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MailTribune.com
  • Get Out: June 1, 2012

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  • Soda Mountain Wilderness Council hikes
    The Soda Mountain Wilderness Council has enlisted local naturalists to lead four weekend hikes in June to explore wildlands in and near the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Besides learning a bit about local flora and fauna and visiting some nice country, participants will learn about conservation threats and opportunities in each area. Most hikes involve at least a little off-trail, cross-country hiking. All hikes are free and usually involve carpooling.
    Group sizes vary and are up to each hike leader. Space may be limited. Expect to be gone into the late afternoon or early evening on most hikes that begin in the morning. Ask your hike leader for their best estimate of return time. Groups may encounter ticks, rattlesnakes and/or any other possible outdoor hazard (sun, heat, rain, wind, cold, twisted ankle/knee, etc.) on any trip. Participants must sign a liability waiver at trip-start. Dogs by prior permission only at the discretion of each hike leader. Contact your hike leader to reserve your place and learn your hike's meeting point in south Ashland near Interstate 5.
    These outings are not intended to be “power hikes” that merely churn out miles. Each trip includes at least one professional and experienced naturalist to help provide a sense of why the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument's presidential proclamation calls the area an “ecological wonder” and “biological crossroads.”
    Sunday, June 10: Fish and Wildlife Service ornithologist Pepper Trail (541-482-9594; ptrail@ashlandnet.net) and Soda Mountain Wilderness Council board member Carol Wright will lead a hike to the Jenny Creek valley and canyon in the vicinity of the former Box O Ranch in and near the eastern unit of the Soda Mountain Wilderness and the southeastern corner of the monument. Maybe a creek crossing on this one (and maybe not). Hiking is generally easy, though not all on trail. Group size is limited to 10 people plus. About three miles. Easy to moderate. Meet at 9 a.m.
    Saturday, June 16: Botanist Dominic DiPaolo and SMWC board member Chris Fowler (541-890-3951; fowler@mind.net) lead an exploration of the meadows and forests in and around the Little Hyatt old-growth groves in the Greensprings Mountain Unit of the South Cascades Wilderness proposal near the Greensprings summit. Views from Sampson Rim down to Emigrant Reservoir and Ashland. All off-trail hiking. Easy-moderate. Less than 3 miles. Meet at 2 p.m. and bring your sack supper to enjoy daylight that lasts into the long almost-summer evening.
    Sunday, June 24: National Park Service ecologist Dennis Odion (541-821-0738; dennisodion@odion.name) and SMWC board member Lori Cooper will explore where Rogue Valley oak savannah meets Cascadian conifer forest (including the Little Hyatt old-growth groves), hiking from Round Mountain to Greensprings Mountain (elevation 5,225 feet). The first part of the trip is cross-country; the second half-plus is on the Pacific Crest Trail. Moderate; about five miles. Meet at 9 a.m.
    Saturday, June 30: Botanist John Villella (541-531-9817; johnvillella@yahoo.com ) and National Park Service ecologist and SMWC board member Dennis Odion will lead an easy or moderate (your choice) Pacific Crest Trail hike east of Pilot Rock from Porcupine Gap (elevation 5,000 feet) to Babbitt Gap (5,180 feet), Porcupine Meadow (4,800 feet) and the Sound-of-Music view from Porcupine Mountain (5,290 feet). This hike is in both the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and its Soda Mountain Wilderness backcountry. About four miles total. Some off-trail hiking. Group size limited to 10 people. Meet at 8:30 a.m.
    Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
    Saturday, June 2: Jad D'Allura, professor emeritus of geology at SOU, and Armand Rebischke, BLM botanist, will lead an informational hike to Hobart Bluff in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The group will focus on geology in the morning and botany in the afternoon, with lunch on the bluff. Hobart Bluff is a place where the geology and mixing of eco-regions that create the CSNM's unique biodiversity is easy to see. Participants are welcome to attend all or part of the day. Space is limited. RSVP to cascadesiskiyou@gmail.com or 541-488-7584 for meeting place.
    Southern Oregon Land Conservancy hikes
    Friday, June 13: Pacific Crest Trail at Howard Prairie. Kristi Mergenthaler will guide an easy, two-mile hike along a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; maximum 15 hikers. For more information and to sign up, call 541-482-3069 or email info@landconserve.org. For details, see www.landconserve.org.
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