Byway hits milestone: celebration of Volcanic Legacy All American Road planned for Thursday – October 12, 2004

Byway hits milestone: celebration of Volcanic Legacy All American Road planned for Thursday

Herald and News

Klamath Falls, Oregon
October 12, 2004

A scenic byway that traverses the volcano-studded landscape of Southern Oregon and Northern California will be celebrated Thursday in Mt. Shasta City.
The federally designated Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway traces a 500-mile route from Crater Lake National Park through Klamath County and southward to Lassen Volcanic National Park.

This week, representatives from seven counties and 38 government agencies, federally recognized tribes and non-profit organizations will meet to sign of memorandum of understanding that will set the framework for promoting the byway.
“I think it’s really a milestone,” said Jim Vancura, coordinator for the Ore-Cal Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council based in Dorris.

Vancura, a leading promoter of efforts to have a 360-mile-long segment of California roads added to the All America Road that was created in Oregon in 1998, says the memo will provide a way for a group to promote and market the byway.

“It’s a tool,” he said of the All America Road designation. “But if you don’t use that tool, it’s not going to work for you.”

Based on a study by Regional Economic Models Inc. of New York, if the road is appropriately promoted, the designation could increase the region’s economic output by $79 million and create 1,232 jobs. The study says the designation should increase travel along the 500-mile route, which should especially benefit rural communities.

The Oregon section begins at Crater Lake and continues to Fort Klamath, Rocky Point, the Running Y Ranch Resort, Klamath Falls and Midland. The California portion begins along Highway 97 at the Oregon-California state line and continues through Dorris, Macdoel, Weed, Mt. Shasta City, McCloud, Burney, Hat Creek, Susanville, Westwood and Chester.
“The signing of this memorandum by all of these diverse partners is an outstanding example of cooperation,” said John Halligan, an Ore-Cal RC&D representative. “It is the first step to achieving the economic benefits promised by designation of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway as an All America Road.”

The Ore-Cal RC&D, Fremont-Winema National Forests, Lassen National Forest and the Volcanic Legacy Community Partnership put together the memo, which Vancura said creates a process to plan and develop the byway.

Vancura said grant applications have been made for $1.2 million for infrastructure improvements along the route, including identification and directional signs, kiosks and interpretive displays. A $60,000 grant has been received to place signs in California. The California Department of Transportation is working on design. Placement is expected in early 2005.
“The marketing and interpretative strategies will bring new people to this area of the world, and that’s where the economic impact will come from,” said Vancura.

Thursday’s signing ceremonies will be from noon to 2 p.m. in Mt. Shasta City at the former Roseburg timber mill site, the future location of a proposed $10 million Volcanic Legacy Discovery Center that will feature a regional natural history museum and provide information on regional recreational opportunities.
The event is open to the public but reservations should be made by immediately contacting the Ore-Cal RC&D office at (530) 397-7463.

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