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Get Out: April 18, 2013

Native Plant Society

Saturday May 10: 9 a.m. hike to Flounce Rock and a Baker Cypress Area of Environmental Concern (ACEC). Group will meet at the Medford Interagency (BLM/Forest Service) Office, 3040 Biddle Road, Medford. It is an easy 1/4-mile hike to see the rare Baker Cypress trees and wander around the rocky scablands, vernally wet meadows and conifer stands. Elevation is about 4,000, feet and there will be only about 100 feet variation. Depending on the wishes of the group, we may take a tally of the surviving Baker Cypress seedlings the BLM has planted. Afterward, we'll drive up the road about 1/3 mile to the top of Flounce Rock. This will be a good spot for a lunch break with lovely views of Lost Creek Lake and the surrounding mountains and hidden meadows. There's a very short trail to another vista point. Group will return to Medford by early afternoon. Contact Marcia Wineteer at mwineteer@q.com or 541-535-3081 for more information.

Rogue Valley Walkers

Saturday, April 19: 10K Ashland Railroad Walk with a 5K option. Meet at 9:45 a.m. in the Safeway parking lot at Siskiyou Boulevard and Sherman Street. For details, call 541-245-9356.

Table Rocks hikes

Free, guided hikes on the Table Rocks are cosponsored by The Nature Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management. Reservations are required, and hikes are limited to 20 people unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, April 19: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Layers of Time: Geologist Jad D'Allura will talk about the formation of the Table Rocks and the unique geological features observed along a hike to the top of this ancient lava flow.

Saturday, April 26: 8 a.m. at Lower Table Rock. For the Early Bird: Bob Quaccia, local bird expert with the Rogue Valley Audubon Society, will lead a hike to view the spring birds of the Table Rocks. He'll share identification tips and conservation information. Bring binoculars and I.D. books if you desire. Limited to 15 hikers.

Sunday, April 27: 9 a.m. at Lower Table Rock. Mighty Oaks: Join Keith Perchemlides, field ecologist with the Nature Conservancy, to explore the diversity of oak habitats, including savannas, woodlands and shrublands. Oaks of all shapes and sizes are vital to the lives of wildlife, other plants and people.

Saturday, May 3: 7 p.m. at Upper Table Rock. Eye on the Night Sky: Join Kevin Ratkovich, president of the Southern Oregon Skywatchers, on a night hike to look for Mars, Jupiter and other celestial bodies. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a flashlight and binoculars, if you have them.

Sunday, May 4: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Spring in Bloom: Celebrate National Wildflower Week with Chamise Kramer, botanist at the BLM, and explore the beautiful native flora of the Table Rocks.

Saturday, May 10: 9 a.m. at Lower Table Rock. Grand Ronde Tribes, Past to Present: Join Michael Karnosh, Ceded Lands Program manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, to learn about traditional and culturally important plants of the tribes whose ancestors include the original residents of the Table Rocks area. He will also discuss modern day tribal management of conservation properties and partnerships with government agencies, land trusts and other groups.

Saturday, May 10: 7:30 p.m. at Lower Table Rock. Night Owls: BLM wildlife biologist Steve Godwin will listen for the sounds of the night from dusk 'til dark on a jaunt around the Lower Table Rock Loop Trail (half-mile accessible trail). Godwin will attempt to lure pygmy, great horned and screech owls. A short presentation of the common owls in the area and their unique characteristics and adaptations will precede the hike. Bring flashlights and good hiking shoes.

Sunday, May 11: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Mother's Day Family Hike: A BLM environmental interpretation specialist will lead a family hike to the top of the rock. This is a general information hike suitable for the whole family. Topics will include wildflower identification, ethnobotany, geology, wildlife, ecology and cultural history.

Saturday, May 17: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Incredible Insects and Spectacular Spiders: Peter Schroeder, associate professor of biology and entomologist at Southern Oregon University, will lead a hike to explore the amazing six- and eight-legged animals found on and around the Table Rocks.

Sunday, May 18: 9 a.m. at Upper Table Rock. Wacky Weather: Join Alan Journet, co-facilitator of the Southern Oregon Climate Action Network, for a hike and discussion of climate change projections for the Rogue Valley and the potential consequences of these on the Table Rocks and other natural and agricultural systems.

Lithia Park trees walk

Saturday, April 26: Lithia Park boasts 93 acres of native and exotic trees. The group will walk through the park to learn tree-identification techniques, focusing on native tree species. The group will also be on the lookout for wildlife that lives in the trees. The walk is suitable for all ages. Meet at Northwest Nature Shop at 10 a.m. Call 541-482-3241 to sign up.

Crater Lake guided snowshoe hikes

Through April 27: Ranger-guided snowshoe walks are offered at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. The walks last two hours and cover about a mile of moderately strenuous terrain. They explore forests and meadows along the rim of Crater Lake and provide lessons in how plants, animals and people survive in deep snow. Participants should be at least 8 years old, in reasonably good physical condition and prepared with warm clothing and water-resistant footwear. No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary. Snowshoes are provided free of charge, and there is no cost for the tour. The park does not collect an entrance fee in the winter. Reservations are required. For details and to sign up, call 541-594-3100.

