June Press Release

June Press Release

06 JUNE 2016

Contact: Gabriel Howe
130 A Street #2B, Ashland, OR 97520


06 June 2016 | ASHLAND, Ore. — Siskiyou Mountain Club’s 2016 trail crew will initiate new trail projects in the Red Buttes, Sky Lakes and Siskiyou wilderness areas this summer.

The projects are all long-term and will take multiple seasons, according to Siskiyou Mountain Club executive director Gabriel Howe. “We are turning the area into a regional hiking and backpacking destination,” he says. “SMC is like a spider spinning a web of backcountry trail networks.”

Howe’s interns will start with a trail in the Red Buttes that represents the first leg of a 28.5 mile backpacking route that ascends from the Butte Fork-Applegate River to Azalea Lake before traversing the high Siskiyous to the Oregon Caves Chateau, a full service hotel built by depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.

Field coordinator Aaron Babcock is excited about the 25 mile loop his crew will be opening up in the Sky Lakes Wilderness abuting Crater Lake National Park’s southern boundary. “We’ll be there late in the season,” says Babcock. “To avoid mosquitoes.”

“The crew could hear the howls of wolves,” ads Howe referring to wolf populations returning to the Sky Lakes.

2016 intern Paulla Pinheiro, a biology senior at Southern Oregon University, admits she’s nervous about the summer. “I grew up in the city,” she says. “It’s going to be a lot different.” Pinheiro and her peers receive a per-diem for their service and a scholarship for academic work they complete.

Community members can meet the 2016 trail crew and help support interns at the Club’s 2016 Meet the Trail Crew Barbecue Fundraiser on June 23 in Lithia Park, 4:30pm to 8:30pm. Activities include a friendly crosscut saw competition between the Club’s interns, staff and board members at 6pm. Get details at www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/rsvp.

Another project on the Club’s plate is revival of a 38 mile trail network in the Siskiyou wilderness of northern California. Del Norte County’s Resource Advisory Committee just advised over $10,000 in funds to the Club to restore another trail there that represents the southern arm of that stretch.

Each project will take 2-3 years in the long term, depending on what community funding surfaces. The Club still has over $10,000 to raise by June 23 to balance their 2016 scholarship fund and match Forest Service grant agreements that will expire this year.

The Club will be moving forward with major fiscal support from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, The Ford Family Foundation, Medford REI, and others.

For questions or to support the SMC, email info@siskiyoumountainclub.org or call 541-708-2056.###