The U.S. Forest Service says a new sno-park west of Bend should be open to visitors by next winter. The announcement comes roughly a week after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the project.
The Kapka Butte Sno-Park will be built near the Cascades Lakes National Scenic Byway, just miles from the Mt. Bachelor ski area.
The site’s high elevation is expected to be a draw for visitors who are looking for more snow, later into the season.
Bend/Fort Rock District Ranger Kevin Larkin says the site will have about 70 parking spaces. That should help ease parking issues at nearby Dutchman Flat Sno-Park, which has about a third of that.
“What we’re attempting to do here is to spread the use a little bit to disperse folks out so that they’re not so congested, so concentrated into one place,” said Larkin.
But Scott Silver predicts increased conflict between snowmobilers and backcountry users. He’s the head of Wild Wilderness, one of the groups that brought the lawsuit. He says he’s reviewing the judge’s decision as he weighs a possible appeal.