Hi Everyone,

SUTA is making great strides on many fronts so it seemed time for a news flash on three items:

            A huge thank you to Jim Roemer – retiring from SUTA’s Board

            New access trails are moving forward

            Five Spring Events – something for everyone!

Jim Roemer Retires from the SUTA Board

Jim Roemer has been a strong and vocal supporter of creating the Jack-Ash trail and re-opening the length of the Sterling Mine Ditch trail since the idea was first discussed in 2009.  The logo you see above was his inspiration and design, reflecting one of the many skills he has generously offered SUTA.  We will sorely miss Jim’s thoughtful and sage advice at Board meetings.  Fortunately he still intends to still be an active participant with the development of our trail system!  Jim, know that your help over the past three plus years is appreciated by the entire SUTA community.  You have played a key part in launching SUTA and its accomplishments the past three years.  THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US.

New ACCESS Trails Moving Forward

As you know, we have been working away to gain BLM approval of two new access trails for the Sterling Mine Ditch.  The two new trails are a new access trail on both sides of Armstrong Gulch so that we can go around private land should that section of the trail ever become unavailable for public use.  The second trail will be at the northern end of the ditch and connect the ditch up to the future Jack-Ash trail and miles and miles of wonderful dirt BLM roads.  To create these trails requires an environmental assessment (EA) of their impact on the natural and cultural resources.  Thanks to tremendous help from the Medford BLM, this process has been moving forward quickly and the EA was put out for public comment on April 4th.  For those of you interested in sending in commenting on our proposal, you can read the EA at BLM’s website

http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/medford/plans/nepa-details.php?id=2409

We are especially grateful to BLM’s John Gerristma, Ted Hass, Dennis Byrd, Josh Robeson, many of whom spent hours thrashing around in the woods helping us create the best possible trails.  SUTA also thanks Annette Parsons, our SUTA volunteer extraordinaire, for all of the work she accomplished in the field and writing the initial draft report – we don’t know what we’d do without you.

Five Spring Events

With lovely weather and wildflowers popping out all over it seems like a good idea to talk about five spring events on the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail

            April 20thNext trail work party on the gorgeous section of the ditch from the Little Applegate Trailhead to the Tunnel Ridge trailhead.  We are focusing on this section to help get it ready for the Second Annual Run-the-Ditch event on May 25th 8:30AM -1 PM  Lunch provided. (Details are listed here on our Calendar Events)

            April 27thWildflower Hike lead by BLM Botanist Chamise Kraemer.  Chamise has a wealth of botanical information to share with you and can identify all of those flowers you are always wondering about.  Come enjoy a lovely and easy hike on the northern section of the Sterling Mine Ditch – north of the Deming Trailhead.   We had a hugely productive work party on this section of the ditch last month so it’s looking gorgeous and should provide a wide array of flowers for you to enjoy (9AM-Noon).

                May 4thJaneen Sathre is leading a hike as part of her hiking series from the Wolf Gap Trailhead to Bear Gulch.  Meet at Buncom at 9 AM.  (See our website for her contact information and details)

            May 25th  – Run-the-Ditch 5 and 10 mile Race – Organized by the Southern Oregon Runners, this will be the second annual race held on the ditch trail. This year they have expanded the race to include both a 5 and 10 mile race.  For registration details see our calendar event listing  or go to Southern Oregon Runners website http://www.sorunners.org/

            June 1stNational Trails Day – Help complete the Armstrong Gulch By-Pass – BLM is working with SUTA to develop a new access trail up to the ditch along Armstrong Gulch.  Although BLM will have done the major work of cutting in the access trails, there’s quite a bit to be done to fine-tune the tread.  We’re hoping many hands will make light work and we can celebrate great progress at the end of our National Trails Day event. Food and Festivities – details will be posted on our website.

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