RAF Oregon Liaison Richard Mayes reported that continued collaboration in Oregon between the RAF and the US Forest Service has resulted in the preservation of Silver Lake airfield, 45S. “The Silver Lake Ranger District team recently mowed and re-established its edge markings and the 3,000 foot long runway is currently in excellent condition and ready to receive recreational aviators,” Mayes said.

Silver Lake airfield is located in south-central Oregon, within the Fremont-Winema National Forest. For many years there was no maintenance at the airfield. Due to overgrown sagebrush and bunch grasses, and extensive wildlife damage, the dirt runway became virtually unusable. In 2019 the Forest Service considered Silver Lake to be a safety hazard and had started the process of delisting the airfield. The RAF approached the USFS District Ranger and Aviation Officer, volunteering to provide annual airfield maintenance if the USFS would cancel the planned delisting.

In the spring of 2020, RAF supporters and Oregon Pilots Association members removed brush, mowed and graded the airfield, and erected a new RAF windsock. “Impressed with the dedication exhibited by the RAF and OPA, the Forest Service has now taken over the regular surface maintenance of the airfield,” Mayes pointed out.

The RAF collaborates with USFS Region 6 and responsible District Rangers to maintain a number of backcountry airfields in Oregon. “Our strong base of RAF supporters, who are willing to donate their time, labor and cash, are crucial in preserving these important assets for future generations of pilots,” Mayes said.

For information about Silver Lake USFS airfield see the Airfield Guide.

Submitted on July 28, 2022.

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