SISKIYOU MOUNTAIN CLUB CREW RESTORES 42-MILE BACKPACKING OPPORTUNITY IN SOUTHWEST OREGON WILDERNESS

SISKIYOU MOUNTAIN CLUB CREW RESTORES 42-MILE BACKPACKING OPPORTUNITY IN SOUTHWEST OREGON WILDERNESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


SISKIYOU MOUNTAIN CLUB CREW RESTORES 42 MILE BACKPACKING OPPORTUNITY IN SOUTHWEST OREGON WILDERNESS

Contact: Gabriel Howe, Executive Director
Tel: 541-708-2056
Email: gabe@siskiyoumountainclub.org

13 JULY 2015 | Selma, OR — A crew of seven college interns and two crew leaders have completed restoration of a 42-mile backpacking route through the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis wilderness area. This is the first time the route is passale since the 2002 Biscuit Fire began wreaking torment on the area’s 153-mile trail system.

Last year SMC crews completed restoration of a 26-mile route through the Kalmiopsis.

“All we had to do was restore one more long trail section to tie in a loop” says Gabe Howe, executive director for the SMC, a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Ashland, OR. “We had help from the Northwest Youth Corps,” says Howe. They worked on about eight miles of the route last summer, according to him.

The route descends into the rugged Chetco River canyon, traverses five Kalmiopsis leachiana botanical areas, two high country lakes, and also runs along the rugged ridge system dividing the Smith River and Chetco River watersheds.

The entire 42 mile loop uses sections of nine Forest Service trails: Babyfoot Lake Trail 1124A, Babyfoot Rim Trail 1126, Kalmiopsis Rim Trail 1124, Emily Cabin Trail 1129, Emily Cabin Trail 1129, Bailey Cabin Trail 1131, Bailey Mountain Trail 1109, Upper Chetco Trail 1102, Johnson Butte Trail 1110 and Chetco Divide Trail 1210.

The project was funded by a three year US Forest Service grant that the Club used to buoy outside grants and resources. Junctions are not all signed, and the route has long, steep sections with an arduous elevation profile. Users should use caution, be prepared for extreme weather, and plan for long stretches with no water.

SMC crews use old fashioned crosscut saws and other handtools to work in federal wilderness, where mechanized equipment is banned. College interns on the crew are paid a per-diem and awarded a scholarship at the end of their season.

Ongoing support for the project has also come from the Carpenter Foundation, Autzen Foundation, Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, Fourway Community Foundation, Mazamas, and 192 community members.

“It’s one of the best backpacks in southern Oregon now,” says Howe. “If you’re willing to take on a challenge. There’s nothing like it.”

Trail users can learn more about the Lilla and John Leach Memorial Route and find directions at www.siskiyoumountainclub.org

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