parks

The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has been distributing money to the states for 50 years. Last week, Governor Kitzhaber announced Oregon's 2014 allocation.

Oregon will receive over 650 thousand dollars this year, to be used to acquire land and develop outdoor recreation areas. The amount is on par with funding over the past few years. Chris Havel is with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. He says the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been remarkably long-lived, supporting thousands of projects over the years.

Rural Development Initiatives

Outdoor enthusiasts in Oregon will soon have another venue for their passion. Today (Monday) kicks off a project to link Sweet Home to the Willamette National Forest through a public access trail system.

About 36 private and public entities are coming together to launch the South Santiam River Corridor Project. They will commit to creating 12 miles of trails paralleling Highway 20. Sweet Home City Manager Craig Martin says the forest project will create jobs:

The Eugene Public Works Department says it may take weeks to recover from extensive damage caused by last week's ice storm, and this weekend's heavy rain isn't helping. Carrie Peterson is a Spokeswoman for the Public Works Department. She says the heavy rain is over-saturating the soil and causing already weakened trees to uproot entirely.

Petterson: "So the areas we once had cleared for the roadways and bike paths are now having trees fall on them again."

mildredkanipepark.org

An outpouring of opposition to logging has delayed a decision by Douglas County Commissioners on the future of a public park.

Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park near Oakland is over a thousand acres. The parks department requires it to cover its own costs. A planning committee has recommended clear-cutting 20 acres of the park. A campground, built with the logging revenue, would make the park self-sustaining.

Gary Groth is Douglas County's Parks Director. He says the county has to follow a court judgment to raise money. It requires the county to use "sustained yield."

Oregonians will be considering a relatively thin ballot in the coming weeks, dominated by local measures.

In Eugene, voters in the 4000 households in the River Road Park and Recreation District will decide whether to continue supporting their community center.  

The River Road Park and Recreation District covers about 8 square miles in north Eugene. The district's original tax base eroded over the past few decades as the City of Eugene annexed properties in the area.