Roseburg, OR – March 25, 2014 – Due to blocked river passage, Forest Service officials are temporarily closing access to the North Umpqua Wild & Scenic River in the Soda Springs area along Forest Road 4775-011, also known as Soda Springs Dam access road. The closure ranges from the Wild & Scenic river boundary to 0.2 miles downstream from the boundary.
The temporary closure near Soda Springs aims to eliminate the risk to boating recreationists caused by a large tree that fell across the river. While entering the river at Soda Springs has traditionally been discouraged due to safety concerns, the current state of the put-in heightens the risk. There is no safe portage around the tree due to its location and position. Boaters can access the river below the tree at the developed Boulder Flat put-in.
Signs announcing the closure are posted at the beginning of the Wild & Scenic River boundary, mid-way through the closure, and where the closure ends. The ending point of the closure is the same location where the tree is located across the river. This closure is effective until April 30, 2015, or until rescinded. Forest Service officials will continue monitoring the tree and determine if further action is required once the closure order expires.
Forest Service officials decided to leave the tree in place because it allows for prime fisheries habitat at a critical location in the North Umpqua River. “For the first time in over 60 years, Coho salmon and other fish species can now access habitat above Soda Springs Dam. These fish use trees like the one that fell into the North Umpqua River for migratory refuge habitat that is limited in this portion of the river,” said Jason Wilcox the forest fish biologist.
For more information, contact the Diamond Lake Ranger District at (541) 498-2531. The new Wild and Scenic River Guide is now available at Forest Service and BLM offices.