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Oregon Coast State Parks: Beach Fire Ban Down South; Nehalem River Plans

Published 07/02/2018 at 07:52 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Oregon Coast State Parks: Beach Fire Ban Down South; Nehalem River Plans

(Manzanita, Oregon) – A 20-mile stretch on the southern Oregon coast gets the bad news that beach fires will be banned, while initial planning stages are under way for a change in how the Nehalem River is managed.

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On the southern Oregon coast, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is banning all beach fires in the Bullards Beach area until further notice. Officials cite two beach fires that recently got out of hand in the area and required a response from firefighters, but this is also in line with the Coos Forest Association declaring a regulated closure for the surrounding area because of dry conditions and an unusually flammable plant that grows in the area.

The beach fire ban encompases about 20 miles of public beaches between Coos Bay and Bandon, including Bullards Beach State Park, Seven Devils State Recreation Site, Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint and Bandon State Natural Area. Much of the beaches and areas just inland have gorse, a highly flammable bush that grows along the beach vegetation line and on the upslope area.

“It is unfortunate that we have to take this action this early in the summer,” said Park Manager Nick Schoeppner. "But the weather is dry and windy. Our goal is to avoid any accidental fires that could spread in these dry conditions."

OPRD said the prohibition on beach fires is in place until conditions improve on this part of the southern Oregon coast. The agency will continue the ban based on fire status, weather and guidance from state and local fire officials. Visitors can continue to enjoy campfires in designated fire rings until further notice.

On the north Oregon coast, an advisory committee will meet on July 18 to look at management of the Nehalem River Scenic Waterway. The meeting runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Nehalem Bay State Park meeting hall, 34600 Gary St., Nehalem. The group will continue developing a draft management plan for a 17.5 mile segment of the Nehalem River.

Later this year, the committee will begin accepting public comment on the draft plans. While this meeting is open to the public no public comment will be accepted yet.

Part of the group’s agenda includes input from experts on choosing the category classification for the river segment, and additional input into the draft management plan.

A 17.5 mile segment of the Nehalem River is being considered for designation as a State Scenic Waterway. The proposed segment begins at Henry Rierson Spruce Run campground, and ends at the confluence of Cook Creek, near Cougar Valley State Park. A map of the proposed segment can be viewed online at this link.

The draft management plan will help the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission analyze the merits of the proposed designation.

The State Scenic Waterways program protects the existing scenic, natural and recreation values of 22 designated waterways throughout the state. The program is administered by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). Oregon State Statute directs OPRD to periodically study new waterways for potential inclusion in the program.

For more information about the meeting or State Scenic Waterways, contact Jan Hunt at 503-986-0705 or Jan.L.Hunt@oregon.gov . Individuals that require special accommodations to attend the meeting must contact Jan Hunt at least three days in advance. Oregon Coast Lodgings for this - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

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