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Sheriff weighs in on forest roads

A September order affecting roads on the south end of the Malheur Forest continues to stir discontent.

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on January 27, 2015 11:05AM

CANYON CITY – Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer last week added an official voice to the discontent over road closures with a letter to Malheur National Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin.

The Jan. 20 letter contended Beverlin had stated he would “take action to close multiple roads in Grant County.” The sheriff said that statement and an order signed last September by Beverlin’s predecessor, Teresa Raaf, violated the county’s road closure ordinance.

The ordinance, adopted last year, requires agencies to consult with the County Court and the sheriff when proposing any road, trail or byway limitations on the public lands within Grant County.

Beverlin this week reiterated his pledge – made in several recent public meetings – to bring all road proposals to the county to discuss. He also reaffirmed his commitment to review the roads in the September order, a review he said is under way now.

The September order affected roads on the south end of the forest, and Beverlin initially said he believed all of them were in Harney County, which would not be affected by the Grant County ordinance. He also noted that Harney County officials had been briefed on any changes.

Members of the county’s public access advisory board protested that Grant County roads were affected, and Beverlin said he would go back and check all the roads covered by the document.

This week, he said an initial examination found “a small number of short road segments within Grant County.”

He said he hopes to have the review done by the end of February, and said he will bring that information back to the county courts in both Grant and Harney counties.


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