Past Newsletters

August 2021

Parade

Union County Fair Parade is Friday August 6. Line up starts anytime after 4pm. Parade starts at 6pm. The more people we can get there the better. It is always good to have kids there too to show off the next generation of riders. We usually line up near 8th and N.

Fires/Trail closures

I’m sure you have all heard that most everything is shut down due to extreme fire danger. MERA is closed to all motorized access until further notice. The trails on the Wallowa-Whitman are closed and all of the Umatilla National Forest is closed. Let’s hope for some cooler weather and rain soon, but it is August so that might be asking for a lot. Whatever you do, be careful out there.

Y.S.E.P.

We were hoping to have another Y.S.E.P. class in August but with the fire danger so high we have to put that on hold for now. If the fire level drops so we can have a class in September we will try that, but there will probably be a short window from the time we set the date until the class. If you have or know of someone that needs to take the class let me know so I can let you know as soon as we set the date.

Breshears

The high fire danger has also put replacing the bridge on Upper Breshears on hold. Hopefully it can still get done this fall.

Meeting

Ben Walker from the La Grande Ranger District is going to try to make the August meeting, but it looks like they are sending him out on a fire and he might not be back in time. I was hoping to have him talk about trail issues on the district if he makes it.

Be safe and try to stay cool.

Mark Barber Secretary/Treasurer

July 2021

Y.S.E.P.

We had our second YSEP class on Saturday June 26. We had 2 of the kids that missed the first class show up and no one else. I think I will try to schedule one more for the end of August to see if we can get a few more kids to show up. We will also hope we get some cooler and wetter weather by then so we can actually have the class.

MERA /Work Day

We had our annual MERA motorized trail work day Saturday June 5. There were 8 of us that showed up so we all worked on the Dead Bull extension. We got it opened up a lot faster than I thought we would and it is now part of the system. As with all of the new trails it is still pretty rough but it should smooth out a little over time.

Things have really dried out with all of the hot weather. It is getting pretty dusty but the trails are in good shape. As of July 4 it looked like they were really close to being finished with the logging. There are still a couple of pieces of machinery up there but it looked like all of the logs had been hauled off the mountain. Still slash piles everywhere but I think they will burn those this fall or winter. I only found one section of trail still not open due to the logging. I hope to get that cleaned up soon.

If you are up there riding on any of the trails and come across anything that needs cleaned up, please stop and take a minute to take care of it. Taking a little time out of one ride to clean things up will make it so you don’t have to deal with the problem the next time you are out. The more people that pitch in the better the trails will get. Please don’t ride around things and stick to the trails. This goes for any trail system, not just the trails on MERA.

We always have maintenance that needs done and it is hard for 2 guys to get it all done each year. If you want well maintained trails, some more bodies need to step up and help out. You can always contact or text me at 541 805-0172 if you would like to help.

Breshears

Rob and I spent a couple of days on Breshears and got it opened up. There was still some snow on the road out to the towers when we were last up there but it was melting fast. I can’t remember the last time we had the trail open before July. There wasn’t as much stuff down as normal either. The trails are in really good condition and as always there are places that could use some brush and small trees cut back. The single track face trail is probably the one trail that could really use some work.

As far as I know the Forest Service still plans to replace the bridge on Upper Breshears. I don’t know what if any other plans they have. If the schedule works out I hope to have Ben Walker from the Forest Service at our August meeting to let us know what plans they have for the trails on the district.

Parade

I haven’t heard anything about the Fair Parade yet. I’m guessing it would be the first week of August this year? That doesn’t work well to get info out in the newsletter so I will have to rely on facebook and the web site. Of course if you know when the parade is just show up and get in line with us.

OAS

How many of you have seen or remember the movie On Any Sunday? It came out 50 years ago and they are planning to re-release it in theaters this fall/winter after re-coloring it, updating the sound and remaster everything in HD. They are looking for people to help them get it into local theaters. If you would like to see the movie in our local theater go to onanysunday50th.com for more information.

Mark Barber Secretary/Treasurer

June 2021

Meetings

Island City City Hall is allowing meetings there again, so since we haven’t actually had a meeting in over a year, we will have one this month. Hope to see some of you there.

Y.S.E.P.

We had our first YSEP class on Saturday May 22. We had 10 kids signed up but only ended up with 7 showing up. The weather was a little sketchy but the rain stopped just before the class started so everything worked out. I want to try and get another class in before July 4.

