Not a new idea

State money to the federal government? Gov. John Kitzhaber’s idea to help the federal Forest Service manage public forests in Oregon is a good one.

Such a strange thing has happened before on a much smaller scale.

When I was state recreation trails coordinator, working for the State Parks Department, Russ Pengelly, a biology teacher in Burns, suggested that the state should help develop the Desert Trail, most of which would be on federally managed lands.

He had tried to get help from the National Park Service, which sent a trail guy to evaluate the idea, and was turned down because it would cost too much and only a few people would use it.

Pengelly came to me and the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council (ORTAC) and we all thought it would work.

So, out of an already skimpy trails budget, I arranged for $500 to be turned over to the Bureau of Land Management.

It was used to erect rock cairns along the proposed route through the Pueblo Mountains, across land managed by the BLM. That became a popular segment of the Mexico-to-Canada Desert Trail, which is enjoyed by many people who appreciate the vast beauty of the high desert.

Guidebooks are available from the Desert Trail Association, Box 34, Madras, OR, 97741.

Jack Remington


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