).  Harvest was designed to minimize the length of area impacted along property boundary.
Consistent w/ Forest Plan? Yes

View map of harvest area here.

'Davie Crockett 1' Likely Starting Next Week

FYI, the Davie Crockett 1 Harvest will likely begin sometime next week. Closures will include portions of the 500 and 580 roads and are expected to last into mid-August. New Growth, Old Growth, and Vineyard Mt. Trails will remain open to recreation.

See the Harvest Closures Map for location of Davie Crockett 1.

Clarifying COVID-19 Expectations

There has been some confusion about whether our COVID-19 rules are to stay 6 feet apart OR wear a mask.  It is not an either/or – It is both!  Bring a face covering so that you can pull it up/put it on when encountering other people in parking lots, at trailheads, and on roads and trails IN ADDITION TO maintaining 6 feet from each other. When it's just you on the trail, breathe easy, but as soon as you see another person it's time to cover up and space out.
As COVID-19 cases increased last week, please strive to follow the guidelines to minimize the risk of exposure. By doing so, we improve our chances of remaining open to recreation!

Closure Near Alpha Trail Starting Tomorrow, 06/04/2020

STLP Turkey Run Harvest Information
Approximate Closure Duration:  Ongoing
Closed Roads: 810 Rd, 811 Rd, 830 Rd, portions of 620 Rd, portions of 800 Rd (No Parking @ the 800 Gate)
Closed Trails:  Alpha Trial
Haul Routes: 800 Gate
Size: 41 ac
Harvest Method:  Cable logging
Prescription:  Commercial thinning.
Reason for Harvest:  Remove slow growing, diseased, and dying trees to allow continued growth of remaining conifers. 
Stand Age:  41
Additional Considerations: None.
Consistent w/ Forest Plan? Yes

View map of harvest area here.

Trial Reopening Update

Updated on: 06/02/2020 - 12:28

We're nearly one month into our trial re-opening, and we're happy to announce that many of you are doing a great job adjusting to our new rules!

How do we know this? The greeters you may have noticed and chatted with over the past few weeks are there to provide you with current information and to record observations of compliance with our COVID-19 rules.

From this data, we've noticed an 80% average compliance rate. Ideally, we'd like to see a 90-100% compliance rate, so there is room for improvement.

Help boost the compliance rate and keep the McDonald-Dunn open to recreation by adhering to the following rules while visiting:

  • Use a face-covering when encountering others on forest roads, trails, and parking areas
  • Maintain at least 6' of distance from others
  • Pick up and carry out your dog poop and trash
  • Leash your dog at parking areas, trailheads, and when encountering others on forest roads and trails

Thank you for being such awesome visitors. Keep up the great work!

300, 380, and 400 Roads Opening Friday, 5/8/2020

Harvest activities for the 'Dunn CFIRP 5+' and '310 CC' units are complete and visitors will be welcome to use the 300, 380, and 440 Roads on the Dunn Forest beginning Friday, 5/8/2020, congruent with the McDonald-Dunn Forests' trial reopening.  Please be aware that slash piling and road work remain to be completed, though no closures are anticipated for these activities. 

View these updates on our Harvest Closures Map.

OSU’s McDonald and Dunn Research Forests to reopen for recreational activities on May 8

Updated on: 05/06/2020 - 07:05

MAY 6, 2020 - UPDATE

We are happy to announce the Oregon State University McDonald and Dunn Research Forests will be entering a trial reopening phase for recreational activities on Friday, May 8.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve had numerous conversations about how and when to open the forests to recreation as federal, state, and OSU orders, directives and guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic change. The conversations have included forest-user groups like Team Dirt, Portland Parks and Recreation, and our Forest Recreation Advisory Council.

As a result of these conversations, and Gov. Kate Brown’s decision on Tuesday regarding the partial re-opening of state recreation areas, the following guidelines and policies will be in place until further notice. 

  • The Research Forests are open on a trial basis to all recreation activities, beginning Friday, May 8.
  • Equitable access to the forests for recreation is paramount. All forest access points will be available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
  • Visitors are asked to comply with the following:
    • Practice social distancing measures by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.
    • Adhere to “Leave No Trace” measures by packing out trash and dog waste.
    • Keep dogs on a leash in forest parking lots, trailheads and when passing others on forest trails and roads.
    • Bring and wear a mask when encountering other users.
  • Forest trash and restroom facilities will remain closed until further notice.
  • Research Forests greeters will be stationed at research forests entry points that attract high volume visitor counts. Greeters will welcome visitors and remind forest-users of policies and guidelines.
  • Staff from the university, the College of Forestry and the Research Forests will continue to monitor forest usage and visitor compliance with reopening restrictions.
  • The Research Forests may be closed again if federal and state guidelines change or if visitor non-compliance occurs.

We’d like to thank everyone who has shared comments and suggestions regarding our unique circumstances. We understand the closure has been difficult for many of you and we appreciate your compliance throughout the closure.

Together, we have an opportunity to make this work and we look forward to seeing you back in the forests!

McDonald and Dunn Forest Closure - Effective Immediately

Updated on: 04/08/2020 - 08:10

APRIL 8, 2020 - UPDATE

Signs placed within McDonald and Dunn Forests indicating that OSU’s research forests are opened to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic are not accurate and were put there without university authorization. The forests remain closed until further notice. (April 8, 2020)


MARCH 23, 2020 - UPDATE

The Oregon State University Research Forests are closed to all recreation activities.

Closing the forests to recreation was not an easy decision to make. We understand forests and recreation play a critical role in improving our overall well-being.

The decision was made in response to directives and guidelines from Oregon State University, the State of Oregon, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, a majority of our staff are now working from home and are unable to adequately maintain our recreational trails and facilities at a time where increased use would be likely.

Immediately before the closure of the forest, several things were clear: the request to distance was not effective, resulted in the congregation of groups larger than ten people, and a respectful distance was not maintained when users were passing and crossing on trails or loading/unloading at trailheads. 

Taking all of this into consideration, we decided to close the forests to recreation.

We are starting the process of looking at what happens as directives and guidelines are removed or relaxed. As directives and guidelines change, our objective is to open the forest to recreation and provide a safe space for our staff and the public.

For now, the Research Forests remain closed to all recreation activities, and we will update you when the status changes.


The Research Forests Team

For updates about the McDonald and Dunn forests and the recreation closure, please visit

OSU Research Forest Business Office Closed at Least through 3/30/2020

In accordance with OSU's response to the COVID-19 virus, the OSU Research Forest Business Office will be closed through 3/30/2020 and possibly longer. Working remotely, we will continue to manage our forests and bring you important forest updates. Kiosks and other recreation facilities will also receive regular maintenance. 

If you have questions or concerns you can always reach us through our contact us web form.