Expand Dutchman Snow Park

Bend, Oregon

Update 9-25-2012

Well the Forest Service has come up with the decision on the Kapka Snopark, that there is

A Finding of NO Significant Impact

What this means that we have 45 days to appeal their decision, from about Sept. 15th or Kapka will be built.

After that they plan to waste our money on a snopark that the majority does not want!

The Forest Service choose to count all 1,000 of our petition signers, that wanted a Expanded Dutchman snopark as only one voice or vote!

Below is the link to the Forest Service Kapka area.


Please send a email to Kevin Larkin our new District Ranger about what you think.



As you can see not much has changed!

Kapka Butte Update;

This is the link to the Federal Resister which gives the most current information regarding Kapka and the new situation that is developing. We are in contact and are providing information to David K.Kennedy, Environmental Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration, regarding information pertaining to the proposed Kapka Butte sno-park project.

(reference only)

The Federal Highway Administration is issuing this notice to advise the public that the FHWA is officially designated as the Joint-Lead Agency pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 139(c)(1) for the Kapka Butte Sno-Park Construction project which is being studied in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

According to the Federal Highway Administration there are no further funds available at this time for the Kapka Butte Sno-Park project. Now this doesn't mean that the Forest Service will not come up with another source of funding. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are also apparently not aware that the proposed project has doubled in size due to the addition of a “Dog Park” on the west side of the highway. Our personal estimates of total project costs looks to be around 2 million dollars. Now with all due respect to all parties we are hoping to bring all the information we have collected on Kapka since 2004 and make it available to the FHWA. It already seems that some of the critical information my have been overlooked. FHWA was not aware that we collected close to 1000 signatures against the project. The Forest Service (as of the last TUG meeting in March 2012) has decided that they will only count the 1000 as (just a few) because they all came in from the same source. The majority of signatures that were collected came from users at Dutchman and Wanoga sno-parks.

At this point we have decided not to try to get the Forest Service to listen. We will focus or attentions to David Kennedy and the FHWA in hopes they have a more realistic concept of listening to the public.

Our country is going broke at a very fast rate and we all must agree that this project will do nothing to resolve our local issues. We conclude that moving forward with Kapka would only be a waste of tax payer dollars. It will still leave the same problems at the top of the mountain at Dutchman sno-park and Tumalo mountain.

Just to restate the facts, Oregon State Snowmobile Association, agreed to give up Dutchman sno-park after Kapka sno-park was built. We are not positive what their stance is now and in fact it really doesn’t matter. An agreement letter was written by the Executive Director of OSSA and that is what the back-country skiers are sticking to. The skiers are not going to give up without a fight. This is just a stepping stone for the closure of Dutchman sno-park and Tumalo mountain in its entirety to motorized use. We have been fighting these issues for many years and we believe that the only way we can save Dutchman from the chopping block is the stop the entire project and reevaluate the proposal and start over from scratch.
For more information on the proposed closure.
http://www.bendbackcountry.blogspot.com/p/tumalo.html (reference only)

The FS keeps changing the rules and plans as they move forward. Sadly we are not moving in a direction that works to resolve any real issues. As a matter of fact there are fewer issues with the “real” local users than with the extremists who make all the racket. We have way too many user groups and not enough public land that is open for all. Wilderness is not public land in my opinion. This is another issue for another day.

We want to thank everyone who has stuck with us on this issue. Please feel free to contact David Kennedy. kapkasnopark@dot.gov He stated to us he would like to hear people’s opinions on this issue prior to the new DEIS coming out in June of this year (2012). Please remember he is the new guy so try to be kind so we can break him in slowly.

Our main goal is to STOP any further action on the Kapka Butte Sno-Park project until we can clear all the old issues and start with a clean slate. We must develop a project that will work for the “real” users of this area.

We can't stop the large extremist groups from putting pressure on our local officials. They always come at the Forest Service with hundreds of comments from people who live elsewhere and are only in favor of closing all the forest. It is time for the FS & FHWA to listen to the local users that are actually using the affected area.

Here are two web sites you may want to check out for background information.

http://www.wfl.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/or/kapka/ This rambles on about the same old “want and need” that was created by the FS. (reference only)

This is the FS newest site. (reference only)

Make it clear we do not want Kapka Butte Sno-Park.

