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Free Community Guided Hikes Announced
June 6 - June 26
For the safety of all concerned, SOLC will be following all covid-19-related state regulations during these hikes. For more detailed information about each hike and to register, visit landconserve.org, call (541) 482-3069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring is here and so is the announcement of Southern Oregon Land Conservancy’s Spring Hike Series and one talk in June. Hikes and talks are free but fill up quickly so early registration is encouraged. Registration opens for each event one month prior to the hike or talk.
“Even if a hike is full, people can join the waiting list as cancellations do happen,” says Southern Oregon Land Conservancy (SOLC) Stewardship Director Kristi Mergenthaler.
Sourdough Gulch Ranch: A Special Conservation Tour, Saturday, June 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Wolf Creek
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy recently acquired this beautiful 800-acre conservation property features fish-bearing streams, riparian areas, pastures and recovering forests. Wolf Creek flows into Graves Creek and is an important provider of cold water to the Rogue River system. There is also evidence of local homesteading history on the property. The hike includes a talk about the conservation process using this project as an example of how SOLC conserves special lands.
Colestin Valley & Siskiyou Summit Birding, Sunday, June 7, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Colestin Valley and Siskiyou Summit
Bird Biologist Frank Lospalluto and SOLC Stewardship Director Kristi Mergenthaler will lead participants in identifying numerous bird species found in the Colestin Valley and Siskiyou Summit region by birding in mountain forest, oak woodland, chaparral and rimrock within the Colestin Siskiyou Summit Focus Area, a conservation priority area for SOLC. Participants will drive to a number of locations for short hikes on public and privately conserved lands including a jaunt on the Pacific Crest Trail. Participants can hope to see or hear Green-tailed Towhee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Mountain Quail, Townsend’s Solitaire and Black-throated Gray Warbler.
Dragonflies of the Rogue River Preserve, Saturday, June 13, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., Rogue River Preserve, Eagle Point
Dragonfly ecology and identification will be covered on this Rogue River conservation property. This outing will be led by experienced naturalists who are also talented birders and photographers. Participants will explore oak woodlands, wetlands and streams on a 342-acre Preserve while looking for dragonflies. Participants are encouraged to bring a butterfly net, binoculars and dragonfly guide if they have one. A few extra nets will be available to share.
A Walk on the Pacific Crest Trail, Sunday, June 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Pacific Crest Trail near Pilot Rock
Southern Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) shows off diverse habitats and hiking conditions. William Buck, author of “National Trails Guide: America’s Hidden Wonders,” will lead this walk through a section of the PCT just south of Ashland, passing though privately-conserved land, Sky King Cole, into the Soda Mountain Wilderness. Hikers will have lunch in a meadow with a view of Pilot Rock and a pond.
Bumble Bee Blitz, Friday, June 26, 12:30 p.m.- 4 p.m., Vesper Meadow near Howard Prairie
This hike is an educational and community science project that will help document bumble bees for the first time at the Vesper Meadow Restoration Preserve. The afternoon will start with a talk about bumble bees while participants eat their sack lunches. Then the group will follow Xerces Society protocols and conduct a Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas survey. These efforts will support bumble research and help start a bumble bee list for Vesper Meadow. Vesper Meadow is a recently conserved private property, with a public purpose. It features a wet prairie near Howard Prairie, views of Mt. McLoughlin, and is the home of the Vesper Meadow Education Project. This is a collaborative event supported by Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon, Southern Oregon Land Conservancy and Vesper Meadow Education Project.
Applegate Trail: Southern Oregon’s Unique National Historic Route, Thursday, June 18, 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m., Ashland Library. If the library is not yet open due to Covid-19 restrictions, the talk will be held at the Headwaters Building, 84 4th Street, Ashland.
Southern Oregon enjoys a rich legacy of scenic and historic trails. The Pacific Crest Trail, Oregon Trail and Applegate Trail each play an important role in the state’s recreational and historic value. Archaeologist and Historian Jeff Lalande and “National Trails Guide: America’s Hidden Wonders” Author William Buck will provide an oral and visual tapestry, tying together these three trails and what they mean to Southern Oregon. Discover the hidden history in Ashland’s backyard from Leland’s in-depth knowledge of early settlers and travelers on the Applegate Trail and how Oregon values continue today through the National Trails System.
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN OREGON LAND CONSERVANCY: The Southern Oregon Land Conservancy’s (SOLC) mission is to protect and enhance precious land in the Rogue River region to benefit our human and natural communities. One path to achieving this mission is to engage community members—youth and adults—in programs that encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of our natural environments.
As Oregon’s first regional, nonprofit land trust, SOLC began working with local landowners to create conservation easements—a conservation approach to safeguard their lands in perpetuity. What began small has grown into almost 12,000 acres of protected lands across the Rogue River region.