In-town activities included school sports, soccer, an informal basketball league, the Harvest Festival, the two fitness centers, power walking, and interest in and use of walking trails. Many people valued the pedestrian- friendly nature of the communities. While younger people like OHV use, snowboarding and camping, older people at Marian Estates take frequent day trips “up the canyon” from Sublimity.
Finally, a couple people mentioned how their former occupation in the woods has shifted to recreation in the woods:
“I never had interest in hiking the woods when I was working in them, but now that I’m retired, I hike all the time.”
For economic livelihood, people used to orient to public lands. Many residents worked in the timber mills before they closed, and several commented that people would go “up” to the mills for work. This employment base has dramatically declined.
“There is no reliance on the forest here, except the mill work, and most of that was in the past.”
“The only native runs on the Santiam were winter runs. They expect a banner year this year for some reason.”
As a topic, “public lands” was not a natural subject of conversation. The term “forest” at least evoked a response, but not a strong one. Part of the reason that locals are not oriented to the forest is that the local environment, until recently, was very rural.
“In those days, all of this was open space. Who needed to go to the forest to get away?”
“I never knew there were hiking trails until I was 27 years old. Living around here 30 years ago there was not much need for that since we had lots of open space.”
A JKA Report