Lake of the Woods Resort Project Planning

Lake of the Woods Resort

Project Planning

Dear friends, neighbors and visitors:

This year as we approach the 100-year mark of the Lake of the Woods Resort’s conception, I am reflecting on the past 24 years.  I have overseen operations at the resort since September of 1998. During this time I have seen change, fought for opportunity to operate on public land and lived here raising a family and improving a business I partly own.

John Doherty purchased the resort from the Neumans in 2008. I have no doubt that things would be about the same here today if the Neumans still owned the resort. The new ownership embraced a new vision. I was happy to find John Doherty to be a man of vision, as he worked with the Resort management to develop the future look of the Resort. So, I can clearly state that if you have been a homeowner here or visitor here for at least the last 20 years then you know that we are driven to make improvements to all aspects of our operations. If you have ideas or other suggestions, we would love to hear from you.

Lake of the Woods Resort has been undertaking a long-term plan process for the past few years.  The process started with the preparation of the Master Development Plan (MDP).  The Master Development Plan sets forth a general vision and list of potential projects for the Lake of the Woods Resort.  Once completed the MDP is used as a road map for further planning and refinement of projects.

The MDP identified the need for a Capacity and Needs Analysis (CANA) for the greater Lake of the Woods and Four Mile Lake recreation areas.  These areas are managed as a whole by the Forest Service and offer a wide variety and different styles of recreational experiences.  The CANA is a planning document which identifies the needs and capacity of the recreation area.  The planning effort takes into account visitor experience as well as physical infrastructure.

The CANA was used to refine the projects listed in the MDP.  If the CANA supported the need for these projects, then the projects are moving forward in the planning process.  If the CANA did not support the need for a specific project, the project will not move forward in the planning process.

The next step of the planning process is the review of the projects for environmental affects as defined by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The NEPA review process includes public comment.  The projects will undergo review for environmental affects on resources including but not limited to special status plants, special status wildlife and fish, water quality, soil erosion, floodplains, wetlands, and cultural resources.  If the project is determined to have less than significant impacts or the impacts can be mitigated, then the project will move forward to the implementation phase.  If the project has significant, unavoidable impacts which cannot be mitigated, then the project will not move forward to implementation.

The implementation phase often includes engineering design and construction or remodeling.

Lake of the Woods Resort is at the NEPA review phase of the planning effort.  The following projects are being considered under NEPA review:

1 & 2.Roads and transportation

The CANA clearly identified the need to improve parking, access and egress to the Resort area.  Many visitors commented on the traffic congestion and roadside parking.  The CANA supported developing additional designated parking and closing the Forest Service roads to roadside parking.

In the Resort area 20 parking spaces would be officially designated for parking.  Many of the spaces are unofficial parking at this time.  In Rainbow Bay 80 parking spaces would be developed along the northern side of the access road (112 Spur Road), across the road from the existing parking.

Access and egress would be improved by addressing traffic flow through the Resort and Rainbow Bay Day Use areas.  The improvement in traffic flow will also resolve egress and emergency vehicle access during emergencies.  The 110 Spur Road would be widened to include a third paved lane. The existing lanes would provide bidirectional traffic, with the third lane allowing for vehicles to wait for check in at the kiosk.  Additionally, the 112 Spur Road which currently dead ends at the Rainbow Bay Day Use area would be extended to Dead Indian Memorial Road to provide an additional paved, one-way exit.  The 112 Spur Road historically extended to Dead Indian Memorial Road and was closed in the past.  The extension would be a reopening of the old road.

Discussions have also started with Klamath County regarding the roadside parking on Dead Indian Memorial Road.

  • 3. Staff Housing

The campground to the east of the Work Center would be reopened and provide 10 RV sites for staff housing.  Currently, there is temporary staff housing at the Work Center.  The 10 RV sites would replace the temporary staff housing and provide better accommodations.

 

  1. Electricity in Aspen Campground

The CANA identified the need for additional RV sites, as visitors expressed they were using placing RVs in tent sites and running generators for electricity.  The addition of electricity service to 20 existing tent sites in Aspen Campground would allow for the RVs to use the sites without running noisy generators, thereby decreasing noise pollution.

 

  1. ADA Fishing and Non-Motorized Dock

ADA fishing and non-motorized dock is proposed in Rainbow Bay Day Use area to the east of the existing boat ramp.  By providing a non-motorized dock, visitors can safely launch kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft without the congestion of the motorized boats.  Separating motorized and non-motorized boats will improve safety for visitors.

  1. Renovate Existing Dock at Resort

The existing Marina docks will be reconstructed using newer construction techniques for a more stable and sturdy dock system.  The renovation will also allow for 6 more temporary tie up spaces or transient tie up spaces, to accommodate visitors at the Resort who are there for a short duration to use the lodge or store amenities.

  1. Septic System and Park Model Cabins in Resort

Septic collection and treatment will be developed for the existing RV sites at the Resort.  This will allow for placement of 10 additional Park Model Cabins.  In the CANA, many visitors expressed their desire to stay in cabins as they did not have RVs.  As the cabins were full, the visitors were at the Resort for the day instead of overnight.  The additional Park Model Cabins will address the need for additional cabin rental opportunities for visitors.

  1. RV Park

The construction of an RV park is proposed adjacent to Resort and Rainbow Bay Day Use areas to include staff housing and additional RV sites for visitors.  The RV-park would have a similar look to the cabin/RV area at the Resort.  The sites would be interspersed in the trees.  These sites would be configured around a group area that would be reservable up to a year in advance to accommodate larger groups who want to camp and hold small events at the Resort area. The Resort hosts many family reunions and weddings each year.  Additional RV sites would accommodate the group events and need for additional RV camping.

  1. Reconstruction of the Marina Building

The Marina Building will be reconstructed and reconfigured to be one larger building and remove associated smaller out-buildings.  This will allow for less visual congestion at the Marina.

After some tense relations with the Forest Service, Lake of the Woods Resort and the Forest Service are working together with a never seen before spirit of cooperation and advocation for improvements to the recreation area. We are moving forward with some well thought out and planned for improvements to facilities here at the Lake to improve the experience for everyone.

George Gregory