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Ochoco National Forest seeks public comment on plans for improved equestrian trails in Corral Flat area NE of Prineville

Vicinity map of Corral Flat Endurance Trails Project from draft Environmental Assessment
U.S. Forest Service
Vicinity map of Corral Flat Endurance Trails Project from draft Environmental Assessment

Forest also seeks to re-establish road closures, reduce off-road vehicle impacts

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Ochoco National Forest has opened a 30-day public comment period on a draft environmental assessment to formalize an unofficial 51-mile equestrian trail system and conduct restoration of areas damaged by off-road vehicles.

The Corral Flat Endurance Trails project is located on the Lookout Mountain and Paulina ranger districts, about 25 miles northeast of Prineville.

The project’s goal is to provide “designated trail systems for equestrian users, with loops of varying miles and terrain,” the plan states. “These new miles would help distribute equestrian users throughout the National Forest and improve visitor experience.”

The plan’s introduction notes that the current, unofficial trails are almost entirely on Forest Service system roads and non-system two-track roads. A small portion are on existing single-track equestrian trails and have been in use for decades by horseback riders,” both by  individuals and organized group rides.

The Corral Flat area also often serves as a staging camping site, and the route has been used under a special use permit for an annual endurance ride event for the past 25 years.

“During implementation, the forest would plan to re-enforce road closures that have been analyzed in previous decisions,” a legal notice published Wednesday stated. “Re-enforcement would help reduce the impacts of off-road vehicles.”

Article Topic Follows: Outdoors

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Barney Lerten

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