Molalla River Plan Frequently Asked Questions
The Salem District, Bureau of Land Management is pleased to release the final Molalla River-Table Rock Recreation Area Management Plan. After two years of working with various stakeholders and members of the public, a decision has now been made on the management of recreation resources within the planning area. More information can be found on the Molalla River-Table Rock Recreation Area Management Plan homepage.
Public scoping identified a variety of issues including recreation-related impacts to natural resources and ongoing concerns over public safety, litter, dumping, and vandalism. The plan will allow the BLM to make investments in the area with a long-term vision in place.
The planning area covers 27,000 acres of BLM-administered land which includes a popular stretch of the Molalla River, the Molalla River Trail System, and Table Rock Wilderness. The BLM acquired 5,000 acres along the river in a 1992 land exchange. The area is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Molalla and hosts an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 visitors annually from the Willamette Valley and the Portland metropolitan area.
The final plan describes a management strategy that protects natural resource values while providing complementary public access and diverse recreation opportunities. The proposed plan identifies changes including:
- The development of three campgrounds with 8 to 10 sites each for tents and small RVs with amenities such as potable water; camping would be prohibited along the river outside these locations.
- Improvement to day use and river access including enhancement of Looney's Gate and Ivor's Wayside, additional trash and sanitary facilities, picnic sites, and improved trails.
- An overhaul of the Molalla River Trail System including trail-routes and several miles of new trail construction.
- Improved visitor services including a new volunteer host site, upgraded visitor information, and new interpretive panels.
- Closure and restoration of sensitive riparian sites impacted by previous recreation use.
- A seasonal closure would be instituted on Pinecrest Road to protect public safety during the summer season while allowing for public access during fall hunting season.
A number of changes distinguish the Final Plan from the Proposed Plan. The design of the overnight facilities has been modified to include additional amenities include potable water and gray water at all three campgrounds. Provisions for a volunteer host site at Pine Creek have also been made. Based on demand for group camping, Aquila Vista has now been identified as a reservable group camping site. The plan also takes a new approach to equestrian camping, outlining a series of conditions that must be met before potential facility development can take place.
The Environmental Assessment considered three alternatives in addition to the Proposed Plan. These included a No Action Alternative that continued existing management, a Centralized Camping alternative that limited overnight use to one location, and a Day Use Recreation alternative that prohibited overnight use of the area and enhanced day use opportunities. The Environmental Assessment is available for public review at the BLM Molalla River Planning webpage.
The final Management Plan was crafted to provide the most comprehensive, appropriate, and realistic framework for managing the Molalla River-Table Rock area. The plan is expected to result in numerous benefits for the visiting public. Site development, trail enhancement, improved visitor services, and other actions are expected to improve the overall visitor experience and reduce threats to public safety. Based on the analysis conducted by the planning team, the actions contained within this plan will improve conditions for a wide range of resources including wildlife, fisheries, and botanical species.
The Molalla River-Table Rock Recreation Area Management Plan was produced through a collaborative process with a variety of stakeholders including local government entities, elected officials, non-profit organizations, user groups, and interested members of the public. BLM planning staff participated in a series of tours, meetings, and focus groups to solicit outside input.
After release of the Environmental Assessment, a 45-day comment period was observed. Approximately 90 comments were received during this period.
No additional comment periods will be held as part of this planning effort. Individuals have the right to appeal this decision to the BLM, Cascades Field Manager within 30 days and thereafter appeal to the Board of Land Appeals, Office of the Secretary.
For more information about planning in the Molalla River-Table Rock Special Recreation Management Area:
Traci Meredith, Salem District Outdoor Recreation Planner
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 503-315-5991