One of the most frequently asked questions the byway organization receives concerns the status of the Forest Service 39 Road, which links the north leg of the byway (Oregon Highway 82 from La Grande to Enterprise and Joseph) with the south leg of the byway (Oregon Highway 86 from Baker City to Halfway, Copperfiled/Oxbow and the Snake River). The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has a new website that is designed to be more user friendly and allows more frequent updating of information pertaining to the byway, the FS 39 Road and other activities of interest to forest users.
“We (the entire forest service) are in the process of updating the agency website and the Wallowa-Whitman “migrated” a couple months ago,” said Judy Wing, W-W Public Information Officer. “We have a new address www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman, but you are also automatically directed from the old site. We are encouraging folks to spend a little time and find where things are. On the front page, on the right is a link to current conditions and on the current conditions page is an update and link to a one-page FS Road 39 information sheet (it’s a pdf).
“We are updating the information whenever we hear of a change in how far you can get up the road, usually about once a week. The one page update has information about the planned paving project.” Byway travelers can check the update before traveling the byway for the latest in road conditions and the repair activities taking place at the site of the FS 39 washout in June 2010. Travel through the washout section on a gravel road will be possible around Memorial Day weekend or when the FS 39 is clear of snow and opened for the summer season. Paving of the section will take place this summer.