Natural

RESOURCES

Forestry

The Mt. Emily Recreation Area was purchased by Union County in 2008 for its recreational values and resource management opportunities.  Over the past century the property had been managed for commercial timber production and livestock grazing use.  The County continues to actively manage the property for these uses.

The management of our forest is guided by the MERA Forest Management Plan 2012, as prepared by the Blue Mountain Chapter Oregon Society of American Foresters. Improving and maintaining forest health is important for all of the resource uses planned for this property.  The focus of this plan is on the growth and harvest of trees.

The intent of natural resource management on MERA is to improve and enhance the health and dynamics of the plant and wildlife communities throughout.  Union County’s goal is to protect, restore, and maintain the natural resources in the MERA. To accomplish these goals forest management activities such as; timber harvest, forest thinning , mulching, log hauling, tree planting, weed management, slash burning,  road work can all be expected throughout MERA.  These activities are necessary to bring the forest on MERA back to a healthy state as well as to improve fire resiliency.  

Grazing

MERA has historically been utilized for its cattle grazing opportunities and this practice continues today.  The grazing season is from June 1 through October 15. During this timeframe you can expect to see cattle throughout MERA.  Please close gates behind you or leave them as found to help keep cattle where intended.  Extra effort has been made to place cattle guards where practical and convenient, allowing you to keep the flow of your trail experience.

Revenue raised from the grazing lease fees will be used for property taxes and fire patrol costs.  The Grazing Management Plan will be a “living document” and management strategies will be reassessed as conditions and land uses change.

Weed Management

Exotic species are the greatest threat to maintaining natural diversity. Non-native plants, animals, and pathogens harm the native ecosystem by competing with and displacing native species, accelerating erosion, impacting wetlands, and causing disease and mortality to plants and wildlife.  Invasive weed control within the property is needed to preserve and restore the characteristics that are vital to a natural experience.

Due to human activity and the utilization of the MERA ground in the past there is extensive weed growth throughout the property. Union County will manage invasive plants and native plant species within the MERA boundaries by utilizing all funding and workforce resources available.  Weed management is extremely costly and requires a relentless and persistent workforce. Grant funding will be sought out and cost share opportunities will be pursued to fund the cost of herbicides and labor.  The workforce has been primarily volunteer efforts accompanied by the Union County Weed Department and local contractors.

Weed management is a great way to help out and volunteer.  Volunteer efforts have made a 100% improvement on the non-motorized portion of MERA through a tireless effort to restore native plant communities and eradicate the spread and growth of weeds. It is an effort that will never cease and requires the physical effort of pulling weeds. It is a big backyard that we all share, pull a weed while out for a hike or contact Sean and we can coordinate your efforts.

Weed Management

Exotic species are the greatest threat to maintaining natural diversity. Non-native plants, animals, and pathogens harm the native ecosystem by competing with and displacing native species, accelerating erosion, impacting wetlands, and causing disease and mortality to plants and wildlife.  Invasive weed control within the property is needed to preserve and restore the characteristics that are vital to a natural experience.

Due to human activity and the utilization of the MERA ground in the past there is extensive weed growth throughout the property. Union County will manage invasive plants and native plant species within the MERA boundaries by utilizing all funding and workforce resources available.  Weed management is extremely costly and requires a relentless and persistent workforce. Grant funding will be sought out and cost share opportunities will be pursued to fund the cost of herbicides and labor.  The workforce has been primarily volunteer efforts accompanied by the Union County Weed Department and local contractors.

Weed management is a great way to help out and volunteer.  Volunteer efforts have made a 100% improvement on the non-motorized portion of MERA through a tireless effort to restore native plant communities and eradicate the spread and growth of weeds. It is an effort that will never cease and requires the physical effort of pulling weeds. It is a big backyard that we all share, pull a weed while out for a hike or contact Sean and we can coordinate your efforts.

Fire

Union County and ODF will cooperatively manage recreational access and fire prevention practices.  The goal is to allow the maximum amount of safe recreational access during the higher use summer months while increasing fire prevention and education measures as fire risk escalates.

The County will take measures to help reduce fire risks from recreational uses and implement measures such as law enforcement, education, signing, mapping and on-site fuel reductions to minimize fire risk.  There are times during the fire season where fire danger may require public use restrictions.  Extreme fire danger or lack of adequate firefighting resources may require suspension of use.

Always understand fire regulations before heading into the forest. MERA follows the Oregon Department of Forestry (541) 963-3168 fire regulations, which change throughout the year. These regulations are different than the National Forest Service fire regulations as is often confused. Thank you for being aware of your responsibilities.

Campfires are ONLY allowed at the Fox Hill Campground and Trailhead in designated fire rings.

Fire

Union County and ODF will cooperatively manage recreational access and fire prevention practices.  The goal is to allow the maximum amount of safe recreational access during the higher use summer months while increasing fire prevention and education measures as fire risk escalates.

The County will take measures to help reduce fire risks from recreational uses and implement measures such as law enforcement, education, signing, mapping and on-site fuel reductions to minimize fire risk.  There are times during the fire season where fire danger may require public use restrictions.  Extreme fire danger or lack of adequate firefighting resources may require suspension of use.

Always understand fire regulations before heading into the forest. MERA follows the Oregon Department of Forestry (541) 963-3168 fire regulations, which change throughout the year. These regulations are different than the National Forest Service fire regulations as is often confused. Thank you for being aware of your responsibilities.

Campfires are ONLY allowed at the Fox Hill Campground and Trailhead in designated fire rings.

Hunting

Hunting is permitted throughout the MERA property. Hunting and wildlife is managed by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (541) 963-2138. Please be aware of hunting seasons and know your surroundings.  Target shooting is not allowed on MERA.