Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, June 09, 2021, Page 5, Image 5

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    Appeal Tribune
| WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2021 | 1B
Use hidden points to
float North Santiam
Zach Urness
Salem Statesman Journal
ared Linkhart wasn’t sure what to expect when he returned to the North Santiam River with his family to raft the
stream’s iconic rapids last weekend. h It’s been nine months since the Beachie Creek Fire burned down the
Santiam, and many of the communities along the river remain impacted while parks that access the stream
remain closed. h “There were parts of the float that were heartbreaking, but it definitely still felt like the Santiam,”
said Linkhart, who lives in Dundee and has been floating the river east of Salem for over 20 years. “The people who were
out along the river were very friendly and waved just like they would have a year ago. That made us feel welcome to be back
here.” h As rafters, anglers and floaters return to the North Santiam’s so-called “whitewater section,” they’ll find a stream
that’s recovering nicely after the fires, with more green than expected, plenty of fish to be caught and the sight of many
homes being rebuilt along the river’s edges. But floating the river also presents a unique set of logistical issues this
summer. h The two most frequently used boat ramps — Packsaddle County Park and Fishermen’s Bend Recreation Site —
remain closed with no timetable for reopening. The two parks acted as gateways for the North Santiam’s upper and lower
whitewater sections that center on Mill City.
See FLOAT, Page 2B
ABOVE: Views of the North Santiam River include some burned forest along with more green than might be expected. This view is just below DeWit Falls. ZACH URNESS