Parked Rail Cars

Jun 14, 2009 Full story: Oregonlive.com

Hundreds of rail cars called ''crossbeams,'' designed for hauling lumber, are parked on the tracks of a northeastern Oregon shortline railroad between Joseph and the Eagle Cap Wilderness trailhead at Hurricane Creek.

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Leigh Latta

La Grande, OR

#1 Jun 27, 2009
Yes, the rail cars are unsightly but mostly to those that were opposed to rails to trails.
None the less; It was a necessary choice by county gov's who had over committed in an effort to sustain a now defunct industry (timber).
Rails to trails would be less unsightly and would/could provide a modest source of income, but well managed timber harvesting is still the most realistic resource in this county. Whether there is enough timber production in this county (without denuding the forest) is another question and consequently, whether or not a railroad spur line is practical or financially viable (other than acting as a parking lot for rail cars) seems doubtful to me.
"Productive/sustainable logging" within Wallowa County: Acknowledging the extent of the USFS ownership of our forest; would require selective "harvesting" and selective "salvaging" on an on going basis. Such timber practices would most likely not require more than logging trucks not rail cars.
In this county, more log trucks equates to more jobs.
My opinion is: Let the rail car contract expire; thereafter convert to rails to trails and fight to take control of the forest within our county but also commit to sustainable,NATURAL, environmental conditions. We must learn how to work with the earth,not simply how to
exploit it!
Leigh Latta
Joseph, Oregon
eaglecap

La Grande, OR

#2 Jun 29, 2009
with all due respect, Ms. Latta is making an assumption as to who is opposed to the storage of UPRR lumber cars on the WURR tracks. I was/am opposed to the rails to trails concept in this particular situation simply because it creates another maintenance responsibility with no visible means of support. It is not realistic to expect anything in the way of economic benefit from rails to trails, either.

On the other hand, I agree wholeheartedly with the decision to store the cars purely for the economic benefit it provides to the County.

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