As of Tuesday, May 15, 2018
OROGRANDE Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests visitors should be prepared to encounter personnel working on and near Forest Service roads near the Orogrande community this summer as fuels reduction and restoration projects move forward.
Timber harvest operations have begun at the Orogrande Fuels timber sale, part of the Orogrande Community Protection Project. Falling began May 7 adjacent to Forest Service road (FSR) 233 (Crooked River Road) and Orogrande Campground no. 1. Work will continue up–slope from this location. The logs near the road will be decked adjacent to the road with a loader, while the logs on the steeper slope will be yarded up–slope with a cable line machine. Once falling is complete in this unit, the crew will move to other units nearby, but not immediately adjacent to, FSR 233.
The forest anticipates that log hauling will begin in approximately one to two weeks, with up to 30 loads being hauled per day. Recreationists traveling FSR 233 should use extreme caution and be aware of log truck traffic, as the road is narrow with very limited turnouts. Trucks will be using CB channel 23.
These timber harvest operations are expected to continue through August.
The Orogrande Community Protection Project is located southwest of Elk City in the Crooked River watershed and is designed to reduce forest fuels near private lands and roads near the community of Orogrande and other private lands along FSR 233. Through this project, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests aims to reduce the risk of high–intensity wildfires and improve forest health, vigor, and resilience within these forest stands.
Forest visitors should be aware that some private land owners in the Orogrande community are also currently conducting logging operations, adding to log truck traffic in the area.
In addition to timber harvest at the Orogrande Fuels sale, the Forest Service will be using hand thinning and chipping operations to further reduce fuels along FSR 233. Operations will take place between the junction with FSR 522 (Deadwood Cut-off Road) and Orogrande. Contract activities are scheduled to begin June 11 and personnel will be working along the road for approximately two months. Partial road blockage can be expected, and delays of up to 15 minutes are possible for travelers on FSR 233.
Restoration activities are also scheduled to be conducted in the Orogrande area this summer. Work at the Crooked River Valley Restoration Project is expected to take place from July through October. This project will improve fish habitat for Endangered Species Act–listed and sensitive fish species by restoring natural stream meanders and rebuilding the flood plain.
For area road and travel conditions:
www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater, or the Red River Ranger District, 208-842-2245.