Portions of Elliott State Forest gated to reduce vehicle access

Oregon Department Of Forestry Press Release – As a public safety measure and to ensure that the State can meet its contractual timber sale obligations, certain roads in the Elliott State Forest southeast of Reedsport have been closed to public vehicle access effective today, the Oregon Department of Forestry announced. Roads behind gated closures will remain open to foot traffic for public use of the forest, except in active timber harvest areas.

Certain active timber harvest operations within the gated road system will be closed to public entry in order to ensure public safety during active timber harvest operations.

The Oregon Department of Forestry — the agency managing the forest on behalf of the State Land Board and Department of State Lands – is taking the action to ensure that timber sales can be completed in a safe and timely manner in accordance with timber sale contracts. Increased use by the public and illegal actions by some individuals, including blocking or trenching forest roads, hanging ropes over road systems, and public entry into timber sale areas during tree felling operations have created the need to take these steps.

The gated road segments cover about 18 percent of the forest’s road system.

A top priority for the Oregon Department of Forestry is safety for all forest users within the Elliott State Forest including reducing potential conflicts from vehicle traffic encountering heavy equipment, log trucks and other traffic associated with sale activities on narrow forest roads.

Gates on key roads will be closed and signs will indicate the areas closed to public vehicular traffic. These vehicle closures, which are in the vicinity of planned timber harvest activity, will remain in effect until further notice.

Vehicle access will be allowed only for authorized management activities including timber harvest crews, forest operators, fire suppression crews, forest managers, state wildlife biologists and law enforcement agencies. Vehicle access to roads behind gates is not permitted without prior authorization from ODF. Vehicle access closures apply to Off-Highway Vehicle usage as well as regular public road traffic.

The Elliott State Forest is a working, publicly-owned forest and provides revenues from timber harvests for Oregon’s 197 K-12 public school districts.

Vehicle access is closed on the following forest roads within the Elliott:
• Roads 7100, 7300, 7400, 7420, and 7600 are closed at their intersections with Road 7000
• Road 8000 is closed between roads 2000 and 7600
• Roads 2320 and 2360 are closed at their intersections with Road 2000
• Road 8100 is closed at the intersection with Road 2300
• Road 9000 is closed at the intersection with Road 1000
• Roads 1800 and 9200 are closed
• Road 1100 is closed at the intersection with Road 1000

Persons or businesses needing vehicle access to a closed road for authorized business should contact the ODF Coos District office in Coos Bay at 541-267-4136.

Detailed maps and current information about the closure areas are available on the Oregon Department of Forestry web site at: Oregon Department of Forestry

This entry was posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2011 and is filed under Local News, Press Releases.