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Work Party: Whetstone Savanna Preserve

Saturday, April 14: The Nature Conservancy and SOLVE! are recruiting volunteers to help remove invasive weeds from vernal pools from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 14, at Whetstone Savanna Preserve. The preserve shelters mounded prairie and vernal pool communities that include rare plants and fairy shrimp, and safeguards a key portion of oak savanna habitat on the Rogue Valley floor. Bring your family, enjoy spring wildflowers and learn about the diverse life in vernal pools while working to protect this unique habitat. Registration is required at nature.org/oregonworkparties. For more information, contact Molly at 541-708-4990 or mmorison@tnc.org.

Table Rocks hikes

For more information and to register for the hikes, see https://TableRockHikes2018.eventbrite.com or call 541-618-2200.

8 a.m. Saturday, April 14, Lower Table Rock: Bird experts Bob Quaccia and Frank Lospalluto lead a spring birding trip. Binoculars and ID books are recommended. Limited to 15 people.

9 a.m. Sunday, April 15, Lower Table Rock: Scientist/artist Darlene Southworth will lead a hike on landscape art and journaling. Hikers should bring sketch pads and pencils or pens. Watercolors are optional. Limited to 15 people.

10 a.m. Saturday, April 21, Lower Table Rock Loop Trail: Members of the Storytelling Guild will lead a hike for kids and adults on the half-mile trail focusing on legends and tales about the Takelma Indians who once lived there.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, Lower Table Rock: Astronomer Joe Stodola will lead a night hike to view the Lyrid Meteor Shower, which should be at its peak. Bring flashlights, binoculars and a roll-up pad to lie down.

9 a.m. Sunday, April 22, Upper Table Rock: Michael Karnosh from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde will explore traditional and culturally important plants of the original Table Rocks residents. He will also discuss modern tribal management of conservation properties.

9 a.m. Saturday, April 28, Lower Table Rock: Archaeologist and historian Jeff LaLande will discuss the role of the Table Rocks in the culture and legends of the Takelma Indians, as well as the history of the Table Rocks area during the Indian Wars of the 1850s.

10 a.m. Sunday, April 29, Lower Table Rock: Botanist John Villella will highlight lichens, bryophytes and terrestrial algae.

10 a.m. Sunday, April 29, Upper Table Rock: Sarah “Bee Girl” Red-Laird and botanist Sasha Joachims will talk about bee pollination and look at pollinator-conservation projects on nearby public lands. Hikers also will net and identify bees.

9 a.m. Saturday, May 5, Upper Table Rock: Archaeologists Jennifer Sigler and Lisa Rice will explore the remains of Camp White’s artillery range, which includes pillboxes for infantry drills. Limited to 15 people.

10 a.m. Saturday, May 5, Lower Table Rock Loop Trail: The Storytelling Guild will lead a hike for kids and adults focusing on legends and tales about the Takelma Indians who once lived there.

9 a.m. Sunday, May 6, Upper Table Rock: Dave Harvey and members of the Oregon Poetry Association will share poems inspired by nature and the Table Rocks. Hikers are encouraged to bring a favorite or original poem inspired by nature to share.

9 a.m. Saturday, May 12, Upper Table Rock: Yoga teacher Jamie Harris will meet hikers at the trailhead for some basic stretching before a hike to the top, where everyone will experience balance postures. No yoga experience required.

7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 12, Lower Table Rock Loop Trail: Wildlife biologist Steve Godwin leads a night hike to look for and listen to owls on the half-mile trail. Godwin will attempt to lure pygmy, great-horned and screech owls and offer a short presentation about the physical adaptations of bats, owls and other nocturnal creatures. Bring flashlights.

9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, Lower Table Rock: Entomologist Bill Schaupp will lead a hike observing and discussing insects that occupy the Table Rocks.

