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Climbers to scour debris at Rattlesnake

A group of local climbers will head to one of their favorite rocks near Trail soon as part of an "Adopt a Crag" clean-and-climb event.

Climbers will meet at the Rattlesnake climbing area at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, for a half-day of helping spruce up the area, followed by a half-day of climbing.

Rattlesnake, on a mix of Bureau of Land Management land and private property, is the best local rock for sport climbers, says event organizer Will Long, a student and adjunct professor in Southern Oregon University's Outdoor Leadership Program, which is hosting the event.

The climbers plan to clean up garbage on the road to the crag as well as debris at the crag itself, Long says. Others plan to rehabilitate a 100-yard stretch of the trail that was damaged during a recent timber sale, Long says. They also plan to pick up garbage at a nearby quarry used as a shooting range.

"It's to get it back up and running, clean up the garbage and make it a nice place again," he says.

Adopt a Crag events are organized around the nation at many climbing areas.

Participants interested in carpooling should meet at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 25, at the SOU parking lot near McNeal Pavilion, Long says.

For more information, send Long an email at williewiggler@gmail.com.

Ticket packages are available for the annual fundraising banquet for the Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association.

The March 3 banquet in Medford is the chapter's main fundraiser for the year, with profits earmarked for wildlife conservation and youth education projects in the area.

The event will be at the Red Lion Hotel, 200 N. Riverside Ave. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and dinner is slated for 6:15 p.m.

The banquet's raffles and auctions will include hunting, fishing and camping equipment, firearms and artwork.

Ticket packages range from $125 to $275 and include dinner, drinks and a variety of raffle tickets.

Money raised at past banquets has funded chapter and statewide projects that include creation of big-game forage opportunities, fencing around springs and aspen groves, creating new water sources for upland game birds, and youth hunter and outdoor education programs and events.

For information or to buy tickets, call Shirley Pritchett at 541-773-1587.

Spring stocking of local lakes got an early start Thursday when 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout were stocked in Agate Lake off Highway 140.

The trout were raised at Cole Rivers Hatchery along the upper Rogue and were trucked to Agate, a shallow reservoir that typically is the first local reservoir to get an early complement of fish.

The lake was listed Wednesday at 48 percent full.

Agate Lake anglers are reminded that no gas motors are allowed there.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.