The Malheur National Forest, has issued an Environmental Assessment (EA), Decision Notice, and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Blue Mountain Summit Snow Park Project, on the Blue Mountain Ranger District. The Responsible Official, Malheur National Forest Supervisor, Teresa Raaf, signed the decision to implement the Proposed Action on January 31, 2013.
The project area encompasses 7 acres on the Blue Mountain Ranger District and is located 37 miles east of John Day, Oregon near the Blue Mountain Summit approximately one tenth of a mile north of Highway 26 adjacent to Forest Road 343 and Old Highway 26. The project will create a three acre parking area with an additional 4 acres of defensible space, providing approximately 30 large parking slots for vehicles and trailers, construction of a bathroom, warming hut, grooming shed, and fuel tank. The Blue Mountain Summit Snowpark Project was developed after a request from the Burnt River Snowmobile Club in 2008 for the development of a snowpark near the Blue Mountain Summit. Currently, trail users park vehicles and trailers along widened sections of the highway. During peak recreation times, there can be as many as 50 users parked along the highway near this location. This is causing problems and congestion along the highway for Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) plows, as well as blocking access to semi-trailers that use the turnouts to either install or remove tire chains. The Snowpark will help alleviate the congestion along the highway and provide for a safe experience for forest visitors.
This decision is not subject to administrative appeal as per 36 CFR 215(e)(1) which states that “Projects or activities for which notice of the proposed action and opportunity to comment is published and no comments expressing concern or only supportive comments are received during the comment period for a proposed action are not subject to an appeal”.
For further information, or to request a hard copy of the EA or Decision Notice/FONSI, contact Rob Robertson at the Blue Mountain Ranger District, 421 Patterson Bridge Road, John Day, OR 97845, or by phone at (541) 575-3061. The EA and Decision Notice/FONSI are available on the following Malheur National Forest website:http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/malheur/projects/index.shtml.