Molalla River Plan Background Oregon/Washington BLM



Molalla River Plan Background

Molalla River Recreation Corridor

Mololla River

A March 1992 land exchange between the Bureau of Land Management and Cavanham Forest Industries brought nearly 6,000 acres along the Molalla River into public ownership. The exchange was the result of local residents' concerns over dumping, considerable recreational activity in the Molalla River area, and liability from the private landowner in cases involving the public.

The BLM's acquisition led to the designation of 17 dispersed riverside campsites, a 24.6 mile shared use non-motorized trail system, development of the Aquila Vista Environmental Education Site, and numerous other improvements. BLM outreach to the local community has led to many benefits derived from a collaborative management effort between the public and agency staff. The results have been beneficial, leading to approximately 1,000 hours of volunteer work performed within the Molalla River corridor each year during monthly trail work events, river clean-ups, and other efforts.

The Molalla River watershed offers many recreation opportunities for fishing, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, hunting, day-hiking, dispersed camping, non-motorized boating, picnicking, recreational shooting, and swimming. Few rivers in the state offer such ease of access and variety of recreational opportunities in a setting so close to a major urban area. Population growth continues to increase visitation to the area. Since acquisition, Oregon's population has increased by nearly 800,000; Clackamas County alone has added an additional 90,000 individuals. Years of heavy dispersed use have resulted in impacts including soil compaction, loss of vegetation, dumping, and concerns over human waste.

Table Rock Wilderness

Designated in 1984, the Table Rock Wilderness area protects roughly 5700 acres that comprise the last contiguous stand of pristine forest in the Upper Molalla drainage. A 1987 Management Plan completed for the TRW outlined management goals, objectives, and actions. The plan led to the formal designation of additional trail mileage and two new trailheads. Adjacent to the Molalla River Recreation Corridor, the TRW provides complimentary opportunities for day hiking, horseback riding, nature study, and photography. Use of the wilderness is estimated at 2,000 to 3,000 visitors each year.

Public Plan Process

This plan was produced through a collaborative process with a variety of stakeholders including local government entities, elected officials, non-profit organizations, user groups, interested members of the public and BLM personnel. Input has been received in a continuous and iterative manner with numerous opportunities for comment.

The planning process for the Molalla River-Table Rock plan has been ongoing since a scoping meeting was held October 7, 2008. This meeting contributed to setting the scope of the plan and identified issues and concerns to be addressed.

While developing the Environmental Assessment, BLM staff participated in a series of tours, meetings and focus groups to solicit stakeholder input. Following the release of the Environmental Assessment, a 45-day formal comment period was observed and several opportunities for public comment were made available.

For more information about planning in the Molalla River-Table Rock Special Recreation Management Area:

Traci Meredith, Salem District Outdoor Recreation Planner
E-mail: or call: 503-315-5991