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State parks department would need to rehabilitate the facility, which has been closed for two years

PHOTO COURTESY OF OREGON PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT
 - The Prineville Reservoir Resort area has become overgrown with weeds due to its two years sitting vacant.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is considering an offer to assume management of Prineville Reservoir Resort, which was closed in early 2019.

"The BOR (Bureau of Reclamation) approached OPRD and asked us to consider assuming management of additional land around the reservoir that had been in use as a private concessionaire operating a small campground, lodging and marina area known as the Prineville Resort," the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission stated in a June 23 meeting summary.

OPRD manages the complex of parks and properties around Prineville Reservoir under an agreement with BOR, who is the property owner, the summary explained. The agreement was last renewed in 2011 for a 25-year period.

"The operator of the resort terminated his agreement with BOR and the property was vacated," the commission stated.

"BOR let us know that they would not be seeking to renew an agreement with private concessionaires, but they would like to add this property to our existing agreement with them."

The commission said that OPRD staff recommends taking on the property "as it gives OPRD oversight of the entire reservoir area with the exception of one small collection of homes."

An amendment to the master lease was already executed this past June, adding the resort property under OPRD's management. Once that amendment was processed, staff began working with BOR to "create some cost estimates to make improvements to the resort property as it has fallen into disrepair."

The estimates revolved primarily around natural resource restoration and invasive weed control as well as campground improvements, marina facility upgrades, and boat launch and dock replacement.

In the commission's project description, it said the property acquisition "provides a tremendous opportunity for expanded recreational access," but went on to note that it comes with much needed maintenance and restoration as well.

"PRR (Prineville Reservoir Resort) was transferred to OPRD's ownership is less than ideal condition," the commission stated. "The main entrance area with great water access, a boat launch, camp sites and other facilities are a wasteland of weeds, creating accessibility and fire issues …"

Rehabilitation efforts will include developing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy to "effectively treat and eradicate non-native invasive pests." The primary targets would include bur buttercup, knapweed, puncturevine, Russian thistle, scotch thistle and tumble mustard and invasive annual grasses.

After a few years of treatment and monitoring, OPRD would move on to seeding and replanting to re-establish native plants that, if successful, are expected to help compete against and offer control from future invasive exotics.

"A robust native plant community will provide enhanced ecological functionality and wildlife habitat to reduce operational maintenance needs and improve the overall recreational experience of the property," the commission said.


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