The Magone Lake Project is moving forward, and the Forest Service is preparing to accept another round of comments on the project.
The Forest Service received roughly 300 comments about the project, which were taken into account to make the current draft of the plan.
The plan encompasses multiple aspects of the area, including roads, trails, silviculture, forest health and impact on wildlife.
The project will yield approximately 16 million board feet, create 164 jobs for two years and will create a direct, indirect and induced income of about $4,500,000. There will be roughly 28,500 acres of prescribed burning as part of the project.
“It’s a critical component of managing our forests, and we’re trying to get a handle on it so we don’t have the catastrophic wildfires we’ve seen here,” Malheur National Forest Supervisor Steve Beverlin said of the Magone project.
Twenty six miles of new trails will be added in a three-phase process with work being completed by local mountain biking groups. Improved trail heads and interpretive signs will also be added. An improved day use boat dock on the southwest corner of the lake is planned as is a replacement for the current boat mooring on the northwest corner of the lake with a handicap-accessible mooring.
To improve the ecosystem of the lake, 15 to 20 fish cribs — cage like habitats for fish — and 70 to 100 fish sticks — trees sunk vertically in the lake to provide habitat and cover for fish — will be placed in the lake.
Almost 100 miles of road maintenance are also planned. One mile of road will be closed permanently because it is overgrown and unusable, and almost 50 miles of roads will be closed temporarily, according to the Forest Service.
The plan can be viewed at the Forest Service office in John Day or online at fs.usda.gov/malheur. Those who submitted comments during the last phase of the project are eligible to submit objections in a 45 day window starting Jan 1.