Thank You again

Dutchman@4Bend.com / http://www.expanddutchman.com/




The comment period for the Kapka snow park DEIS is closed.

The Forest Service received 1,837 pages of comments. At first look it seems like only about 15% want Kapka. We are just now starting the review of all comments.

See update #4 below for the comment files.

Many people feel that Dutchman Snow Park should be expanded before the new Kapka Snow Park is built, that is the mission of this site.

Please print out the PDF petition and have all your friends sign it, and return.


To sign our online petition go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/expanddutchman/

Read Luann Danforth's March 22 letter in the Bend Bulletin Luann Danforth.pdf

Read Rick Sironen's April 4 letter in the Bulletin Rick Sironen.pdf

Update #4

August 31, 2011

These are the comments received by the Forest Service on the Kapka DEIS



2011_07_25_No_Action_&_ Expand_Dutchman_Petitions.pdf







Update #3

April 6, 2011

EIS for Kapka is out!

Here is the link to it. http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/projects/units/bendrock/kapksno-elksnomo/KapkaButte_SnoPark_DEIS.pdf

The comment period does not start until April 15

The meeting with Susanna Julber of Merkleys office went good, more info to follow.

Nick Strader from Walden's office is working with us also.

Both people have a meeting with the Forest Service next week.


Update #2

March 25, 2011

The latest news is the EIS will be out sometime in April.

US Senator Ron Wyden will not support us at this time, so no need to support him!

We have a meeting next week with US Senator Jeff Merkleys staff in Bend and will report back.

Update #1

March 7, 2011

 The EIS for Kapka is still in limbo land and they say it will be out for review in late March of this year, we will see. 

                       It has grown now to over 300 pages!......it's a job creation program!  The FS seems to have an abundance of cash to throw around and has many projects

in the works that we will all be paying for.  It's only money and they grow it in Washington DC. as we understand it.

 We had a meeting with Shane Jeffries and Amy Tinderholt with the FS and they gave us over an hour of their time.  We showed them our petitions and talked

about how we were going to be meeting with other political figures and basically anyone who will listen.  We discussed how Kapka would not solve the parking

issues and how the majority of user groups are not interested in the project.  We restated that we felt it is a waste of tax dollars and we need to build a park that

will serve ALL winter users.  They felt that we would get used to it and use it after it is built.  "They do not listen to well".  We talk about how this would effect Elk

Lake resort and their comment was Elk Lake will have to fix their own problems.  They said if ELR becomes a parking problem at Dutchman they will close the

gate on ELR parking at Dutchman altogether.  Is this not a great way to help small business, and promote tourism?


We also met with Greg Walden's office and they were very impressed with our petition drive.  They look at the (650) names as voters.  We should be hearing back from

them in a few more days.  We will see if they are talking straight or blowing smoke.  Greg has been very interested in the past and I suspect he will be a big help to us.


We are holding off on the news media for the time being due to a request by one of our big supporters.  OSSA is still pushing for Kapka and they do not seem to be

interested in any ideas that go a different direction.  


Please get the word out on the petition drive.  We can use all the signatures we can get.  The more the better.




Just a little history on the Snoparks.


In the beginning around 2004, the Forest Service had meetings for two days to brainstorm solutions for dealing with the growing winter crowds. A group of people worked hard to develop a plan for what they felt was best for snowmobiling at the time, creating a new Snopark. In 2006 the Forest Service come up with the plan to build the new Kapka Snopark and started the process to build it. The lack of funding for the studies, as well as controversy over the proposal brought things to a snail pace. It was soon discovered that the overwhelming majority of snowmobilers that looked at ALL the issues involved, felt it was best to go another direction. This opinion was ignored and the idea of the new Kapka Snopark was to proceed. In 2008 the Forest Service decided again to go ahead with the new Kapka Snopark. Many users at this time felt that Dutchman Snopark should be expanded, and not build a new Snopark. A small group of backcountry skiers were pushing for Kapka and the closing of Dutchman to all motorized users. This group talks of conflict with motorized users, which they define as being able to see a motorized user, or see evidence that a motorized user had been there at any time, yet a commercial activity is just across the street.

We feel that Dutchman Snopark needs to be expanded for All users. The building of Kapka is a waste of public funds. This is a project that almost no one wants. To date we have almost 800 signatures from all outdoor users, motorized and nonmotorized on a petition to expand Dutchman, before anything is done on Kapka. We have had meetings with the Forest Service and their opinion is that Kapka will get built and we will learn to love it.

