The granddaughter to tire magnate Les Schwab has rankled some hunters in Eastern Oregon by the proposed closure of a road leading to popular hunting grounds.

Julie Waibel, a granddaughter to Les Schwab, filed a petition to close a road on her family’s famed Les Schwab Ranch in Post, Oregon located outside Prineville. The road has been a favored access point for hunters to the North Fork Crooked Wild and Scenic River area for decades.

The area is one of the most popular for hunting deer, elk, antelope, turkeys and ruffed grouse, Gary Lewis, Eastern Oregon representative for the Oregon Hunters Association told The Bend Bulletin. 

“The Ochocos is some of the best elk habitat in the west,” Lewis said. “Elk are a big deal; a person who goes out on an elk hunt will spend between $5,000 and $25,000 to get a trophy elk.”

Besides hunting groups who will oppose the closure, a spokeswoman for Bureau of Land Management said the agency too would seek to have the road remained open. Lisa Clark told The Bulletin, they were continuing to do their homework leading up to a hearing on May 15.

“We are still continuing to do research on our part, and we’re hoping to see records from archives to see that they show something different,” Clark said Friday, estimating the files will arrive this week.

Waibel reportedly sought to have the road closed more than a year ago, which was denied because of BLM right-of-way. It wasn’t until she apparently found new records that indicated BLM did not have right-of-way to the entire gravel road that a new petition was filed.

The patriarch of the family, Les Schwab, died in 2007 at the age of 89. He started Les Schwab Tire Centers at age 27 and later grew the company to 410 stores with more than $1 billion in sales annually, according to the Oregonian Newspaper.

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