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Area Description Oregon/Washington BLM



Area Description

Maston Plateau

This area includes 4,101 acres of BLM managed land between Cline Falls Highway and the Deschutes River. This area is north of the White Rock Loop and Deschutes River Ranch area, and east of Cline Falls Highway, extending north to Eagle Crest Resort. These public lands encompass the Maston grazing allotment, named after Sydney Maston, one of the first grazing permittees in the area. The area is generally flat, with gentle mounds and swales.

The soils in this area are very soft and sandy, and the area is covered in a western juniper woodland. Approximately 1.75 miles of the Deschutes River is included in this area, in four separate, short stretches. Access to the river occurs from BLM lands adjacent to Harper Road, Newcomb Road, and from the Red Cinder right of way road at the northern end of the Maston Allotment area. Access to the river is also available from two locations on the east side of the Deschutes River, at Jaguar Road and at Quarry Avenue/McVie Avenue. No designated trails or trailheads exist for river access in this area.

North Access Deschutes River     Maston Plateau     Deschutes River Access    Old Growth Juniper     Siprea, Beaver and Alder on Maston Plateau

Buttes/Tumalo Canal ACEC

These lands are located between Barr Road and Cline Falls Highway. This area includes the buttes themselves, which are visible from Redmond, Tumalo, Powell Butte, and many other portions of Central Oregon.

The buttes include a significant amount of private and state land. There are three buttes; the southernmost of these includes portions of the Thornburgh property and BLM managed land. The BLM portion of the southern butte includes a fenced Federal Aviation Administration facility. The middle butte is BLM managed land and contains a communications site with several towers. The northernmost butte is mostly private land and includes Eagle Crest Resort and the Cline Buttes Rock Pit.

Although the buttes have been a popular location for recreational trail use (OHVs, equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers) and a popular spot for scenic views, much of this land is private and the traditional use has occurred in many instances without permission from the private landowners.

As the surrounding private land is developed and fenced, traditional trail routes are being blocked. Two roads provide access to the tops of the buttes: an FAA site access road and a ROW road leading to the Cline Buttes Rock Pit and the communication site on the middle butte. The majority of the FAA access road is on private property and is not available for public use. The access road to the communication site is a steep, narrow road and does not provide a good public access in its current location and condition.

The southern portion of this area contains segments of the relic Columbia Southern irrigation system canals. The canal system construction started in 1902 by the Three Sisters Irrigation Company. The gravity flow canal system was originally intended to irrigate 27,000 acres of land.

The reservoir was completed in 1914, but when the reservoir was filled to capacity in 1915, water pressure and seepage broke through an underlying fissure and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water disappeared into the ground. Geologic surveys concluded that repair costs would be prohibitive, so the canal system in Cline Buttes never actually held flowing water. A portion of the canal system between Barr Road and Cline Falls Highway has been identified as the Tumalo Canal Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) because it contains relatively intact canal features and helps tell the story of irrigation and growth in Central Oregon.

Access Road Buttes/Tumalo     FAA Road on Top of South Butte    Remains of old Tumalo Canal    ROW between Eaglecrest 2 & 3     View of Black Butte


The eastern and northern portions of the Cline Buttes Recreation Area include numerous dry canyons, including several canyons west of Fryrear Road, Deep Canyon north of State Highway 126, and Buckhorn Canyon. These canyons feature prominent cliffs and scattered large ponderosa pine trees and are a popular destination for trail use, wildlife viewing, and other activities. A popular, non-designated access point/trailhead is located on the south side of State Highway 126 at Deep Canyon.

This area is widely used as a launching point for trail rides, although a large portion of this public use area occurs on private property. Most of the access routes leading from this informal trailhead south into Dry Canyon cross private property. Buckhorn Road is an improved county road that bisects a portion of this area north of State Highway 126. Approximately 1,200 acres of land north of State Highway 126 on the west side of Buckhorn Canyon are mining claims dating back to the 1980s. Currently, about 2 acres of BLM managed land are mined for a perlite type material in this area.

Deep Canyon     Dry Canyon     Fry Rear Canyon    Fry Rear Canyon Cliffs     Habitat in Canyons

Central Plateau

These lands include most of the Cline Buttes area west of Barr Road and south of State Highway 126. They are generally flat, with many basalt outcrops and ridges. The area includes large stands of western juniper and scattered openings in the juniper forest that are mostly Big Sagebrush.

A key feature of this area is the number of inholdings scattered throughout the area. Another feature of this area is the relic Columbia Southern irrigation canal system, which winds through the southern portion of this area.

A large percentage of the visiting public arrives to this portion of Cline Buttes via Barr Road. The southern entrance at Barr Road is typically used by Tumalo and Bend area residents, and both horse and OHV trailers are often parked alongside the County Road in this area.

The northern entrance at Barr Road/State Highway 126 is typically used by Redmond area residents as well as the majority of OHV riders who are coming from the west side of the state (Eugene, Salem, etc.). Barr Road is an unmaintained county road, and the entire route, but particularly the southern portion, is difficult to traverse without a high clearance vehicle.

Most of this central area of the CBRA has been designated as the Peck's Milkvetch ACEC, which is an expansion of the original ACEC designation in the Tumalo block of BLM managed lands, located southwest, across State Highway 20.

Hiking on Historic Tumalo Canal    ODOT Cinder Pit    Scrub Steppe Plant Community    Central Plateau    View from ODOT Cinder Pit to the West