MERA /Work Day

We are going to have our annual MERA motorized trail work day Saturday June 5. We meet at the Fox Hill parking lot about 8:30 am and head out from there. Whether you ride an ATV, motorcycle, side by side or drive a 4X4 we will have something for you to do. It is your riding area so help us improve it. I know Sean has some plans for things that need done and Rob and I would like to connect the west end of Dead Bull to Detour so that you can stay on single track and not have to get onto 201 Mainline.

Things are starting to dry out, between rain storms. The logging along 201 Mainline really made a mess and has created some issues with some of the trails. I have been up and done a little bit of work on some of the motorcycle trails where the logging covered up or wiped out the trail and a couple of places that have huge slash piles on top of them. I still haven’t been up to the north end to see what has happened up there. Sean is working his way up from the parking lot working on the ATV and wider trails trying to get them opened up.

If you are up there riding on any of the trails and come across a mess or a blocked trail, please take a little time and clean things up if possible. Taking a little time out of one ride to clean things up will make it so you don’t have to deal with the problem the next time you are out. The more people that pitch in the better the trails will get. Please don’t ride around things and stick to the trails. This goes for any trail system, not just the trails on MERA.

We always have maintenance that needs done and it is hard for 2 guys to get it all done each year. If you want well maintained trails, some more bodies need to step up and help out. You can always contact or text me at 541 805-0172 if you would like to help.

Breshears

I am hoping to get a chance to get up to Breshears real soon. I doubt we can get very far up the trails yet but the snow seems to be coming of pretty fast. If you head up that way make sure you take a saw and cut anything you can and don’t ride around things. Last year someone rode through a meadow to get around a snow drift and left big ruts. That is how trails get closed!

I hope to have some info, by the time we have our meeting, on what the Forest Service has plans to work on this summer.

facebook

I’m still locked out of being able to manage or post on the facebook page. I have pretty much run out of things to try. If there is a facebook expert out there that thinks they might be able to help, please let me know. My last option, which I don’t really want to do is to create a new page. But that would mean trying to let the 500 plus followers know that we moved. I’m open to suggestions.

Mark Barber Secretary/Treasurer

May 2021

Meetings

We will be kind of playing it by ear this summer as far as meetings go. I am looking into what Island City City Hall is doing about allowing meetings there. If we need to we could possibly hold a meeting outdoors somewhere.

Y.S.E.P.

We will have our first YSEP class on Saturday May 22 at 10am. We only had 2 classes last year and did not have very many kids show up. Hopefully this year will be better. You can sign up and get more info at ysep.omraoffroad.com

MERA

Things are starting to dry out, between rain storms, on MERA, I have been up and done a little bit of erosion control and trail widening in a few places while the ground is still soft. The wet conditions are good for trail work but can also be a problem when they are traveled on. I know everyone is wanting to get out and ride, but things are really soft right now so please be careful and try not to rut up the trails.

There was work through the winter on creating a fire break along 201 Mainline. This work will continue on into June as weather permits. Be aware that this work will be going on and respect any closures that may be needed while they are working. I have yet to determine the amount of damage done to any of the trails but hope there won’t be too much work that will need to be done to clean them up.

We always have maintenance that needs done and it is hard for 2 guys to get it all done each year. If you want well maintained trails, some more bodies need to step up and help out. You can always contact or text me at 541 805-0172 if you would like to help.

We were able to add a couple more miles of single track last year and hope to add some more this year. We hope to connect the west end of Dead Bull to Detour so that you can stay on single track and not have to get onto 201 Mainline.

We are planning to have our annual MERA motorized trail work day Saturday June 5. We meet at the Fox Hill parking lot before 9am and head out from there. Whether you ride an ATV, motorcycle, side by side or drive a 4X4 we will have something for you to do. It is your riding area so help us improve it.

Breshears

It is too early to get to the Breshears system. We can usually start getting in there in June and follow the snow up until it is off sometime in July. I think the Forest Service is planning to replace the bridge on Upper Breshears this year. I haven’t heard of any other plans yet.

Other

I’m sure you have noticed that I spend a lot of time covering motorcycle trail work and development. Part of the reason is that those trails take man power to build them and not machines. Also, I ride a motorcycle and don’t spend the time I should keeping up with ATV trail issues. That is my fault and I am sorry. I am more than happy to post any information anyone has on ATV issues if I am aware of them. Just let me know and I will try to share the information.


