Happy New Year to all of you,

2014 has been an amazing year for SUTA and our community trails.  Thank you all for your contributions of time, ideas, money, hard work, and enthusiasm.

In 2014 we have:

  • Gained Oregon Scenic Trail status for the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail (SMDT)
  • Maintained and improved almost 30 miles of trail with help from a huge number of volunteers and the Medford BLM
  • Supported Southern Oregon Runners’ third hugely successful “Run the Ditch” 5 and 10 mile runs in May
  • Participated in the Medford BLM National Public Lands Day event in September to re-route a section of the SMDT at Tunnel Ridge
  • Hosted 6 trail work party days to keep poison oaks, whiplash from branches, holes in the tread and more under control – all while eating & laughing
  • Fine-tuned the trail route for the Jack-Ash thanks to the tireless efforts of Duane and Katy Mallams slogging up and down the landscape!
  • Installed Kiosks at all trailheads with a generous grant from REI and Jim Reiland’s excellent kiosk design and construction
  • Helped you find your way by posting more trail signs with more still to come
  • Seen trail use continue to grow substantially
  • Received another REI grant for bridge across Deming Creek – to be built in 2015
  • Had a huge amount of fun, met great people while working or enjoying the trail, and more.

None of this would be possible without community support, a terrific dedicated board, a growing set of enthusiastic volunteers, and generous assistance from the Medford BLM.   The Medford BLM  provides enormous help in accomplishing our work through funding work crews and providing BLM staff assistance on many projects, clearing large downed trees, and responding to our endless requests.

In 2015 – the Jack-Ash Trail will be taking shape.  We will send you a separate email about this, but we have great news to end the year.  The scoping document, which is part of the public environmental review process for gaining BLM approval for the proposed trail, was issued by BLM just a few days ago.

A terrific year for SUTA, the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail, and now the Jack-Ash Trail.  Thank you all.

We wish you a healthy, fun-filled  2015.  See you out on the trail.

Hope Robertson


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