BEND, OR -- Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) wants answers to why the Forest Service has shut down a popular Central Oregon campground. The Deschutes National Forest announced this week the Cultus Lake campground and day use area would not open for the summer, because of hundreds of dead and diseased trees that are in danger of falling. The Forest Service says the trees can't be removed until fall when the breeding season for the Northern Spotted Owl is over.
Congressman Walden sent a letter to the Forest Supervisor. He says while safety must be a top priority, he's concerned the Forest Service could have acted sooner and not disrupted the summer season. He also wants to know why action can't be taken now, because the Forest Supervisory has said owls are not likely to be living in the campground area.
Walden has requested an in-person meeting with the Forest Supervisor to get answers about when the problem was discovered and what the timeline is to get an environmental analysis.