Mary’s Peak Road is about to provide exquisite views by removing some vegetation and creating stunning overlooks!
Alsea, Ore. — Later this summer, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will start a habitat improvement project along Marys Peak Road in Benton County. The project will be visible from the roadside overlook at mile 2.5. By removing some vegetation, the project will improve forest habitat by reducing competition between trees, provide logs for nearby stream restoration projects, and restore the view from the roadside overlook.
“Members of the public have asked us to improve the view from this overlook for many years,” said Paul Tigan, Marys Peak Field Manager for the BLM. “Achieving important wildlife and fisheries goals while opening up the view makes this project a real two-for-one effort.”
The project will take place on three acres of forestland designated as late-successional reserve. The BLM designates late-successional reserve areas to develop and preserve forests with complex habitat characteristics. The forest within this three-acre project area does not currently have these characteristics.
By removing smaller trees, the BLM will reduce competition around the largest trees. These remaining trees will be able to grow faster without as much competition. This will accelerate the development of big trees with complex crowns important for wildlife species like the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet. Mid-sized trees removed from the site will be placed in nearby streams to improve fish habitat. None of the trees being removed will be sold for commercial value (e.g., as a timber sale).
Once the work is complete, visitors to the Marys Peak Road overlook will find a clearer view of the Cascade Mountains to the east, including Mount Jefferson and Three Sisters, and the Coast Range to the west.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents associated with this project can be viewed here:
- Wildlife habitat improvements along Marys Peak Road (Northwest Oregon District Special Habitat Conservation): https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/120878/510
- Fish habitat improvements at Mill Creek and Lower Maxfield Creek (Large Woody Debris Projects): https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2018360/510)
Information on the late-successional reserve designation can be found in the 2016 Resource Management Plans for Western Oregon here: https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/near-you/oregon-washington/rmps-westernoregon