RAF Oregon Liaison Richard Mayes has taken on another project. He would like to see the primitive airstrip at the Rager Creek Ranger Station in the Ochoco National Forest included in the Airfield Guide. But first, a number of safety improvements need to be completed. “The airstrip is very remote, located in the Central Oregon high-desert, offering a quiet place to picnic or overnight camp. There are also several historic buildings at the Ranger Station that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps” Mayes said.

Documented activity in this area goes back to Hudson Bay trappers, the John Fremont Expedition, 1855 Indian Treaties, homesteading, and the eventual establishment of the Paulina District Ranger Station that remained active for 105 years.

Collaborating with USFS environmental and cultural teams, Mayes has gotten agreement from the District Ranger to complete the necessary work. In early March, his project was approved for an RAF grant to cover equipment and material costs. Mayes has organized local RAF volunteers who are ready to help out, when prudent, and a local landowner has offered the use of his equipment.

The project includes removing brush that’s encroaching on the airstrip; repair of surface damage from rodents and livestock; clearing an aircraft parking and camping area; and installation of a new windsock pole and windsock.

“The project helps to ensure this unique backcountry airstrip remains in service by improving safety, and by strengthening our partnership with USFS,” Mayes said. 

Submitted on March 31, 2020

4 Comments

  1. Chris Johannsen on March 31, 2020 at 12:07 am

    How does one get involved? I’ve only been in there once but would love to see it improved.

    • ewhite on March 31, 2020 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Chris, thanks for your interest! If you could please send your contact information (email/phone) to me directly, we can chat further: ewhite@theraf.org. Thanks! – Erin White, RAF Volunteer Coordinator

  2. Dave Barrett on April 1, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Richard and Erin,

    Dave Barrett here…. Reno, NV RAF member. I also would be very interested in being part of the project at Rager Creek. I believe you have all of my contact info, but I will send it again with interest in Rager Creek noted.

    DB

  3. Gary Lanthrum on April 3, 2020 at 8:57 am

    This is great, but it is hard to see the area where the airstrip is located on Google Maps when the image is set to Satellite mode. Still, it’s a spectacular location and improving a backcountry airstrip there would be a real boon to flying into the Ochoco National Forest.
    A similar opportunity would seem to be available at the Cold Springs Guard Station in the Ochoco about 20 miles to the west northwest (44.345584, -120.119470). There is a NFS cabin at the Cold Springs Guard Station that is available for public use and on Google Maps there is even reference to the Cold Spring Guard Landing Field. When I zoom in to Google Maps, I can actually see the remnants of a dirt field 1 mile SSE of the cabin at Cold Springs. There is even a faint X showing the runway is closed that can be seen in the satellite view. I would REALLY love to see the Cold Springs Guard landing field restored to use. I have extra motivation here because this strip is only 3 miles from the location where the Oregon Star Party is held for amateur astronomers in the Ochoco and I really don’t enjoy the 6 hour drive from my home north of Seattle.

Leave a Comment