Dear All,

We just learned that BLM is hosting a guided hike on the Sterling Mine Ditch trail this Saturday Oct 1st (10 AM – 2PM) as one of their events for Oregon Archaeology Celebration.  We had a Meet the Jack-Ash Trail hike scheduled but in light of this great opportunity to hike from Tunnel Ridge to Bear Gulch with several historians talking about the ditch and its history, we thought we would reschedule our hike so you could all come to this one.  Lisa Brennan Rice of BLM will be leading this hike.  See the press release below for details.

Hope to see you all out on the trail.  We will send out a schedule of fall hikes and scouting events next week.  In addition, get your pruning shears and saws tuned up – we will be planning a few trail maintenance extravganzas over the new next six months.   We will let you know that schedule as well.

Hope to see you Saturday.



BLM Schedules Oregon Archaeology Celebration Events

Medford, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management will hold two events in honor of the annual Oregon Archaeology Celebration. The goal of the Celebration is to inspire and inform people about Oregon’s prehistoric and historic heritage with different activities presented throughout the state during September and October.  These events provide a fun learning experience for everyone.  To view the calendar of all events in Oregon, go to: Oregon 2011 Archaeology Celebration Calendar of Events.pdf

Sterling Mine Ditch Trail Interpretive Hike

Join Medford BLM archaeologist, Lisa Brennan Rice, on an interpretive hike along the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Learn about the history of the area, including mining, early settlement and use of the lands around the Little Applegate and Sterling Creek area, and see historic mining landscapes, wildlife, plants and the beauty of the Applegate Valley.  Meet Lisa at the Tunnel Ridge Trailhead off of Little Applegate Road.  Make sure you dress for hiking and the weather, the hike event will happen rain or shine.  Please bring plenty of water and a sack lunch.  Potential hazards, besides weather, are ticks, poison oak, and snakes.

From Jacksonville, follow Highway 238 to Ruch, Oregon.  Turn left on Upper Applegate Road.  Continue for four miles and then turn left on Little Applegate Road.  After three miles, the historic town of Buncom, Oregon will be on your left.  Stay to the right on Little Applegate Road after seven miles, the Tunnel Ridge Trailhead will be on your left.  There is parking to the right of the trailhead.  For more information contact Lisa Brennan Rice at 541-618-2280.

Holes in the Hills: The Archaeology of Abandoned Mines in Southern Oregon
Ever come across an old mining tunnel and wonder who made it, why, when and what they were looking for?  There are more than 600 known abandoned mines on BLM lands in Southern Oregon, and potentially more than twice that number on Forest Service and private lands in the area.  This presentation by two BLM archaeologists with the Abandoned Mine Lands Unit will address the formative role of mining in the historical and environmental development of Southern Oregon.  They will discuss the types of features encountered at mining sites and how to interpret them, the dangers associated with abandoned mines, and the current activities of the Medford BLM in remediating these hazards and documenting this important aspect of Oregon’s cultural heritage.  The first of these presentations is Monday, Oct. 3, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Medford Interagency Office (BLM/Forest Service), 3040 Biddle Road, Medford.  The second is Tuesday, Oct. 4, also from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Grants Pass Interagency Office (BLM/Forest Service), 2164 NE Spalding, Grants Pass.

About the BLM:   The BLM manages 245 million acres of public land known as the National System of Public Lands. The lands are primarily located in 12 Western states, including 75 million acres in Alaska. With a budget of about $1 billion, the bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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