BEND, Ore. - Next Monday, members of Discover Your Forest, the Deschutes National Forest and REI Co-op are set to kick off a major stewardship project to clean up and improve Cabin Butte Pit, the Horse Butte Trailhead and the surrounding area, southeast of Bend off China Hat Road.
In recent years, illegal dumping and the development of illegal shooting areas at the north end of Cabin Butte Pit have caused many locals to avoid the area. Overall, recreational use has greatly decreased due to the accumulation of trash, evidence of careless shooting, and drug use.
Discover Your Forest, the Deschutes National Forest Service and REI are joining forces to help clean and restore the area, including picking up several dump loads of trash and recyclable material.
The project will also decommission four illegally developed shooting areas, as well as install 500 feet of rail fencing and visitor signage explaining the project. In addition, volunteers will build and install about 20 bee boxes to protect bees and encourage pollinator sustainability in Central Oregon.
Once completed, this project will help encourage native plant regrowth and increase outdoor recreation activities including hiking, cave exploration and mountain biking. Future clean-ups are planned to continue this effort. Locals interested in volunteering can contact Stacey Cochran at (541) 383-5530.
This project launches in conjunction with the release of "Co-operative Hazy Pale Ale," a beer inspired by REI and crafted by Sunriver Brewing Co., of which 10 percent of sales are benefiting Discover Your Forest.
REI also fostered a partnership with local self-proclaimed "Recycling Gurus," The Broomsmen, and sustainable strategist and waste consultant Hannah Johnson with Human Eco Consulting, who will help pick up bullets and bullet shells to be properly broken down and disposed of.
The success of this service project was made possible by the combined efforts of REI, the Deschutes National Forest, Discover Your Forest, Human Eco Consulting and The Broomsmen.