10 a.m. Sunday, May 20, Lower Table Rock: Musicians Tish McFadden and Jeff Kloetzel will lead a ukulele-fueled musical jam on top of the rock. All skill levels are invited and participants are encouraged to bring their own ukuleles. Music booklets will be provided.

Rogue Valley Walkers

Saturday, April 21: 10K “Name That Park” walk in Grants Pass. Meet at 8:45 a.m. in the parking lot of the Lodge at Riverside on Seventh Street. For information, see www.roguevalleywalkers.com or call 541-582-2607.

Southern Oregon Land Conservancy spring hikes

To read more about each hike and to register, go to landconserve.org. If a hike is full, you can join a waiting list, as cancellations do happen.

Sunday, April 22: Birding Jacksonville Woodlands, 8 a.m. to noon. Naturalist Dennis Vroman will lead an exploration of the bird life in the Jacksonville Woodlands.

Wednesday, April 25: Upper Table Rock hike, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn about this iconic rock while hiking three miles roundtrip with a BLM guide.

Saturday, April 28: Jacksonville Woodlands history tour, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tour through the Woodlands in Jacksonville with Larry Smith. The three-hour hike will include the Chinese diggings and Panorama Point.

Sunday, April 29: Birding the Cascade Foothills, 8 a.m. to noon. East of Ashland in the Cascade foothills, the Imperatrice property is a large grassland and an excellent place to see raptors and songbirds such as western bluebird, western meadowlark, and the uncommon grasshopper sparrow. Guide is naturalist Frank Lospalluto.

Sunday, April 29: Herptile Bioblitz at Rogue River Preserve, 2 to 6 p.m. Help document reptiles and amphibians at Rogue River Preserve near Eagle Point. Local experts will help with species identification and will model best search practices for the safety of people and animals. The event is part of the greater City Nature Challenge in Southern Oregon, www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2018-southern-oregon. Children are welcome accompanied by a parent or guardian. Guides are naturalist Eugene Wier and SOU biologist Michael Parker.

Thursday, May 3: Cascade Foothills Wildflowers, 4 to 6:30 p.m. The city of Ashland’s Imperatrice property, east of Ashland in the Cascade foothills, is an 876-acre grassland with flowers, rare plants and views. Join botanist and SOLC staff member Kristi Mergenthaler for a plant walk to learn about grassland ecology.

Saturday, May 5: Fish, Forest and Landforms at the Rogue River Preserve, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fisheries ecologist Randy Frick, forest ecologist Tom Atzet, and soil scientist David Steinfeld will lead an exploration of this riverfront property near Eagle Point.

Saturday, May 12: Sam’s Valley Cultural and Natural History Tour, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Judi Boyd, cemetery board director, will begin the tour with a presentation on the historic Antioch Cemetery. The tour will continue on the adjoining 125-acre SOLC conservation easement property with owner Art Coolidge. The easement protects many sensitive and protected varieties of plants and animals. Together, this block of land provides great habitat for visits of up to 40 elk, Lewis’s woodpecker and hawks, along with extensive varieties of flora, including rare Gentner’s fritillary.

Saturday, May 19: Birding the Rogue River Preserve, 7:30 a.m. to noon. Biologist Dennis Vroman will lead a birding trip on this private property along the Rogue River outside of Eagle Point.

Saturday, June 9: Cathedral Hills hike, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Forest ecologist Tom Atzet will lead a hike on the trails at Cathedral Hills just outside Grants Pass.

Sunday, June 24: Dragonfly Exploration at Rogue River Preserve, noon to 4 p.m. Learn about dragonfly ecology and identification on a gorgeous property on the Rogue. This outing will be led by naturalists Norm Barrett, Gary Shaffer and Jim Livaudais.