Lost Creek Trail Runs

Saturday, April 26: Featuring 30K, 30K relay, and 5K trail runs. 30K races start at 9 a.m. and 5K starts at 9:15 at the Joseph H. Stewart State Park day-use area. Packet pickup and race-day registration 7 to 8:30 a.m. The 30K course goes around the lake and features 2 miles of pavement, 1 mile of gravel roads and 15.6 miles of single-track trails. Three aid stations, 1,744 feet of elevation gain, 4-hour cutoff. Must be 15 years old for the 30K. Register at Ultra Signup, http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=24742

Siskiyou Velo Club

Saturday, May 17: The first class in this year's Traffic Skills 101 course will be held at 9:30 a.m. at The Grove, 1195 E. Main St., Ashland. Each fast-paced, 3-hour class covers rules of the road, bike-handling practice and a short ride in traffic. Class size is capped at 12. Cost is $12 for club members and $18 for nonmembers. For more information and to register, see http://bit.ly/SV_ED_5_17_14

Club rides: Some of the club rides listed below are leisurely; others intense. Choose one that's right for you. All rides include rest stops for coffee and social time. All riders are required to have safe bikes, wear helmets and carry a spare tube/tools and water. Instruction on safe riding and group ride etiquette are available on all rides.

Every Saturday: Velo Slo-Mo rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 7 to 10 mph over 12 to 18 miles on mostly flat terrain. Contact Phil Gagnon at 541-488-4289.

Every Saturday: Brisk rides begin at various morning hours from different locations. Pace: 19 to 23 mph over 50 to 65 miles on mostly hilly terrain. Contact Dennis Cramer at 541-773-5804.

Every Monday: Coffee rides begin at 10:30 a.m. at Colver Park in Phoenix and go to Jacksonville. Pace: 17 mph average over 25 miles. Contact David Chapman at 541-488-0152.

Every Wednesday: Coffee rides begin at 11 a.m. at Rogue Valley Roasting Company in Ashland. Pace: 17 mph average over 35 to 60 miles with some hills. Contact John Bullock at 541-488-7962.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

Saturday, April 19: Anne Goff will lead a half-day bird walk at Cantrall-Buckley Park. Meet and park at the Ruch Store at 8:15 a.m. for a carpool to the park, which has an entrance fee unless you have a Jackson County Parks parking permit. For details, email annegoffar@charter.net.

Tuesday, April 22: At the RVAS monthly meeting, John and Joy Taylor will present, "The Most Exotic and Unusual Birds in the World," which includes the smelliest bird in the world, the Bassian thrush, which finds its food by flatulence, and the most voracious bird known, the Cuban tody. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Medford Congregational Church, 1801 E. Jackson St., Medford.

Wednesday, May 7: On the first Wednesday of every month, RVAS conducts a bird walk at Agate Lake, about two miles east of the Highway 62/140 intersection. Birders should meet at the parking lot on the far side of the lake across from the boat dock. The walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and will end before noon. This is an ongoing citizen-science project to record the numbers of the different species observed by the walk participants. You don't need to be an experienced birder to join in, but taking part will help you become one. Coordinator and leader of the walk is Murray Orr (541-857-9050, mworr2@charter.net). Contact him if you are willing to help.

Nature Conservancy work party

Saturday April 19: The Nature Conservancy is seeking volunteers to help remove invasive, non-native curly dock from vernal pools between 9 a.m. and noon at Whetstone Savanna Preserve. Volunteers will be able to enjoy spring wildflowers and learn about the diverse life in vernal pools while working to protect this unique habitat. 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. Come prepared to work outdoors, wear waterproof shoes and bring a good digging tool if possible. Snacks, gloves and tools will be provided. Directions: From Table Rock Road, turn onto West Gregory Road. At the stop sign, turn right onto Downing Road and follow to Newland Road. Whetstone Savanna Preserve is on the left.

For information and to register, contact Molly at 541-770-7933, ext. 2, or sworegon@tnc.org.

Spring wildflower show

Sunday, April 27: The Siskiyou Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon and Northwest Nature Shop will celebrate wildflowers from 1 to 3 p.m. at the store, 154 Oak St. Ashland. Plant Society members will bring samples of wildflowers and answer questions about local varieties. Free. Call 541-482-3241 for details.

Hiking author to speak

Sunday, April 27: Hiking author William Sullivan will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with a slideshow, "New and Endangered Oregon Wilderness Hikes," at 7 p.m. at the GEOS Building, 84 Fourth St., Ashland. He'll cover hiking trails in spectacular areas protected during each decade from the 1960s to the present. But more than half of Oregon's roadless land is still unprotected, so Sullivan will show interesting hikes in endangered areas — from the desert to the rainforest. Expect tales of history, geology and wildlife along the way. Free. Call Northwest Nature Shop at 541-482-3241 to learn more.