Jackson Co. to discuss closing part of Bear Creek Greenway during fire season

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. —Jackson County leaders, discussing potentially closing areas of the Bear Creek Greenway, this fire season. County commissioners will talk about the possibility of closing county-owned, off-trail areas of the Bear Creek Greenway, in their regular business meeting, Wednesday morning.

The item is up for discussion Wednesday. County officials declined to talk about their plans Tuesday. The Board of Commissioners agenda says the purpose of the idea, is for safety of the public during fire season, once declared by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

ODF has not yet declared fire season, though once the weather heats up and conditions dry out, it’s expected to come soon.

Local non-profit Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, or SOCAN is watching closely. The Jacksonville organization promotes education and understanding about climate change and its consequences and stimulates action to address it.

While the Rogue Valley is still dealing with drought, SOCAN says what makes the greenway so fire-prone is the density of the seedlings and trees there.

“Because of the climate our soils dry out each summer, our vegetation dries out each summer and so fire is an inevitable consequence of the climate we live in,” said SOCAN’s Alan Journet.

He says work can be done to the greenway to make it more fire-resistant to fire, like removing shrubs and thinning trees. Again, both commissioners and Jackson County Parks declined to comment on the topic until Tuesday’s discussion.

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Jenna King
NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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