Burn… (Opening) – Michael Boonstra
History of Fall Creek
The area that currently goes by the name of Fall Creek has been inhabited for over 6,000 years. It is the land of the Winefelly band of the Kalapuya and was a seasonal home for hunting and gathering. Most of the archeological evidence in this area was destroyed by looters in the 1950’s while logging in the area was at its peak and plans for the Fall Creek Dam were beginning to take shape. Some of these artifacts were located at the Slick Creek Cave, close to the Clark Creek campsite.
The Fall Creek Dam was constructed in 1966 at a cost of 22 million dollars. During the winter when the water levels are low in the reservoir the stumps of the former forest are still visible, as well as the old road and Fall Creek itself.
In the 1990’s the Clark lumber sale was stopped by public protest and direct-action tree-sitting.
In 2003 the Clark Fire burned approximately 5,000 acres in Fall Creek. The fire site begins just a few hundred yards down the road from the Clark Creek campsite. A significant portion of the fire was a high to severe category resulting in over 60 percent of the trees being killed. The majority of the trees were 100 to 150 years old but along Fall Creek itself there were significant stands of 250 to 400-year-old trees that were destroyed by the Clark Fire. The area was left to recover on its own due to pubic pressure that it not be logged.
The Jones Fire burned over 10,000 acres in 2017 in the same area. Some of the Clark Fire site was reburned at that time. Within a mile of the Clark Creek campsite you can see where these two fires overlapped albeit 15 years apart.
The last 15 years have seen a massive increase in visitors leaving trash along Fall Creek. The Forest Service is currently considering prohibition of overnight camping at any undeveloped sites.
Clark Creek Organization Camp is a historic group campground constructed during the 1930s by the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service. Organization camps were created for the purpose of hosting group recreational activities on public lands.