We very much appreciate the article in last week’s paper, “Scout leaders approve moving memorial bridge.” The Blue Mountain Council of Boy Scouts deserves a big “thank you” for making the bridge available for use on BC Creek.
I would like to correct some information and offer additional information. The David Wheeler Memorial bridge currently stands near the confluence of BC Creek and the Wallowa River. It will be moved uphill and west (not north), in order to cross BC Creek above the Boy Scout camp.
Financing for the project is fully secured. The total project cost is estimated to be $31,200 (not $82,380), which will be covered by a Travel Oregon grant for $19,200, plus $12,000 pledged by Wallowa Lake State Park.
Members of the Wallowa Mountains Hells Canyon Trails Association will provide volunteer labor to assist with the move. Although WMHCTA is indeed hoping to receive $11,000 in Title II funds, those funds would not be specifically designated for this project.
Using Air National Guard helicopters to move the bridge is only one of several possible methods under discussion. We have not yet contacted the Air National Guard to discuss this project.
Although the three Rotary clubs from Wallowa, Union, and Baker counties provided the bulk of funding and volunteers to build the bridge originally in 1996, it would be remiss to omit the 17 other Rotary clubs, four individuals, seven local businesses and the Blue Mountain Council of Boy Scouts, all of whom contributed time or money to the original project.
The association is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to maintain recreation trails and conserve heritage sites in Northeast Oregon. And we have a lot of fun doing it!