August 2020


Social distancing, meetings

Due to the restrictions in place at this time our meetings are still on hold for the time being. I will keep sending out the newsletter. You can always keep up with things on facebook, and the website too. We will just play it by ear to see if/when we can have a meeting.

Y.S.E.P.

We will have another Y.S.E.P. class on Saturday August 22, 10:00 am. Go to http://ysep.omraoffroad.com/ for more information and to sign up. I’m pretty sure this will be the last class this year. We got a late start and the summer is winding down already. Hopefully next year won’t be as turbulent.

Trail work

We were able to get a new section of single track on MERA built this year. It can use a little more work but we will see what it looks like in the spring and see what needs done then. It is two plus miles of trail west of 201/Mainline that branches off of Dead Bull. It will be called Detour.

We are going to try and extend Dead Bull north along the west side of 201/Mainline to connect to Detour at 206/Hawk Eye. Keep an eye on the facebook page for a date and time. As always, feel free to clean up any issues you see along the trails. If there is a problem that is bigger than you can deal with, let me know and I will see what can be done. If you have suggestions for additional ATV or motorcycle riding opportunities let me know too.

Breshears

The Breshears system is open and starting to get dusty. The Forest Service has been doing some work from the “R” trail over “Kenny’s Mountain” and out Bell Cr. to the bridges. They have moved the trail out of where the water runs down it in the spring and changed the junction to Upper Breshears. The big water hole just past the Upper Breshears junction has also been taken care of. They have also replaced the other bridge at Indian Creek (the lower short one). Due to the weather I think they are finished with any ground work for this year but may do some sign work yet. It looks like it will be next year before they/we get to the other bridge. It has been stabilized and should make it another year.

Fire Danger

The fire danger is increasing as things dry out. Be really careful out there, we don’t need to be burning anything down. As of this writing there was a fire in the vicinity of the Breshears trail system. It had been contained at less than an acre but there is quite a bit of wind and lightening this evening. The potential for more fires is pretty high.

May 2020

Social distancing, meetings

Due to the restrictions in place at this time our meetings are on hold for the time being. I will keep sending out the newsletter. You can always keep up with things on facebook, and the website too.

Web page

Speaking of the website, it has been redesigned and looks a lot more modern than the old site. I am going to try and keep it updated better than I was doing with the old site.

Y.S.E.P.

All Y.S.E.P. classes have been put on hold for now. As soon as they open things back up I will try to schedule a class as soon as I can.

Breshears bridges

Last fall the plan was to try and replace the other 2 bridges on the Breshears system sometime this summer. I don’t know what is happening at the Forest Service with the lock down, so I don’t know if that is still in the works or not. I will update when I find out.

Trail work

We have been doing some trail maintenance on some of the single track on MERA. The snow is slowly coming off but it will be a while yet before the upper trails are snow free. The ground is really good to do work right now. It hasn’t turned to cement yet. We have been pulling rocks out of some sections of 317/Fenceline, 327/Hillside Ride and Dead Bull. We have plans to add more single track trail this year. How much we get done will depend a lot on how much help we have. Two guys can only do so much. Of course if you see anything that needs done on a trail feel free to take care of it. Cutting back brush or branches, moving rocks, whatever you see. If it is more than you can handle let Sean or me know.

Sean also has plans to add more ATV and jeep trails but I don’t know what his timeline is. I know he has been working on a trail down below the campground. They are also getting quite a bit of work done on the motocross track. It looks like it is shaping up pretty nice.

June 6 work day

As far as I know the June 6 motorized trail work day is still on. Even if it isn’t I plan on being up there doing something that is socially acceptable, so come join me. I will post information on facebook and the web site as I find out more.

Like us on facebook to keep up with the latest information on all things EOATVA.

Mark Barber Secretary/Treasurer

BARBER'S BLURB October 2019

Last newsletter and meeting of 2019

This months meeting will be the last for this year and this is the last newsletter until hext spring. The meetings weren’t very popular this year. Maybe we can get more participation next year.

We did accomplish a few things this year. We were able to get one of the bridges on Breshears replaced. One of the stringers was broken and part of the footing was washing out, but it has now been replaced and with any luck will last many more years. The other two bridges are scheduled to be replaced next summer.

