UPDATE: Hi Ladee Partners – Thank you for the opportunity to clarify. I have not sent out any information because I am still trying to put something into place and my engineer has been on leave. Here is the gist of things
We applied for a State OHV Forest wide O&M grant which we got partially funded. We will receive those funds soon and be advertising what we call a Term position that has benefits attached but is not permanent. It can be extended for a certain time if additional grant funds are received.
In the meantime, we are having volunteers post trail with the signs we purchased last October. Signing last November was canceled when the timber sales started up and most of the trails had active logging in them and so had to be closed. Logging will continue to be an issue and cause trail closures as they work their way through each area.
We applied (again) for the development grant for Ladee OHV trails and staging area and did not receive funding. That was very disappointing as it is making it very challenging to have a designated OHV area that is undeveloped. The result is numerous illegal and badly constructed trails that are causing erosion and safety issues. It was a surprise to see an area so close to so many users not get the board’s support. I know they have limited funds and their focus was continuing to support existing areas rather than develop new areas.
I am pursuing an opportunity to get a different funding source that includes road to trail conversion and illegal trail restoration and closure funds. It’s the only option at this point. I do not have those committed yet. Until then, we will be keeping Trail 800 closed because of the safety issues present. If we do get this funding, we will be using a time and equipment contractor directed by the FS. We will use volunteers for finish work, brushing, etc. again under a FS project crew leader, but not using volunteers for large equipment or directing the work. We will have trail design plans with typical cross sections, the trail alignment staked ahead of time, and drainage for long term sustainability and safety will be a key part of the design. We will be filling in the swimming pool size holes that fill with muddy water that were excavated on the Trail 800 as these were never part of the design. I know jeeps find them fun, but we need to be able to design something fun, challenging, with good drainage, and fewer safety issues.
Things will be going slower and take longer because of the lack of funds. I will continue to keep you posted as things develop.
Westside Recreation Manager
Mt. Hood National Forest