Rudy Maxa


Rudy Maxa

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SISTERS, OR -- A popular attraction outside Sisters is getting an upgrade this summer. Kassidy Kern, with the Forest Service, says they’re in the process of bringing on a new group of volunteers at the Dee Wright Observatory, "We want to do some roving interpretive tours on the whole site, so that all of the people who come up and visit it will be able to get a little bit more of the history of the area, be able to interact." Many other USFS sites have volunteer interprative rangers, but the Dee Wright Observatory never has, Kern says, partly due to its remote location. 


She says volunteers will be trained to answer questions about the unique observatory, located about 15 miles west of Sisters, on Old McKenzie Highway, "It was hand built from black lava in 1934 and ’35 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and it was named for the foreman Dee Wright who passed away, actually, before it was completed. He was a packer for the Forest Service; a very well-loved individual." They'll also be able to talk about the geology surrounding the site, "It’s surrounded by 65 square miles of lava. The top deck offers views of 16 mountains and Oregon’s second largest glacier. So, there’s so much to talk about even within those elements." Kern tells KBND News, "We do get a lot of visitors. It’s a beautiful area; that whole drive is really lovely and so, it allows people to stop and stretch their legs, learn a little bit about the unique geology of Central Oregon and all of the volcanoes along the Cascade Crest."


If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer interpretive ranger, attend the Sisters Ranger District open house, April 11, 5 - 7 p.m., at the Sisters Fire Hall on Elm Street. 

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  • Purcell Bridge CLOSED through April 2020.