May 2024 Agency Stewardship Report

by Gabriel Howe, executive director

May was a busy month, with over 1,000 staff hours and 500+ volunteer hours booked out on the trail. And we've got details on the work they did below, but first I'd like to extend a welcome to Wayne Chevalier who is detailing in the rec manager position at the Gold Beach Ranger District.

I also want to acknowledge volunteers from the Northwest American Indian Coalition. They took the time to train our staff to identify potential culturally-modified trees and other indicators of indigenous cultural sites so we can relay that information to them for their records.

Staff pose at freshly mounted sign on Tincup Trail 1117

Now, the numbers:

Year-to-date (compared to same period in 2023)
Miles maintained: 49.80 (37.96)
Miles improved: 2.78 (2.5)
Volunteer hours: 1,151 (395)
Staff hours: 2,004 (955)

Pearsoll Peak lookout by Trevor Meyer

Miles maintained: 11.06
Miles improved: 1.53
Volunteer hours: 501
Staff hours: 1,066

Volunteer Daniel Burdis gazes across the Kalmiopsis. Photo by Joe Boyd.

Important to note: Signs We have replaced over 20 signs in 2024, though we haven't added it as a field in our database, yet. Not only do signs help trail users orient themselves, signs give narrative and story to the places we work, and show the public that there is an active partnership working to do great things.

Volunteers take on Babyfoot, Upper Chetco (Rogue-Siskiyou)

May 19, volunteers took on the popular Babyfoot Lake Trail, which is now free of downed-logs and open to the public. Later in the month, a volunteer crew took on the annual tradition of traversing the Kalmiopsis Wilderness with tools, improving a section of the Upper Chetco Trail that had grown in since the 2017 Chetco Bar Fire. That work is funded by the Great American Outdoors Act and CFLRP program through the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Volunteers at Babyfoot Lake

Bridge Creek Gets Maintained
The staff maintained the Bridge Creek Trail from Fowler Cabin (Six Rivers NF) to the corner just before Yellow Jacket Creek. A couple of large logs remain, but the trail is in good shape and passable, and the heavy brushing we did in 2022 is holding. Thanks to Kip Valesano of the Orleans Ranger District for support. The work there was funded by a private donor.

Tincup Trail: Strategic fuel breaks, ingress and egress (Rogue-Siskiyou)
The trail aligns with an area identified by a study conducted by the Nature Conservancy that is especially fire prone. We have been maintaining aggressive clearing standards along the ~15-mile trail that connects the Kalmiopsis Rim to the coast. It is now open from the western trailhead to Boulder Creek. Work included a section of cribbing to help stabilize the trail. This is another trail in our CFLRP agreement with the Rogue-Siskiyou.

Barklow Mountain (Rogue-Siskiyou)
The short trail is one of the few ways to hike through the Copper-Salmon Wilderness Area, and is well worth a visit. The crew started work at north trailhead, and will need to revisit the trail this fall to take out a couple of logs and do some spot treading. This work is funded by the Great American Outdoors Act.

Looking forward: Head count grows
On June 2, we started on boarding our first group of interns. The second group will arrive June 26. On the docket this month is more work slated for the Tincup Trail, and we're heading to the west side of the Illinois River Trail to rebuild about four miles that were destroyed by the 2023 Flat Fire. Then off to the Red Buttes for a blitz of a patrol.

In July, we have a two-week hitch planned on the Tincup Trail and will then plan to dispatch to the Salmon River, Mt. Hood (Bull of the Woods Wilderness), and the Sky Lakes. We are also busy with a rebuild of the Bolan Mountain Fire Lookout that burned in the 2020 Slater Fire.

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