News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

ODOT has plans for cinder pit

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to store highway maintenance materials at Zimmerman Cinder Pit, which is a popular recreational shooting area west of Sisters.

The Sisters Ranger District is inviting citizens to review and comment on the Zimmerman Cinder Pit Storage project proposal. Information on how to provide comments and a map of the proposal is available at

The Zimmerman Cinder Pit is under contract with ODOT. The site has been used as a material source for road building and maintenance material since the 1950s. More recently the Sisters Ranger District has authorized ODOT’s continued use of the site to produce winter traction aggregate — the red cinders that are spread on Sisters’ roadways.

Deschutes County Road Department and permitted private users have removed cinders at this site for local road improvements and winter traction, as well as landscape and driveway aggregate for many years.

The current project proposal is for ODOT to store various highway maintenance-related materials within the designated project site. Asphalt concrete grindings as well as soil and rock materials would be temporarily stockpiled at the site. No structures would be constructed, however a loading ramp may need to be located on site. Some areas used would be fenced to protect the stockpile against unauthorized removal of commercially valuable aggregate.

Placement of the storage piles of construction aggregate and ditch-and-slide material would be located to minimize effects to vehicle traffic and other uses such as recreational shooting in Zimmerman Pit, while still allowing for efficient operation within the site. The map for the proposal shows that what shooters know as the “lower pit” would be used for materials storage and fenced off.

No changes would occur to the current use and management of the main cinder pit.

Submit comments by email to comments-pacific

[email protected] Put the name of the project in the subject line of the email.

Comments must be submitted as part of an actual email message, or as an attachment in Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf), or portable document format (pdf) only.

Comments submitted to any email address other than the one listed above, in any other format, or that contain viruses will be rejected.

All comments should be received by October 1.

Comments may be submitted by post mail to Ian Reid, District Ranger, Sisters Ranger District, PO Box 249, Sisters, OR 97759.

Hand-delivered comments may be delivered to the same address during normal business hours: 8 a.m.

to 4:30 p.m.

Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

For more information contact Special Uses Permit Administrator Sommer Moyer by email at [email protected]


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