Some of the groups that have said that Kapka will not benefit them are: The dog people, 4 wheelers, snowmobilers, backcountry skiers, and the list goes on.

The best use of public funds is to expand Dutchman for ALL users, Kapka is a waste of our money.


Here are some of the talking points

1.     We believe Dutchman Snow park needs to be expanded for ALL users before Kapka is built.

2.     Expansion of Dutchman will serve the most users.

3.     Dutchman is a HUB area already and will best serve to disperse all users into the direction they want to go.

4.     Access to the high country has to go through “Lambert Crossing” which has a southern exposure that turns to dirt early and late in the season or on low snow years, which will make Kapka unusable.

5.     Expand Dutchman will be the best use of public funds for all.

6.     We have gathered hundreds of signatures showing support for this drive.

7.     Almost 50% of the signatures are from nonmotorized users.

8.     We have seen quite an increase in backcountry users, in the last five years, using snowmobiles to get to the backcountry. Dutchman will serve this group better.

9.      We have the backing of SAWS (Snowmobile Alliance of Western States), Elk Lake resort, and many other local businesses.

10.  You only need to look at the current parking problems at Dutchman to see the overcrowding. Kapka will not solve this problem, people want access to the high country.

11.  The Forest Service also said that they are looking at expanding Dutchman in some form that would not include an EIS.  This is new to us, and where would the money come from? Again, the Kapka money would be better spent on a Dutchman Expansion for all users.

12.  Expansion of Dutchman parking will allow more users to enjoy Elk Lake Resort. Elk Lake Resort is the reason many people come to Central Oregon in the winter to enjoy the outdoors. This in turn will increase revenue for the resort, which will in turn bring more money in to the Forest Service. Remember we are trying to help small businesses not kill them.

13.   Kapka will be only be used in the winter, but an expanded Dutchman could be in use all year round by many.


 Bend Continually advertises itself as a winter paradise in its tourism promotions; yet high country access is severely limited because of the small size of Dutchman Snopark.


Below are some of the comments we have received;

 •Building an additional snowpark at the Sunriver Jct will do nothing to fix the problem at Dutchman. Dutchman is already there and is all set for the expansion. There is plenty of room in both directions and there are even possibilities to have a portion of the lot for non-motorized use. Expanding Dutchman is the way to go!

•As an avid snowshoer and a novice cross country skier I believe that Dutchman Flat should be enlarged to accommodate all users prior to creating and wasting money on a new snow park.

•Expanding Dutchman is the most economical and logical spending of limited funding. All winter sports users use Dutchman and they all benefit once there is enough parking to accommodate everyone.

•I have been using Dutchman for the past 10 years. Great multi-use access point. It has been a long time (years) since I have been there when parking was not nearly full, full or (more likely) over-full.

•Kapka is a waste of money. Dutchman is where the demand is so why not expand it. It is in a perfect location for an easy expansion project.

•Please consider expanding Dutchman snopark. It is a great location for multipurpose winter use. We try to come to the area but the lot is always full. It is so small that it is hard for anymore than a couple dozen cars. We enjoy walking to Elk Lake for a meal but are rarely possible due to parking restraints. Thank you for your consideration. Tim

•I'd like the Forest service to stop listening to environmental bully's (Anti-access groups) and do what’s right, Expand Dutchman so more people can enjoy the outdoors however they choose to do so. More room=less problems, I wish forest managers would stop funneling the public into smaller and smaller areas then have a knee jerk reaction when the complaints start.


To read more comments go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/expanddutchman/ and click on signatures.


Kapka was born years ago, along with Ryan Ranch and other projects when no one questioned spending. You can see where this spending has taken us now.  The Forest Service needs to stop this wasteful spending.

Dutchman Snopark is still stuck in the 70”s when Elk Lake Resort and the local snowmobile club built Dutchman Snopark to access the resort. With 40 years of growth, you’d think we’d have an expansion like what Mt. Bachelor did to meet the needs of our tourism industry.


The Environmental Impact Statement on Kapka is due out at the end of March. At that time we will need your comments to stop this wasteful project, and direct their efforts to expand Dutchman Snopark.



Questions or ideas ExpandDutchman@bendbroadband.com

Fax 541-550-2241

Thanks for your Help!

updated 4-6-2011