PRINEVILLE, Ore. - A new public road has opened to replace the existing Teaters Road and provide the same level of access from Highway 380 east of Prineville to the North Fork Crooked River and southwest side of the Ochoco National Forest, officials said Tuesday.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Prineville District Office, Waibel Ranches, LLC and Crook County worked together on the project to provide public access for recreation, hunting, and fishing, while respecting traditional ranching uses.
The new road opened for public use last Thursday, but officials said visitors should use caution, as fence crews are still working along the roadside.
With the new road complete, Waibel Ranches, LLC will donate the road to Crook County and the county will keep the road as a local access road going forward.
Waibel Ranches, LLC has also agreed to maintain the road for two years, or until the BLM acquires a public right-of-way from Crook County, whichever is less.
Waibel Ranches, LLC facilitated construction of the new road at their own expense and initiative as a means to provide access to the same public lands while reducing the liability, trespass, poaching and littering issues associated with public travel along the old Teaters Road. Going forward, Teaters Road will be gated and closed to public access.
Once Crook County accepts the new road into the county transportation network, the BLM will begin the environmental analysis to obtain a public right-of-way on the new road and to examine the alternative of relinquishing the public easement held on the old Teaters Road.
Although BLM has informally received input about the new road from various interested parties and adjoining landowners, one objective of the environmental analysis is to provide a formal opportunity for all affected persons and groups to provide input on the proposed action, and any potential environmental effects, prior to the BLM reaching a final decision.
For more information about Teaters Road, or to be included on the mailing list for future environmental analyses about this project, please contact the Prineville BLM at (541) 416-6700.