Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

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Splintercat
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Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by Splintercat » March 17th, 2012, 9:36 pm

On Friday morning I had the opportunity to make another pitch for restoring Warren Falls to the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee -- the citizen oversight committee guiding the project to restore the old highway as a trail. I had a full half-hour on the agenda, and while I'm still in an uphill battle on this project, I did make a bigger dent this time around than in my first presentation. It's really just a matter of money, and I encouraged the committee to challenge their staff to bring back some hard numbers on what it would take to incorporate the restoration with the larger trail project when they'll have a lot of heavy equipment on site. More to come on that front, hopefully.

So, it was fitting that Warren Falls made one of her rare appearances on Friday, as well. I had planned to hike the loop to do a bit more trail clearing (still lots of downfall to navigate in the area of Cabin Creek), and made a quick trip over to Warren when I saw how high the water levels were. Sure enough, Warren was topping the diversion dam and sending as much water as I've seen over Warren Falls. Always quite a sight, though hard to fathom just what a spectacle the full force of the creek would make coming off that 110-foot escarpment!

Here's a little video documenting it all:



...and if you listen closely at 0:50, you'll hear a CRACK! in the background, and that's why that clip ends with a jerk. As I was filming a sizable rock came rolling off the diversion rack and landed a good 15 feet beyond the splash pool of the falls... just as it was designed to do! But a little scary, considering the times in the past that I'd spent taking photos of the falls up close (not to mention an OPB crew in January), forgetting that the diversion system is specifically designed to roll rocks and logs over this cliff..! Yikes! I'll be keeping a better distance from this point forward when the water levels are high...!

:o :shock: :lol:

Thank you, Scott Cook, for being at the meeting -- nice to have a friendly voice in the audience! Much more sympathy for the cause this time, however... and the expected voices of dissent, of course. I'll keep plugging away at this...

-Tom :)

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Re: Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by justpeachy » March 18th, 2012, 7:29 am

Cool! Neat to see the old falls flowing a little bit. And thanks for keeping us posted on the restoration efforts. I hope all your hard work pays off!

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CuriousGorgeGuide
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Re: Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by CuriousGorgeGuide » March 18th, 2012, 8:22 pm

Tom, thanks for making such a great presentation about Warren Falls to the committee. I felt that at least some of them were VERY impressed! And now you have another weapon in your arsenal to get the grating removed--ha, it is a hazard to those curious about it!!!
I chatted with Wayne and Bill about it a bit in the parking lot afterwards...and i got the feeling that they feel they have "stretched" the funding they received for that portion of the trail a bit too much already. Wayne implied that Gov Kitzhaber had intervened to steer a bit of the $$ away from the Starve Falls parking lot towards extending the actual trail. I got the feeling they wouldn't want to "mess with" the bonus trail mileage they negotiated...and risk souring the goodwill and rapport they established with Kitzhaber. Just my opinions and feelings.
Maybe it'll be wise to position Warren's revival onto the next trail link...the Hole-in-the-wall to Lindsey Creek portion....and try to get the committee excited about Warren's revival before all the future $$ is allocated to the Lindsey Creek link-up trail work. Just a thought...and I KNOW that your thoughts are much better thought-thru than mine!
Hey, Wayne actually encouraged me to personally re-flow Warren Falls in my own guerilla way--HA!
Hope you have a great time leading a hike out there for Friends of the Gorge next week....sorry I can't be there. cheers, scott

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ErinL
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Re: Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by ErinL » March 18th, 2012, 8:57 pm

Thanks for posting. I am loving the installments of the Warren Falls resuscitation. Thank you for keeping us updated.

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BrianEdwards
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Re: Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by BrianEdwards » March 18th, 2012, 9:48 pm

That's the most water I've seen yet coming over that cliff, nice! Keep up the good work Tom
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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Splintercat
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Re: Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by Splintercat » March 19th, 2012, 6:44 pm

Thanks for well-wishes, all, and thanks for the deep background, Scott -- I'm trying not to wear out my welcome with Wayne... until I've worn out my welcome, anyway... :lol: Good thoughts on tying it to the next phase, but I've got a checklist that I'm working through in my peaceful guerilla tactics, so a few more steps before I concede to that...

Say, I'll bet you could talk Brian Edwards into helping roll a tarp over that grate for a temporary "rebirth". I'm chicken... but I'd be happy to document with video & pics from below, of course..!

-Tom :)

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Re: Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by BrianEdwards » March 19th, 2012, 11:21 pm

I was thinking that in August or September, I should pack some 20"W rolls of sheet metal up to the grate and spread em out over it. Get 'em fastened on securely, and then let the water hold it down. It'd take a few trips or a few friends to do it. I think valley metal for roofing will do the trick. Then come winter, Warren falls ought'a be back to its old glory.

Don't give me any ideas or further motivation! :lol:
(hopefully nobody thought that I'd ACTUALLY do this...)
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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Splintercat
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Re: Warren Falls Lives (Again)!

Post by Splintercat » March 20th, 2012, 6:47 am

We've got your back, Brian... nobody here has heard or read ANYTHING about your secret plan..! :lol:

Okay, so to keep interested folks up to speed on what's happening with Warren Falls, I've started a Facebook page, located here:

https://www.facebook.com/RestoreWarrenFalls

...and also this Portland Hikers thread.

The more friends that Warren Falls has, the better the chances of making something happen -- so please visit the Facebook page!

I'll update both tonight, as I did get an update from chair of the highway advisory committee last night. Mixed news, but generally good!

-Tom :)

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