Andrew Cutler

Road work on Mt. Emily could cause some problems for huckleberry pickers.

The U.S. Forest Service is starting work Friday on a 6.2-mile stretch of Forest Service Road 3120 above the Mt. Emily Recreational Area north of La Grande, a popular area for huckleberry pickers.

“We realize that it’s peak huckleberry season on Mt. Emily, a favorite location to pick, but this was the only time that fit our contractor’s summer schedule and the work has been needed for some time,” Chris Bentley, the acting public information officer for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, said. “Expect working equipment along the roadway and use extra caution when driving in the area.”

Bentley said the work includes heavy roadside brushing, ditch cleaning, culvert cleanouts and adding 1,000 cubic yards of spot rocking to the road surface. The work, which is being done by Graven Enterprises, of Halfway, will finish with watering, blading and rolling the road surface.

“We’re primarily doing some major maintenance. Those culverts and ditches tend to get weed infested and they don’t serve their purpose anymore, so we are clearing those out.” he said. “(The work) will make the driving experience safer and more comfortable for motorists.”

For the complete story, see the July 21 edition of The Observer.