On MERA we added more single track trail and are continuing to build more. We are slowly getting a trail around the perimeter of the property and adding some additional trail sections as alternate routes. There was a thinning project going on for most of the summer that limited trail use in some areas but that should be cleaned up by now. There is another project to create a fuel break along Mainline (201) that may happen this fall. This will also most likely affect some of the trails while the project is taking place. There was also some additional signage placed on trails that hadn’t been marked before. Hopefully this will make them easier to find and they will get more use in the future.

We had 3 Y.S.E.P. classes this year. None of them were very well attended but we were able to get some more young riders certified to ride. These kids are the future and are the ones that will determine whether we/they will have any place to ride in the years to come.

Fire Season

Fire season is behind us and fall is here. There is some moisture in the ground and riding should be good, although it might be a little chilly at times. Hopefully we will have a few more weeks of riding before the snow comes to stay.

Breshears fall clean up

Our annual fall cleanup on Breshears will be Saturday October 12. Our normal location to meet is not available anymore, so let’s get together at AC Power Sports on Walton Road. Plan to meet there so we can head up to the trails by 9 am. We will go up Mt Harris and Little Indian Creek and park along the road where we normally do. If we have enough bodies and the weather cooperates we may be able to have time to go for a ride afterwards. You can also check out the new bridge. Bring a lunch, something to keep you hydrated and some energy.

Web page

I am getting some help trying to remake the clubs website. With any luck it will be back up and working with an updated look and better content in the not too distant future.

Like us on facebook to keep up with the latest information on all things EOATVA.

Mark Barber Secretary/Treasurer

BARBER'S BLURB September 2019

Still Fire Season

Fire season is still here. There are no trail closures right now but things are VERY dry and dusty out on the trails. Please be extra careful out there and watch for updates on restrictions as summer progresses.

Y.S.E.P.

We had our last Y.S.E.P. evaluation of the year on Saturday August 24. We only had 4 kids show up. Compared to last year this was a pretty slow year for evaluations. I’m not sure what the deal is because I know there are a lot more kids that still need the hands on class. I guess we will wait and see what next year brings.

Breshears

There is the very real potential of our losing our access to the Breshears trail system through Hancock Forest lands. As of right now I believe there is only one road open through Hancock property, as the others have been gated and locked. This is due to vandalism and resource damage on their property as well as adjoining private lands. They have had issues with people driving on roads when they are muddy causing erosion issues and dumping garbage, but the real problem is people cutting locks off of gates or tearing the gates out to gain access. It is hard to fault them for trying to protect their property but it would be devastating to lose that access. The only other ways to access the trails are from Moss Springs, up Big Indian or in on the 6210 F.S. road. All of these require a much longer drive and are snowed in as much as a month longer in the spring.

I know people have been driving and riding on these lands for decades, but the fact remains that these are PRIVATE lands and the owners have the right to control access. Boise Cascade, Forest Capital and now Hancock have all been generous to allow access, but when people abuse that privilege it can be taken away. So please respect others property and let others know that we need to protect our access to the trail system by following the wishes of the landowners. It only takes the bad actions of a few to ruin a good situation for the rest of us.

MERA

The thinning project should be about finished and hopefully by the time you read this the trails will be cleaned up and in good shape, other than the lack of moisture. All of the trails are very dry and dusty, so be careful out there if you are riding.

Rob and I have been busy working to finish the North Knob motorcycle trail. The whole trail is now cut open but it still needs quite a bit of tread work. Most of it we are going to just let people ride and we will see how it works out and fine tune things in the spring. Sean is also going to do a little work with the Cat but probably not until we get some moisture. This is a nice addition that makes a loop without having to ride any road if you don’t want to.

Breshears fall clean up

I’m putting this out now so you can plan for it. Our annual fall cleanup on Breshears will be Saturday October 12. We haven’t had a very good turnout the last few years. Last year was the first time in maybe 4 years we had enough people to cover the whole system. Of course the weather can be a little sketchy that time of year but we always do what we can.

BARBER'S BLURB August 2019

Fire Season

Fire season has started. There are no trail closures yet but things are VERY dry and dusty out on the trails. Please be extra careful out there and watch for updates on restrictions as summer progresses.

Y.S.E.P.

