Terrebonne, Ore. - The Prineville District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) partnered with local residents and Deschutes County to develop an emergency exit route while maintaining recreational opportunities and supporting conservation as part of the agency’s multiple-use mission.
After a long effort, BLM recently issued a decision that will allow Deschutes County to construct a one-mile paved road across BLM-managed public land about five miles west of Terrebonne, Oregon. The road will provide a motorized public access route for the Crooked River Ranch (CRR) residential area, as well as provide a second exit in the event of an evacuation due to a wildfire.
The new route will run from Northwest Quail Road in CRR and travel southwest to connect with Lower Bridge Road. Deschutes County and the CRR Special Road District are currently pursuing grant options, and hope to begin construction this year.
The decision addresses the need for fences, gates, and signs so the new road does not create safety issues or preclude any of the existing recreational uses around Lower Bridge Road. There will be some changes in the types of travel allowed on some routes in the area, and a few duplicate routes will be closed to reduce impacts to mule deer winter range. These changes will be posted on kiosks and other signs in and near CRR.
The BLM provided a public comment period on the proposed action last fall and again this May. Additional information is available by calling the BLM at 541-416-6700 or checking the project website, “Crooked River Ranch Alternate Exit” at https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/nepa/nepa_register.do