GOOD NEWS FROM NATIONAL FORESTS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST: “WE HAVE A NEW LONG DISTANCE BACKPACKING ROUTE”

SISKIYOU MOUNTAIN CLUB
11 OCTOBER 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: GABRIEL HOWE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
541-708-2056
gabe@siskiyoumountainclub.org

GREAT NEWS FROM NATIONAL FORESTS IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST: “WE HAVE A NEW LONG DISTANCE BACKPACKING ROUTE”

06 OCTOBER 2017 | GRANTS PASS, ORE. — From the remote reaches of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, to a popular section of the Pacific Crest Trail, Siskiyou Mountain Club’s 2017 volunteers, interns, and staff restored about 30 miles of lost trails, and maintained another 90 of the 200+ miles we steward throughout Southwest Oregon and Northwest California.

Readers can learn more about the trail routes, discover new hiking and backpacking options, and get more involved at www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/2017report/, email info@siskiyoumountainclub.org, or call 541-708-2056.

Crew leader Valentin Chavez had a golden spike moment, late summer in the Sky Lakes Wilderness while on the Pacific Crest Trail. His crew worked up to volunteers from the High Desert Trail Riders chapter of Backcountry Horsemen, Pacific Crest Trail Association, and staff on the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Fremont-Winema National Forests.

Intern Rebecca Weber was there with Chavez. She’d been working with him all season, and has a bone to pick with her summer boss. She says that each evening Chavez would set the next day’s goal with a piece of flagging, and describe the place to reach in detail.

“But we kept reaching the exact place Chavez had described, only to see no tape,” Weber goes on. “Seven days into a 10 day project, our crew member Karly White witnessed him stealthily taking down the tape, hiding it, and tying it a few hundred feet up the trail.”

The news spread throughout Weber’s crew, but no one begrudged Chavez’s tactics, Weber explains. “And sure enough, we finished the project,” cleared thousands of downed logs, and opened up a new 26-27 mile loop in the Sky Lakes Wilderness.

It also “resulted in five to seven miles of Pacific Crest Trail that are more easily accessed, easier to find and follow,” adds Julie Martin, Recreation Program Manager for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Jeff Ellison is Recreation Officer for the Klamath National Forest’s Happy Camp District. He coordinated with Siskiyou Mountain Club and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest to restore a section of the Boundary National Recreation Trail 5240, which brought another golden spike moment.

“The project provided an opportunity to revive a beautiful loop and to get trails cleared that hadn’t been in years,” Ellison writes. His crew and Siskiyou Mountain Club’s were on either side of the trail, working toward each other, culminating in a “great moment that bodes well for our future and the future of trails on our public lands,” Ellison continues. “The two crews met, shared stories, gave high fives, and discussed future projects.”

The project, also supported by Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, connected a labyrinth of trails that originate from rural communities in the Williams, Applegate, Illinois, and Klamath Valleys to the Pacific Crest Trail.

“Someone could hike from the Oregon Caves to Ashland,” says Chavez. That would be approximately 75 miles. “Or Canada, or Mexico,” he speculates. “We have a new long distance backpacking route in Southwest Oregon.”

Read the whole report and see pictures at www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/2017report. ###

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