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Vandals roll 11 boulders near Whychus Creek trail


Recent vandalism to an area near Whychus Creek is causing erosion into the creek and affecting stream banks and the scenic beauty of the area, Forest Service officials said Monday.

About a week ago, a volunteer river steward reported to the Forest Service that vandals had destroyed a scenic area near the Whychus Creek trail.

Eleven large boulders about the size of card tables had been dug out of a steep bank below the trail and pushed down an embankment, creating unstable soil that is vulnerable to erosion from winter rains, officials said.

Deschutes National Forest spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean said they have no leads as to whoever caused the damage.

Since the first report of the vandalism, Sisters Ranger District employees have worked to assess and repair some of the damage.

The trail was built in 2011 and has been a key part of managing recreation use and building community stewardship of Whychus Creek, which is a designated Wild and Scenic River.

“We have received great community support through our volunteer river stewards, as well as major fundraising efforts such as the Quilt for Two Rivers, Ride for Two Rivers and the annual Plein Air Paint Out,” said Sisters District Ranger Kristie Miller.

“The river stewards help maintain the area, and the fundraising efforts helped to restore Whychus Creek and its stream banks,” Miller said. “It is so disheartening to see this senseless damage, particularly for those who have contributed to this important stewardship effort, “said Kristie Miller, Sisters District Ranger.

If you would like to get involved with trail stewardship or become a river steward on Whychus Creek or the Metolius River, please contact Or contact Amy Racki, Recreation Team Lead for the Sisters Ranger District, at 541-549-7730 to find out more information on how you can help in land stewardship.

“We’re so grateful for the help we receive, because we can’t do it alone,” Miller said. “We depend on volunteers and observant recreationists who treasure these places to help us watch over them. If you see something happening that doesn’t seem right, please say something and call us.”

Damaging a natural feature is a violation of Federal law. If anyone has information about the incident or observes other illegal activities on the National Forest, please call the Sisters Ranger District at 541-549-7700.

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