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Proposed Tumalo Recreation Zone in the Deschutes National Forest

Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone
Over 500 people have already signed the petition supporting the creation of a backcountry recreation zone around Tumalo Mountain. Tumalo is Bend's most accessible
backcountry terrain and provides skiing and snowshoeing opportunities for more users than other other location in our area. If you haven't signed the petition, please show
your support for protecting this valuable resource. The proposed area is outlined in red on the map below. You can also download this map.

The petition is hosted by our friends at the Winter Wildlands Alliance. You can view it here:

The full proposal is below:
Presented to Deschutes National Forest Supervisor John Allen on May 8th, 2008

Some winter recreationists (snowmobilers, dog sledders, and skate skiers for example) require marked trail systems, informational kiosks, ready-made maps, warming huts, groomed trails, and lodges. Backcountry skiers, snowboarders, and snowshoers however, neither require, nor desire, such amenities. Instead, they seek the naturalness, solitude, challenge and inspiration that is an integral part of the unaltered and non-motorized landscape.

Although the Three Sisters Wilderness can provide those values, the difficulty in traveling the distance limits wintertime access. Thus, as the Forest Service works to
improve recreation opportunities for user groups requiring developed sites and trails in the Century Drive corridor, it is appropriate to also improve opportunities for those
desiring undeveloped terrain.

Only by addressing current and projected user conflict can the Forest Service legally pursue an increase in snowmobile parking capacity. It is suggested the following action be implemented in conjunction with the forthcoming Kapka Butte Snopark proposal:

Create a defined and defensible zone of undeveloped non-motorized recreation encompassing Tumalo Mountain. By utilizing Snowmobile Trail 5, Trail 6 and Trail 8 as a
corridor and boundary, and decommissioning Trail 7, a contiguous non-motorized zone is established. The management issues associated with the existing checkerboard
pattern of motorized/non-motorized areas would be eliminated. The miles of signage (requiring an inordinate amount of maintenance) that currently weaves through the trees, ridges, and meadows would no longer be necessary. Instead, the obvious boundary of the snowmobile trails could be easily posted, maintained, and enforced. Forest Service manpower that is now applied towards posting the Dutchman corridor, the Bend Watershed, and Tumalo Mountain could then be redirected towards managing the influx of machines that the high- country will experience with the expansion of snowmobile parking capacity. Support for a new Snopark of equal or lesser size (measured in square footage) to the current Wanoga Snopark would be dependent upon full and effective mitigating action.

Due to the proposed location of Kapka, snowmobile access to the high country would be a short direct route up Trail 6. Trail 5 would provide direct access to the alternate
high country route provided by Trail 8. The value of Trail 7 is greatly diminished with the building of Kapka, for at that time Dutchman Snopark is scheduled to become a
non-motorized Snopark.

For the sake of public discussion this is a proposal to create the Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone. In reality, it is a simple byproduct of necessary actions required to
manage an increase in snowmobile usage in the Century Drive corridor.

Click here to see the full sized map


Tumalo Backcountry Recreation Zone
Sunnyside Sports
The Conservation Alliance
Winter Wildlands Alliance

Backcountry Snowsports Alliance
Central Oregon Trail Alliance
Save Our Snow Foundation
Sweetgrass Productions
Western Environmental Law Center

The Bend Backcountry Alliance Team


My photo from 2005 illustrates the unrestricted snow hauler parking problem in Dutchman snow park!





Read more . . .
SNOWMOBILES - a history of this discussion:

Snowmobile parking at Kapka Butte and Dutchman Flat revisited in 2009
Proposed Tumalo Recreation Zone in the Deschutes National Forest in 2009
Snowmobiler falls 1,500' into Mt. St. Helens and survives
Map of snowmobile restrictions at Dutchman Flat  
Snowmobile restrictions published for Dutchman Flat  
Snowmobile Safety Summit on Dutchman Flat area  
Report snowmobile renegades - an Editorial
Snowmobiles should not mix with skiers and snowshoers
Snowmobile accident draws $11 million dollar damage award
Snowmobilers keep the Atta Boy Race on track
Snowmobilers must give a little on parking at Dutchman Flat  
Recent snowmobile accidents near Bend
Set snowmobile limits at Dutchman Flat  
Unregulated OHV use is being reviewed across the western states
Snowmobile access to summit of Mt. St. Helens questioned by The Mountaineers
Snowmobile speed limits on Dutchman Flat in Oregon  
Snowmobiles offer thrills
Snowmobiles in Yellowstone
Snowmobiles as a tool for traditional mountaineering