Those who enjoy traveling the back roads of our private timber lands have found locked gates or restricted access. This leaves some people to believe that private timber companies deny access to their lands simply because they don’t want private citizens on their property. This is not the case.
With the exception of active commercial use such as logging or harvest of other forest products, the closures are in reaction to the ever-increasing incidents of offensive littering, abandonment of vehicles, theft of forest products, and acts of criminal mischief such as destruction of property caused by 4X4’s and ATV’s riding in unapproved areas, destruction of road access gates, and more.
Damage and theft detracts from the natural beauty of our forests, incurs costs for cleaning, repairing, and removal of vehicles and garbage. These costs are borne by private timber companies as well as taxpayers in the county.
What can each of us do to stop the current trend of defacing our forests and waterways? During your visit and when you leave forest lands and waterways:
• Read signs posted at entry points into private & public lands – signs include important information including log truck activity
• Report criminal acts to law enforcement
• Report located dump sites or abandoned vehicles
• Stay informed of possible land use restrictions usually posted at each access.
• When in doubt about access, contact the land owner or your Lincoln County Sheriff’s office Forest Patrol Deputy Gary Davey at (541)265-4277 ext. 7127
• Do not discard any glass, cans, rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or litter other than in receptacles designed or provided for these items
• Report anyone observed hauling trash or debris into our forests. Anyone enjoying nature in our local forests might bring a trash bag or two to pick up any trash you should observe.
• Do not discard any glass, cans, rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or litter in any waters of the state
• Do not drain, or cause or permit to be drained, sewage or the drainage from a cesspool, septic tank, recreational or camping vehicle waste holding tank or other contaminated source, upon the land of another without permission of the owner, or upon any public way
• When target shooting, be sure to pick up brass, targets and anything else used during your visit
• Do not permit any rubbish, trash, garbage, debris or other refuse to be thrown from a vehicle you are operating
Our forestlands, public and private, should be treasured and protected by everyone. Through our efforts, we can strive to regain the trust of the private timber owners. The challenge for each of us is to take pride in where we live and work and clean up our county by recycling any and all materials that can be reused rather than simply discarding them.