Industry News

OHV’s Restricted in Sensitive Plant Communities at the Oregon Dunes

October 1, 2009

Corvallis, OR –The Siuslaw National Forest is implementing a Forest Closure Order that went into affect August 18, prohibiting off-highway vehicle (OHV) use from posted areas immediately adjacent to Beale, Snag and Horsfall lakes to protect plant, fish and wildlife habitat.

“We have the responsibility to provide for multiple uses, such as clean water, forest resources and recreation while managing for existing native plants and wildlife species found within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area,” said Pam Gardner, Central Coast and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area District Ranger.

The areas near dune lakes require protection because they contain uncommon plant communities, including bog blueberry shrubland, found only sporadically along the coast in Oregon and northern California. These protected areas also provide habitat for a number of unique species, such as western pond turtles, the hoary elfin butterfly, bald eagles, bog clubmoss, adder’s-tongue and endangered western lily.

The goal for these areas, identified as Management Area 10(F) in the 1994 Oregon Dunes Management Plan, is to maintain, create, enhance or restore a variety of special plant, fish and wildlife habitats.

“Other pressing management actions, such as the alcohol ban and designated dispersed camping, along with daily demands of managing such a high use area, took our attention for some time,” add Gardner

Other 10(F) areas are located outside of OHV management areas at Siltcoos, Loon, Carter, Lost, Perkins and Elbow lakes and the Takenitch Dunes.

“We’ll be using education as the first phase of implementation and then issue warning tickets, as needed,” according to Gardner. “Repeat offenders will receive citations from Forest Law Enforcement Officers,” she added.

For more information on the closure, please contact the Central Coast Ranger District/Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area at 541-271-6071.

In the News: Dune lakes off limits to ATVs

There will be no more joyriding around the Beal and Snag lakes on the south end of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Off-road enthusiasts who get a thrill skirting the perimeters of those dune lakes could face a fine of up to $5,000 or six months in jail for disturbing sensitive plant communities. The Siuslaw National Forest is implementing a Forest Closure Order prohibiting all vehicles from riding near the lakes because of the bog blueberry and other sensitive plant species.

The plant is rare on the Oregon Coast and Northern California, according to a press release from the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. Forest Service officials say motorists pose a considerable threat to fragile habitats.

Dune information: Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

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