Native Plant Society talk

Thursday, April 19: Half of our prescription medications and 70 percent of cancer drugs arise from the natural world. But, one out of every five mammals, reptiles and plants are threatened with extinction, while one out of every three amphibians face oblivion. Humanity is on course to erase at least half of the species on Earth by the end of this century. Speaker Paul Torrence, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and was appointed Full Investigator at the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, will discuss whether we have the moral resources to arrest this annihilation and alter this course. The program will start at 7 p.m. at Southern Oregon University Science Building, Room 161. Refreshments at 6:45 p.m. Free and open to the public. For information, contact Alexis at alexis.brickner@gmail.com or 860-878-2049.

Jack-Ash work party

Saturday, April 28: Siskiyou Upland Trails Association will work on a two-mile section of the new Jack-Ash Trail section between the Griffin Gap and Grub Gulch trailheads. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Griffin Gap Trailhead — top of the paved portion of Anderson Butte Road. Work will involve cutting/digging out encroaching vegetation and some tread work. Bring water and whatever special snacks you like. SUTA will provide lunch. If you have them, bring loppers, a pruning saw or a tread tool such as a Pulaski, grubber, rake or sturdy shovel. If you plan to come, email SUTAoregoncontact@gmail.com so they can plan the work party and food.

Mule Mountain hike in the Applegate

Sunday, April 29: Plant Society board members Suzie Savoie and Julie Spelletich will lead a moderately difficult round-trip hike through oak woodland, chaparral and grasslands in the Upper Applegate Valley, and view spring blooms along the way to Baldy Peak, where hikers will have sweeping views of the Applegate Valley and snow-capped Red Buttes. A carpool will leave from Ray’s parking lot in Talent at 9 a.m. To sign up, email Spelletich at jspelletich@gmail.com.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

Wednesday, May 2: RVAS holds first-Wednesday bird walks at Denman Wildlife Area. The walks begin at 8:30 a.m. and end before noon. Species observed by walk participants are entered in the Cornell Ornithological Laboratory’s eBird database. Participants will need to purchase an ODFW area parking permit. For more information and directions, see http://roguevalleyaudubon.org/

Siskiyou Velo

Every Saturday: Brisk rides are for strong riders who want to ride in a paceline with occasional sprints and brisk climbs. Speeds are above 20 mph on flats and average of 15 to 18 mph overall. The route and starting point will vary — expect some climbing and, in fact, on most days, a lot. Riders should know how to make repairs. Riders are expected to review online and understand the planned route. The Brisk group is not a no-drop group, slower riders are discouraged. For details, call Dennis Cramer at 541-773-5804.

Every Saturday: Velo Melo meets at various places and rides about 20 miles at 11 to 13 mph on flats with few, if any, pacelines. The routes may include some climbing, but these are usually limited to small rolling hills within the Bear Creek Valley. No one will be dropped. Contact Lisa Brill at lisa4bikes@gmail.com.

Every Saturday: Velo Slo-Mos meet at various places to ride about 18 miles at an average of 10 mph over mostly flat terrain. We always stop for a cuppa along the route. Contact Phil Gagnon at 541-488-4289.

Every Monday: Moderate to brisk rides along a fairly flat route from Phoenix to Jacksonville. Speeds are 18 to 20 mph on the flats and average around 15 to 19 mph overall. The route includes mostly lower volume roads without shoulders and some with moderate traffic and moderately wide shoulders. The exception is on OR 238 (Hanley Road), where there are no shoulders and the volumes are moderate. Call Ray Forsyth at 541-245-0312.

Every Wednesday: This is a ride for experienced cyclists who enjoy riding at a moderate/brisk pace. Pacelines are common but not continuous; speeds are above 20 mph on flats and average of 15 to 18 mph overall. The route may vary but typically it goes through the orchards on the way to Oregon Mountain Roasting Company near East Barnett and North Phoenix Road (approximately 35 miles). The ride will almost always include a stop for coffee/espresso. Call Matt Walker at 541-261-4891.

Riders must wear a helmet, carry a spare tube, and nonmembers must sign an insurance waiver to release the club from liability. See siskiyouvelo.org/about/ for more information.