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MailTribune.com
  • Hunting group clears trails in Sky Lakes Wilderness

  • Twelve miles of Sky Lakes Wilderness Area trails are open for foot and hoof traffic this fall thanks to an annual volunteer work party that saws out or removes trees that fall on the trails each winter.
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  • Twelve miles of Sky Lakes Wilderness Area trails are open for foot and hoof traffic this fall thanks to an annual volunteer work party that saws out or removes trees that fall on the trails each winter.
    Armed with two-person crosscut saws, members of the Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association spent July 27 clearing the Tom and Jerry and Mudjekeewis trails.
    The Tom and Jerry Trail provides access to the northern end of the Sky Lakes Wilderness and leads to numerous meadows, small streams and rock formations in the McKie vicinity. The Mudjekeewis Trail provides views of the Middle Fork Canyon, which is more than 3,000 feet deep.
    Chapter members have been clearing trails annually for more than 15 years.
    The groups, aided by a pack horse, were able to cut or move 51 trees from the trails, chapter member Pete Johann says.
    "That's more than we've ever had," Johann says. "Most were in the first mile and a half. When we were in there, we thought, 'What are we getting ourselves into?' "
    Johann says many of the trailside trees likely were weakened after a wildfire burned in the area six years ago.
    Chapter members typically clear those trails each July after snow levels recede. The trails were snow-free this year, Johann says.
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