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Section Three: The Public Lands Perspective

A. Uses of and Orientation to Public Lands

When we asked people about recreation activities, people said, “You gotta go to Salem.” We thought that was odd because we expected an outdoor population. And in fact, many people are active in the out of doors as described below. The Salem comment again reflects the increasing urban orientation of these communities. When people talked about how awful it was that the local theatre went out of business, in the same breath, they would talk about the new theatre complex on Lancaster Drive in Salem, and how nice it was. Locals said the local theatre was unable to compete.

Horseback riding

Boating

Camping

Golfing

Walking (trails and clubs)

Among the outdoor activities mentioned frequently were these:

  • Hiking

  • Hunting

  • Fishing

  • Snowmobilers

  • Recreational Vehicles (RVs)

By far, the most common activities reported were hunting and fishing. These tend to be solitary activities. The local Bi-Mart is valued as a source of information for hunting and fishing. However, it seems so individual and diverse that there is no cohesion to it. There are no stores devoted to outdoor enthusiasts.

“Locals wait a few weeks into hunting season before they go out. The purpose is to wait until the city people start thinning out so they can have some space to hunt without all the people around them.”

“I shot an elk up in Opal Creek and a logger came across me skinning the animal and helped me out. I went back the next day and brought him a bottle of the finest scotch.”

“I took this guy and his family from Portland out steelhead fishing. They were doing a lot of things wrong, and I took it upon myself to show them how to treat the area.”

A JKA Report

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