June 2023 stewardship report, season update

Stewardship Update

photos by Field Manager Nick Hodges

In 13 years of operation, this June was our busiest to date. We onboarded 17 interns, putting our July head count at 27 staff and interns total. Below we have details on our June accomplishments, but first a big welcome Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Deputy Supervisor Dave Brillenz and Acting Supervisor Jake Winn! Also, a big thank you to the Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve for hosting our interns for a couple of cave tours!

Current field staffing
2 field managers
1 stewardship Coordinator
1 two crew leaders
5 assistant crew leaders
17 Corps interns

YTD Hours & Miles
Miles maintained: 74.45
Miles improved: 6
Field staff hours: 2,297
Volunteer and intern hours: 3,201

June Hours & Miles
Miles maintained: 17.75
Miles improved: 3.50
Field staff hours: 1,342
Volunteer and intern hours: 2,806

Quick side note: SMC now has a Forest Service saw program
We worked closely with the Region 6 Saw Coordinator Aaron Pedersen, Cascade Volunteers, and other partners to bring the final approval of our saw program. Look for community saw courses this fall! Big thanks to Pedersen, volunteer Beth Dayton, Wayne Chevalier, Angie Panter, and everyone else who provided support for this process!

June 2023 highlights
Landscape-scale accomplishments include restoring two loops. In the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, we did a heavy lift on the Florence Way 1219-A that opened up a ~26 mile loop and in the Red Buttes Wilderness, we restored the Fehley Gulch Trail that opened a 9-mile loop that would make a great first backpacking trip. All work was completed on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest’s Gold Beach, Wild Rivers, and Siskiyou Mountains Ranger Districts. The details (all links go to CalTopo maps of that trail/region):

June 3 – 9: Illinois River
Crew of 5 staff and 11 interns brushed Illinois River Trail from 091 Road Terminus to Bald Mountain, Florence Way Trail 1219-A from Bald Mountain to Pine Flat, and the Shorty Noble Way Trail 1185. They crosscut 110+ logs on the described route.

June 14 – 21: Chetco River
Crew of 11 interns and 6 staff completed clearing of thick brush walls growing on the Tincup Trail 1117 from its western terminus approximately 5 miles to the confluence of Boulder Creek. Emphasized aggressive clearing limits. They also crosscut approximately 52 logs.

June 16 – 17: Sweaty Gap
Crew of six volunteers logged out approximately 60 logs.

June 23: Kalmiopsis Rim
We partnered with Backcountry Hunters and Sportsmen to coordinate.8 volunteers who brushed Kalmiopsis Rim Trail north from the Babyfoot Lake Rim Junction. This trip was led by our board chair, Dave Brennan. Thanks to Wild River District Ranger Scott Blower for meeting up with the crew beforehand!

June 26 – July 3: West-end Red Buttes blitz
Crew of 17 Corps interns and 6 field staff did heavy improvement on all 1.5 miles of the Fehley Gulch Trail and 2 miles of the Sucker Creek Trail from Sucker Camp to its junction with the Boundary National Recreation Trail, and went on to do heavy work on four miles of the Boundary Trail from Sucker Gap to Green Valley. In total, they crosscut over 90 logs, many of them large-diameter. Heavy brushing and treading was also involved. Improving these gaps opened up an approximately nine-mile loop in this dreamy arm of the Red Buttes and improved access along the route from the Red Buttes to the Oregon Caves National Monument.

June 27 – 29: Kalmiopsis Rim
Crew of five volunteers and two staff members completed heavy brushing and some light treading on 2 miles of the Kalmiopsis Rim Trail 1124 from Onion Camp to just south of Eagle Gap. They also crosscut 6 logs.

Looking ahead
More work has commenced in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness with an emphasis on some of the area’s most fire-prone corridors where we are maintaining aggressive clearing limits through thick brush and downed timber. We will shift to projects in the Boulder Creek Wilderness and the high Siskiyou for the remainder of July.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly with any inquiries or if you’d like to check in. Thank you!

Gabriel Howe

P.S. A few extras:

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