We will have our last Y.S.E.P. evaluation of the year on Saturday August 24 at 10 am. If you know of any kids that need their hands on evaluation please let them know we are doing these evaluations. They can get more info at ysep.omraoffroad.com.

Breshears

We had our bridge building party July 27. The Forest Service crew had the stringers set and all of the materials at the bridge so that we could put on the decking and the side rails.

I would like to give a big THANK YOU to Jim Reynolds for coming over and bringing his expertise and equipment so we could get the bridge done correctly. We couldn’t have done it without him. Jim is one of the two guys from NWTRA in Pendleton that do the majority of the bridge work on the Winom-Frazier trail system. J.R. also came over from Pendleton. Bill, Joe, Rob and I were there from EOATVA.

The other 2 bridges on the Breshears system are also in need of replacement. The plan right now is to replace them next year. The Forest Service crew is going to make a temporary repair to the stringers on the bridge on Upper Breshears to get it through to next season. We will once again be looking for volunteers for those projects next summer.

MERA

A couple of things are going on at MERA. One is the thinning project around Spine and Dead Bull trails. I believe they are almost done but be aware of some temporary trail closures due to flying debris from the machinery and slash left in the trails. Also, Sean is working on connecting Dead Bull to North Knob. The area he is working is very steep and very brushy so it is slow going. He has a couple of sections punched through but they are still just a basic corridor and need finished up. With the dry and hot weather they may not be finished until fall or next spring.

Elections

We had nominations and the election at last months meeting for Vice President and 2 board member positions. Chet agreed to take on the role of Vice President and we voted to keep Kelly and Scott as board members.

Fair Parade

We participated in the Union County Fair Parade again this year. We had a pretty poor showing as far as the number of people that showed up. Chet had his pickup and trailer with the banners on it. I think there were 3 ATV’s, 3 side by sides and 3 motorcycles. I’m not sure what the problem was but I was pretty disappointed. We did get a Second Place ribbon though.

BARBER'S BLURB July 2019

Y.S.E.P.

We had our second Y.S.E.P. evaluation on June 27 and had 10 kids complete the evaluation with one doing both ATV and motorcycle. I haven’t set a date for our next class but I’m thinking early August. If you know of any kids that need their hands on evaluation please let them know we are doing these evaluations. They can get more info at ysep.omraoffroad.com.

Breshears

Rob and I went up to Breshears June 15 to see how far we could get. It didn’t look like anyone else had been up there yet, except maybe off the 6210 road into the middle of the Bell Cr. Trail. Rob made it up to the 6205 road, going through the last of the snow drifts up that direction. We made it up Upper Breshears to the bridge. It was pretty much solid snow at that point. The bridge still had snow on it, but it looked like it was starting to sag and a couple of the stringers are rotting. We will have to see what the Forest Service says about repairing or replacing it in the near future. We also cut open the motorcycle only face trail, so the whole system was cut open except for the very top of Upper Breshears. I’m guessing all of the snow is off by now, and assuming someone cut out anything we didn’t get to it should be ready to ride.

The other bridge doesn’t seem any worse off than it was last fall. I am trying to start getting things coordinated with the Forest Service for replacing the bridge this summer. They were supposed to have someone up there checking things out a couple of weeks ago but I haven’t heard back since then. I will hope to have more information at this months meeting.

eoatva.org

I have not been doing a very good job of keeping the web site updated. It is really outdated and needs revamped if we are going to keep it. I know there are people who are not on facebook that use the website and the newsletter to keep up with what is going on with the club, so I am reluctant to just shut it down. Ideally I would like to find someone that could update the page to something more up to date that I could still update as needed. Any thoughts? Still looking for help with this.

DUES

Dues are due again. Thanks to all of you that have been proactive and sent in your dues already. Our dues year starts on June 1 each year. Your expiration year is on the newsletter mailing label in the upper right hand corner. If you are current it should say Exp 20, or higher. Thank you for renewing ASAP.

Elections

Vice President and two board member positions currently held by Larry Cribbs, Kelly Haggerty and Scott Rivard are up this year. If anyone is interested in any of those positions please let me know. They are NOT anything that take up much time, but we do need the positions filled.

Fair Parade

I am assuming we will be able to participate in the Union County Fair Parade again this year. I think it will be Friday August 2, but I haven’t seen anything that specifies that yet. Keep your eyes open for the date and time since there won’t be another newsletter before then. We usually line up near Eighth St. and O Ave.