Teaters Road open on part-time basis as hunting season starts
Teaters Road will be open on a part-time basis for hunters this fall as work continues on an alternative road that bypasses a private ranch.
The Prineville District of the Bureau of Land Management announced in late July that in response to a request from Waibel Ranches, LLC and Crook County, the agency will modify its existing agreement that would have opened Teaters Road or a new alternative road to public travel on Aug. 1.
Currently, about five miles of Teaters Road crosses property owned by Waibel Ranches. The property owner had initially closed access to that portion of the road due to consistent litter, poaching and trespassing problems.
In response, the BLM pushed to reopen the road, a popular access point to the north fork of the Crooked River, prompting an eventual agreement between the two parties that included construction of a new portion of road that would bypass the west end of the Waibel Ranches property.
"The existing agreement would have opened Teaters Road or the new road on Aug. 1," explained BLM spokesperson Lisa Clark. "They have had some delays in getting permits and then, of course, we have had worse than normal weather this past winter."
Consequently, starting Aug. 1, Teaters Road was opened Mondays through Thursdays, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to allow evening and early morning public access during road construction. The road was also open on Friday evenings at 6 p.m. and remained open through Monday mornings at 6 a.m. for full weekend access. The road was completely closed to public access Aug. 17-24, to offer an uncongested route for emergency services vehicles to access the Ochoco National Forest for rescues, medical needs and wildfire response during the days surrounding the 2017 solar eclipse.
The open hours have gone unchanged since the Aug. 1 schedule was introduced as work on the alternative road awaits completion, perhaps as early as the end of October.
"We had a phone call check-in on how things are going with Taylor Northwest on Sept. 15," Clark said. "They are making good progress on the road, but they are still asking that the closure remain in effect with those hours because they are running rock up and down Teaters Road."
BLM officials will check in with Taylor Northwest again on Oct. 5, but until the alternative road is completed, the agency is hoping the limited access will be adequate for hunting.
"We absolutely want hunters to have access and be able to come out if they are able to get a deer," Clark said.