"Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action."
BARBERíS† BLURB††† October 2016
†Breshears clean up
††††††††††††† Since we have had such poor turnout the last 3 years for the fall Breshears trail clean up day, we have decided to move it up a week and hold it on October 8. I know this is† still deer season, but we thought the weather might be better and hopefully we can get a few more bodies to show up this year. Between bad weather and not having enough people show up the last three years the system hasnít been cleaned up like it should be.
††††††††††† We will meet at the old ESD parking lot in Island City (across from Billís Quick Mart and D&B) on Saturday the 8th. Plan on leaving there at 9 AM.
††††††††††† If enough people show, we are usually done by around 1 PM. That leaves time for anyone wanting to get a ride in time to do so. All we really need is six to eight people to get this done. Bring a lunch, something to drink and a polaski/mattock if you have one. I have a few extras if you need to borrow one. Hope to see some of you there.
††††††††††† Due to the change in weather, forest restrictions have been lifted. We have had a little moisture but things are still dry and dusty. All of the trails are open though and there are some new ones that need more riding on them to get them broken in better. If you havenít been up there since earlier this summer there are some new trails to check out.
††††††††††† Some of the new things to check out are the new viewpoint on top of the knob at the north end of MERA. I havenít made it up there yet but I hear it is a really great view. There is a new ATV/UTV trail on the west side of 201 across from the 220 trail. I have walked part of it and it looks like it may make a loop. It looks like a nice easy trail and it didnít look like it had had any traffic on it. As for single track, we finished up a trail that starts on 201 a little north of 222, the Spine trail. It heads south from there, crosses 222 then goes north and west, crosses 206 then comes out on 206 again. This is a fairly easy trail. It has a section of sidehill that is a little narrow and some real short rocky sections, but nothing too difficult. Extending this trail down to F.S. Rd 3120 then north to 208 is our next big project for this fall and next spring. Also, for those of you that donít like the sidehill section of 327 right out of the parking lot, we put in a bypass that leaves 201 right a the top of the first hill out of the parking lot and is across from 212. It has a few rocks in it (that will be removed when we get some moisture in the ground) but is an easy ride over to 327 just above Haywire Cr.
††††††††††† As has always been the case, signage is a work in progress. There are a few carsonites up with no numbers on them. Sean is trying to come up with names to go with the numbers, hoping that will make it easier to remember what is what. As he gets names figured out the signs will be updated.
††††††††††† On the monthly drawing Alex Becker missed out on $50, but Rob Williamson was at the meeting and took home $25.
BARBERíS† BLURB††† November 2016
Next meeting, will be in the spring of 2017. April or May.
Breshears clean up
††††††††††††† We had a real good turnout for this years clean up. There were 10 of us and we were able to make it around the whole system for the first time in several years. The weather was pretty good and there was a little moisture in the ground. It looks like there has been more rain since then to set things up for winter. Thanks to the Haggertyís, the Rayís, Dick, Joe and Ray for taking the time to come out and help.
††††††††††† There is nothing new going on on MERA right now. Still waiting on grant money to come in before starting any new construction. It is late enough in the year now that it will probably be spring before we do any more work.††††††††
††††††††††† The MERA advisory committee is having its first meeting this fall, on November 2. The committee has meetings through the winter into early summer for the purpose of making plans for development and maintenance of MERA. The public is always welcome. There is generally a notification in the Observer of the date and time. I also try to post that information on the EOATVA facebook page.
††††††††††† There is the possibility that OMRA is going to take on evaluations for youth ATV riders. I donít have much information yet, but I assume this is something we can take on, and hopefully do in conjunction with the motorcycle evaluations. The course is the same basic layout, but the dimensions are a little different, so that will take some figuring out how to make 2 courses overlap in the same space. I assume I will get more information before spring.
Once again the Record of Decision has been pushed back. It was scheduled to come out in April of 2017, but has been delayed. When I have more information I will let you know. ††††††
††††††††††† On the monthly drawing Eldon Slippy missed out on $50, but Chester Smith was at the meeting and took home $25.
I hope everyone has a great winter. See you again Spring of 2017.
††††††††††††† BARBERíS† BLURB††† May 2017††††
†††††††††† Well the weather looks like it might be starting to change and looking more favorable to getting out into the great outdoors and recreating. It also means we will start having meetings again and will be working to open and expand our riding opportunities.
††††††††††† We have already been working on cleaning up the trails on MERA from the ravages of the winter and the logging that occurred over the winter. This is a slow process and the snow is taking its time to come off. As of this writing, most of the north end of MERA still has a good deal of snow on it. 4X4ís and ATVís are getting around on the main roads if they can stay on top of the snow. Motorcycles are having a harder time of it.
††††††††††††† We are going to build another section of single track trail this year. It will be above F.S. 3120 and below MERA 206, from near the MERA boundary, north across 208 to near the Forest Service boundary. Rob and I are in the process of getting this laid out and will start work on it as soon as we get approval to do so. There is a grant that will fund some of the work on this trail, but there will still be plenty of need for volunteer labor.† This will be an ongoing project that could take most of the summer to complete, but the best conditions to build are in the early spring when there is still moisture in the ground. I will be putting out help requests on our facebook page or you can contact/text me at 541 805-0172 if you can come help.
††††††††††††† I think Sean has plans to add some more ATV trail this year also, but I am not sure how much or where. Plans are to finish the motocross track this year also.
††††††††††††† This brings me to our annual MERA work day on June 3. I think this will be the fourth year we have done this, with varying degrees of success. There will be opportunities to help out on single track or ATV trails. We can find something for you to help with. You just have to show up.
††††††††††††† There are also new maps of MERA and the trails available at http://union-county.org/. They are pretty nice. You can also scan the QR code with your smartphone to have a map with you and not have to have a paper copy.
