This is ranching country, so shouldn’t Cottonwood have it’s own brand? Sure. And we know just who can help us make it happen … the kids who live around the park. We asked the nearby schools to unleash their creativity and send us some ideas, and “some” turned into 87 pieces of art. We’ve narrowed it down to the top dozen ideas, and now turn it over to you … which do you like the best? We’ll use it on signs, displays and in other ways. Many of these will find use in the park in one way or another, but the top design will represent Cottonwood Canyon to the world.
We’re making progress on the main entrance road (it will pass beneath Highway 206, re-using an existing road). It needs to be widened and improved a bit to handle the kinds of vehicles park visitors typically drive.
We’re working toward a Fall 2013 opening. When the park debuts, it will feature trails and a picnic area. More details on that in a bit. The JS Burres parking area and raft take-out is on the opposite side of the river from the main park entrance and will remain open as we work on the park.
Here are a couple of recent photos showing the road work, barn roofing and fresh native vegetation we’re planting to improve the riverside areas.
Well, sorry for the big delay in posting an update here. The park has been moving successfully through local land use planning, and we’re now working on agreements with the counties to cover technical things like communications and emergency response.
On the practical side, we’re getting ready to award a contract for work on the main park entrance road off the highway. If you buzz past the park, you’ll see big equipment around the south side of the park (off Highway 206). Roughing in the entrance road is the first step in construction, and we plan to open this park in Autumn 2013. As work picks up, we’ll post photos here and start to talk about the basic park services you can expect to see on opening.
The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the final draft plan for Cottonwood Canyon State Park in July 20, 2011. Here’s the file:
Here’s where we are in the guesstimated timeline for next steps:
- April 25 – May 5 >> Last Round Public Meetings DONE
- May 26 >> Comment Period Closed DONE
- July 20 >> Final Draft Submitted for Commission Review
- Fall 2011 >> Land Use Approval Process
- Fall 2011 >> Environmental Assessment work with BLM initiated
- Spring – Summer 2012 >> Construction
- Park Opening >> September 2013
A dozen questions, a dozen answers. See something missing? Just ask.
We’ll be answering more questions and presenting some draft ideas for the park. As soon as the materials are available, we’ll post them online so you can comment here, but do try to attend a meeting as well if you can:
- Monday Nov. 15 – Moro – 6 pm – Sherman County Public/School Library
- Tuesday Nov. 16 – Condon – 6 pm- Veterans Memorial Hall
- Monday Nov. 22 – Portland – 6 pm- Tryon Creek State Natural Area
Meeting materials …
The documents below represent our first, early ideas for the park based on what you’ve told us and the results of a bucketload of on-the-ground inspections. These ideas reflect what the fully-evolved park would look like in the decades after opening in 2013. Tell us what you think.
The planner’s presentation (includes many of the individual maps below, plus a description of the process).
Overall park plan. The red lines are trails, some for horses (mainly on the Gilliam County side and accessed from the JS Burres parking area). Most of the trails are just re-used existing jeep roads, though some are new.
Areas suitable for development based on plant communities.
Park opportunities, showing generally where recreation and natural resources take turns being the lead priority.
Plant restoration focus areas. We have some work to do to defeat weeds and bring back native plants.
Initial ideas for the west entrance, near the current Murtha Ranch right off Hwy 206. This is where most of the formal park development would be. Keep the large, red barn as a meeting area, add a small Welcome Center, picnic area, trailhead, and including a basic 35-site campground (by design, the sites can be used by either tents or RVs, but here are no RV utilities), plus cabins, a small group camp and a walk-in camp. Riparian restoration to bring back riverside plants. One thing you don’t see on the map is a small horse camp across the river and next to the J.S. Burres parking lot. There would be a trailhead there for equestrians, hikers and bicyclists.
Esau Canyon. Trail connections, riparian restoration, small hike-in and boat-in camps.
Hay Creek. Trail connections, riparian restoration including return of the hardwood forest, small horse camp, group tent camp, hike-in camp.
All of these ideas have to work hand-in-hand with habitat restoration and respect the rugged nature of the landscape (and the rules that cover state scenic waterways and federal wild and scenic designations).
So, what do you think?