This past weekend, May 19 and 20, kicked off Oregon’s summer recreation season.
In Portland, 14,000 ran the inaugural Rock ’n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon. On the upper Clackamas River, more than 100 enthusiasts participated in what’s claimed to be the oldest rafting and kayaking competition in the Northwest.
And in Central Oregon, where I was, the U.S. Bank-sponsored 2012 Pole Pedal Paddle attracted nearly 3,000 participants and thousands of spectators to Bend’s biggest annual event.
Whether you ran through Tom McCall Waterfront Park, rafted the Clackamas River or bicycled the Cascade Lakes Highway, you experienced world-class fun.
Oregon is practically the world capital of outdoor recreation. Oregon forests, mountains, rivers, streams and trails beckon visitors from around the world.
OFRI’s new website helps those who want to experience Oregon firsthand. On our Get Outside & Experience page, you can get tips on hiking, camping, foraging, hunting and fishing, or exploring our forested urban parks.
When you get into the forest, chances are that you’re going to learn something about forest management. That was the case on the drive from Bend back to Portland: West of Sisters, my wife and I came across what’s called a “controlled burn.”
Foresters sometimes prescribe fire as a management tool to reduce fuel loads and avoid uncharacteristically severe fire. Particularly in the dry forest zone, which includes eastern and southern Oregon, fire acts as a natural thinning agent. Periodic burns contribute to overall forest health by removing smaller shrubs and trees, allowing the fire-resistant species to continue growing and helping prevent forest-killing fire.
The bit of smoke wafting across Highway 20 reminded me of the importance of forest management. I appreciate the importance of wild, scenic and roadless areas where little human management takes place. But along travel corridors, around human populations and in forests designated for wood production, active forest management makes sense.
I hope you have the opportunity to get outside and enjoy Oregon’s amazing forests very soon.
Send me an email.
For the forest,
(Above Photo: "Wheezing Geezers" at the 2012 Pole Pedal Paddle. From left, Mike Cappiello, Al Staley, Paul Barnum, Steve Dodson, Al Mackenzie.)