First quarter 2016 busy, trails maintained

Siskiyou Mountain Club volunteers busy through 2016’s first quarter: 568 Hours

for the Siskiyou Hiker

30 March 2016 | ASHLAND, Ore. — Twenty Siskiyou Mountain Club volunteers have put in over 568 hours cumulatively in 2016. And we’re just breaking through the year’s first quarter.

Volunteers have been busy on several trails. They are slowly creeping through the Butte-Fork Applegate Trail, Red Buttes Wilderness. A strong crew maintained the Illinois River Trail into Pine Flat, Kalmiopsis Wilderness. And last week a group of Southern Oregon University spring breakers broke through a section of the Rogue River National Recreation Trail 1160 from Marial to Clay Hill.

“We’re going to be working at some higher elevations than usual, so we’ve got to prepare for that.”

“We’re sweeping through the rest of Rogue River Trail and the Wild Rogue Loop next week,” SMC executive director Gabriel Howe mentions. Howe says the Club aims to get general maintenance out of the way as early as possible, “so when hiking season starts, the trails in our portfolio are logged out, brushed, and ready for hikers.”

Trail users can check out the SMC maintenance log at www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/trails. The maintenance log includes trail names and specific sections, and when those trail sections were most recently maintained by Siskiyou Mountain Club.

Stacks of winter storms have battered the west coast, with record rainfall and serious wind events. “This will be especially apparent in fire areas,” says Howe. “It’s going to be a mess.”

The Club is looking forward to breaking new ground on a number of projects in 2016. “We’re not ready to announce new projects yet,” Howe remarks. “We’re still planning. We’re going to be working at some higher elevations than usual, so we’ve got to prepare for that.”

He says it would be easy to fall into a pattern of restoring trails and letting their maintenance slip. “We won’t start a maintenance backlog of our own. We have to maintain the trails we’ve already opened.”

Go to www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/calendar/ for future trip details and to sign up. ###

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