††††††††††††† There has been a change to the Y.S.E.P. program this year and we are going to start evaluating ATVís also. This should add to the number of kids attending as well as make the club a little more money. These are evaluations, so the kids need to have experience riding. They need to have taken the online course at http://www.rideatvoregon.org/ and have their card. To sign up for the evaluations and for more information on what is needed and what to expect, go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/. Our first evaluation will be May 20, 9:30 am at the MERA training area.
††††††††††††† The final Environmental Impact Statement for Blue Mountains Forest Plan is due out this summer. Of course this will mean another round of comments will be needed. We will try to keep you updated as we get more information.
††††††††††††† BARBERíS BLURB†††† June 2017††
††††††††††† We had our 4th annual MERA work day on June 3. We had another small turnout this year. A couple people with ATVís showed and helped work on the kids track, that has been in need of work for a while now, as well as relocate some of the track that was displaced by the motocross track parking area and a new road. The rest of us worked on the new motorcycle trail along the western border above the F.S. 3120 road. If you know where 306 (Dead Bull) trail ends on 206 (Hawk Eye), this new trail (Snag) takes off from there. We spent the last three Saturdays trying to get it ready to do work on the ground. We made some major progress towards completion this Saturday. It is where it can be ridden, but there are still some sections of sidehill that need cut in. We had some help this weekend in the form of a super tiller that Mark L. is developing. It is a prototype machine that really churns up the ground. This could really help us speed up the trail building process in areas with the right kinds of soil. Right now Iím hoping Sean can get the prison crew in to do most of the rest of the work on this trail. We have grant funding to use them and I am more than happy to let them do some digging for us.
††††††††††††† Next up, we have another section of trail that will extend Snag across 208 (Easy Out) and run east up the draw and come out on 208 again. This is flagged and ready to build. We just need time and bodies. We are also looking to add a short section of trail near 222 Spine trail to connect 2 other sections of single track together so we donít have to jump on and off 201.
††††††††††††† There was a trail construction workshop on MERA a couple of weeks ago and some of the participants took time to ride some of our trails. Here is some of the feedback we received. ď I did get a group of 5 other dirt bikers to ride the single track loop on Thursday evening. It was AWESOME. They really loved what you have built so far.Ē ďWe were all having a blast.Ē ďthis is what Single Track in Oregon should beĒ. ďThen we got out to the ridgeline meadow and all the plants were flowering and the sun was shining from a low angle in the late evening. It was a real WOW moment. We all got back to the staging area and everyone was griming from ear to ear. We had some riders and some land managers and they could not stop talking about how great the single track trails were and how much fun they just had.Ē ďYou should truly be proud of this trail system.Ē Feedback like that helps validate all of the hard work we have put into those trails.
††††††††††††† If you are interested there are new maps of MERA and the trails available at http://union-county.org/. They are pretty nice. You can also scan the QR code with your smartphone to have a map with you and not have to have a paper copy.
††††††††††††† There has been a change to the Y.S.E.P. program this year and we are going to start evaluating ATVís also. This should add to the number of kids attending as well as make the club a little more money. These are evaluations, so the kids need to have experience riding. They need to have taken the online course at http://www.rideatvoregon.org/ and have their card. To sign up for the evaluations and for more information on what is needed and what to expect, go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/. Our next evaluation will be July 15, 9:30 am at the MERA training area.
†††††††††† I havenít been up to Breshears yet, but hope to get there soon. If anyone has been there and can let me know what the conditions are like I would appreciate it.
BARBERíS† BLURB†† September 2016
††††††††††††† At our August meeting we had an open house of sorts. State Rep. Greg Barreto, Union County Commissioner Mark Davidson and MERA coordinator Sean Chambers all attended. We had a pretty good turnout, with quite a few non-members attending. For the most part people kept things pretty civil and kept things on topic and pertinent to OHV recreation. I think most people that had questions got them answered, though the answer may not have been what they wanted.
††††††††††††† Jorden Noyes, Greg Waldenís field Rep., was unable to attend last months meeting due to a scheduling conflict, but will attend this months meeting.
††††††††††††† Fire season is upon us again. Riding is limited to designated roads and trails that are clear of vegetation. As of this writing it looks like the temperatures are supposed to stay a little cooler, but there is only a slight chance of any rain. As always be very careful out there, we donít need to be burning down our riding areas.
††††††††††††† We still arenít doing any work on trails, but we are planning on flagging some new trail so that if/when the weather changes we can start roughing some stuff in.† The ď8 mile constructionĒ grant should be coming in soon, I hope, and we can use our labor as match funding for it. I will see if I can find out more about this and the funding to finish up the motocross track and relay that information at this months meeting.
††††††††††††† We have had very little luck in planning any group rides this year. Between the weather and not finding anyone to plan a ride, nothing is happening. If you are interested in riding with other members of the club, please come to a meeting and you can meet other members that you might be able to connect with. Even if you canít make the ride we try to have the weekend after the meeting, maybe you can get together to ride at another time.
††††††††††††† We had our August 25 YSEP evaluation and had 3 kids show up. That is 3 better than the July date when no one showed up. I think that will be our last evaluation this year unless I hear of more kids that want a class before fall.
††††††††††††† Just a reminder that this years dues were due at the end of June. Look at the address label on your newsletter and if it doesnít have ďEXP 17Ē, or newer,† then your dues are not current. Please consider renewing as soon as possible, Thank you.
Breshears clean up
††††††††††††† Since we have had such poor turnout the last 2 years for the fall Breshears trail clean up day, would it work better if we made the date earlier? We usually do it the first weekend after deer season. Would during deer season or the weekend before bring out more bodies? Think about it and lets decide at this months meeting.