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Pick Ax

Volunteers- Make Trails Happen!


Volunteer efforts are an essential element for the success of MERA. Volunteers have contributed in the purchase and development of MERA as well as the continued management and maintenance. Without volunteer participation, the system would not exist nor would it be able to continue. Volunteers have been responsible for building new trails, maintaining existing trails, installing signage, weed control, tree planting, map development, web development, photography, water development, spring enhancement, aspen restoration, trash clean-up, scout projects, and many more.

Most of the grant funding that the County has received in the past and will receive in the future will require some level of in-kind service match. A large portion of the match will be fulfilled through volunteer efforts. The system cannot survive without the continued participation and support of volunteers. 

Joins us at our annual spring clean events in May and June, see our events page. Contact Sean or these MERA trails stewards;  Eastern Oregon ATV (EOATV), the Blue Mountains Singletrack Trails Club (BMSTC), or the Back Country Horsemen of Oregon for more volunteer opportunities.

Countless volunteers and partners have contributed to the MERA project since before its inception and continue stronger than ever today. To all of who have given and continue to give…Thank-you!

Advisory Committee


Shortly after acquisition, the Union County Board of Commissioners formed and appointed two Mt. Emily Recreation Area Advisory Committees comprised of motorized users, non-motorized users, and resource oriented management agencies.  The Advisory Committees provide a public forum and make recommendations on planning, development, management and maintenance to the County Board of Commissioners who make the final decision. The advisory committees and County staff developed the MERA Master Plan to assist the County appointed MERA Coordinator in the management of MERA. The advisory committee are volunteers who meet approximately every three months or as needed and meetings are open to the public. Check the Union County website for a posting of the upcoming meeting date.  Meetings are held at 1106 K Avenue, La Grande, OR in the Joseph Building, large conference room where commission meetings are held.


             Name                     Representing                                  

  • Bill Gamble - United States Forest Service                              

  • Logan McCrae - Oregon Department of Forestry                    

  • Leonard Erickson -  Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife                    

  • Ian Caldwell – Oregon State Parks & Recreation                            

  • Katie Martin – Livestock Grazing Lessee                                

  • Justin Rock – Class I ATVs                                            

  • Raymond Johnson – Class II ATVs/Chairman                          

  • Mark Barber – Class III ATVs                                       

  • William Cole – Class IV ATVs                                        

  • Richard Weller – General Public                                   



            Name                      Representing                                   

  • Bill Gamble – United States Forest Service                                

  • Logan McCrae – Oregon Department of Forestry                         

  • Leonard Erickson – Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife                      

  • Ian Caldwell – Oregon State Parks & Recreation                            

  • Katie Martin – Livestock Grazing Lessee                               

  • Bart Barlow - Bicyclist                                           

  • Lance Colburn – Hiker/Chairman                                     

  • Elaine La Rochelle - Equestrian                                

  • Gene Erwin – Grande Ronde Bowman                                    

  • Doug Hopper – General Public                                     

  • Scott Wilson – General Public                                      

  • Aric Johnson – General Public      


Thank-you, Volunteers!

Read the story here!

Applications Accepted for MERA Committees

The Union County Board of Commissioners are accepting applications from qualified volunteers interested in serving on the Mt. Emily Recreation Area Motorized and Non-Motorized Advisory Committees. The purpose of these committees is to represent the interests of the public related to development, operations and maintenance of MERA by making recommendations to the Commissioners with regards to motorized and non-motorized usage.

Open positions include representations for one Class I ATV’s “4-wheeler” member and one Class III ATV member for the motorized committee.  Open positions on the non-motorized committee include two members of the general public, a hiker, and an equestrian representative.   Interested citizens residing in Union County are invited to submit a completed Advisory Committee Application by December 31, 2019.

Applications may be submitted to the Union County Administrative Office at 1106 K Avenue, La Grande.

Photos provided by Mark Barber, Ty Bowen & Sean Chambers

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