Category Archives: History

Passport in Time: Volunteers sought for homestead restoration on Colville NF

Cedar shake shingled roofs, log outbuildings and log-rail fences are hallmarks of the Uptagrafft Homestead, a century-old homestead and interpretive site on Colville National Forest, Washington.

Step back in time, hone your homesteading and log-construction skills, and join Forest Service employees for skills-building and historical preservation work on a century-old historic homestead on the Colville National Forest!

Uptagrafft Homestead is believed to be built in 1919, and was one of many homesteads in the area filed under the Homestead Act. Today, the homestead is a forest interpretive site, demonstrating the typical layout of homesteads that were once common in the area, but which have become increasingly rare.

The site has been the subject of several restoration efforts, beginning for the American Bicentennial in 1976, and its current condition is a testament to the quality work of the volunteers who have been involved.

This season, volunteers will assist in general maintenance on the site, including reconstruction of a root cellar (including archaeological excavation of the root cellar floor); splitting cedar shakes and using cedar shakes to repair shingled roofs; felling, notching, skinning, and installing logs, replacing missing or damaged shutters and associated hardware, and installing an interpretive sign. Project work is scheduled to take place Aug. 19-23, 2019.

Help the Forest Service continue to preserve, maintain, and improve the homestead so visitors can continue to experience a glimpse into early pioneer life!

To volunteer, you must be able to commit a minimum of two days to the project. Volunteers will work with the project manager on a small team of up to eight participants, and must be physically capable of lifting/bending/kneeling/standing/stooping for extended periods of up to eight hours each day, in a variety of weather conditions. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old (applicants under age 18 must apply with and be accompanied by a participating parent or guardian). Previous carpentry, roofing, construction, general maintenance, and/or historic building restoration experience helpful, but not required.

Volunteers may camp at the homestead or at nearby OHV campground, located approximately 10 miles from Usk, Wash.; the camp will have a toilet, and potable water will be provided. Volunteers are responsible for their own lodging, camping equipment and meals; transportation to and from Uptagrafft and designated meeting area can be provided by Forest Service (the access road is in rough condition, a high-clearance vehicle is recommended for passage).

Your participation can help preserve this piece of history for future generations to enjoy.

For more information, visit: http://www.passportintime.com/uptagrafft-homestead-restoration-2019.html or contact Stuart Chilvers, project supervisor, at (509) 775-7430 or stuart.chilvers@usda.gov.


Passport in Time (PIT) is a nationwide volunteer cultural heritage resources program sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and managed with assistance of many partners, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), state parks agencies, and HistoriCorps. PIT volunteers work with professional archaeologists and historians on public lands throughout the U.S. on such diverse activities as archaeological survey and excavation, rock art restoration, archival research, historic structure restoration, oral history gathering, and analysis and curation of artifacts. The professional staff of archaeologists, historians, and preservation specialists serve as hosts, guides, and co-workers for volunteers working on various archaeology, research and restoration projects.

In the News: Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion on public lands

A family poses with their tree during a holiday tree -cutting outing on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Nov. 30, 2018. The outing, designed to introduce youth from under-served communities to the forest, included an interpretive hike, tree cutting, and s'mores and was coordinated by the USDA Forest Service and partner organizations, including Northwest Youth Corps, iUrbanTeen, Urban Nature Partners Portland, and Big Brothers Big Sisters Pacific Northwest. USDA Forest Service photo by Sandie Burks.

Public lands are open to all, but research shows not everyone feels equally at home in them. That’s a problem for our national forests, which are managed by public resources that won’t be made available if the public doesn’t understand their needs. And it’s a missed opportunity for Americans who are not aware of, not encouraged to, or who don’t feel empowered to enjoy the incredible recreation opportunities, inspiration, and personal health and well-being that can be found on public lands. That individual disparity adds up to effects on society as a whole, though less public awareness of rural and ecological issues and in less diversity among applications for forestry-related science programs and for natural resources jobs.

This New York Times article talks about the disparities that exist, and how members of some underrepresented communities are seeking to change it.

Full story, via New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/travel/unlikely-hikers-hit-the-trail.html

Join the conversation!

What barriers are keeping you, or people you know, from exploring Your Northwest Forests?

Let us know, in the comments!

Newberry National Volcanic Monument summer 2019 operating hours announced

A view looking down from a high hillside at Paulina Lake and East Lake on a clear, sunny summer day

BEND, Ore. – May 13, 2019 The Deschutes National Forest has announced 2019 opening dates and summer season hours of operation for several visitor sites at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

Lava Lands Visitor Center, Lava Butte, Lava River Cave:

The Lava Lands Visitor Center, Lava Butte and Lava River Cave: are now open to visitors for the 2019 season. Beginning May 3, the visitor center and cave are open Thursday through Monday; Lava Lands Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Lava River Cave is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (site gate at the Lava River Cave closes at 3:45 p.m.).

On May 23, summer hours begin; both sites will open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for the rest of the season.

Roads:

Deschutes County Rd. 21, which provides access to the monument’s Newberry Caldera, remains gated at 10 Mile Sno-Park due to winter driving hazards. The gate is currently scheduled to open on May 17. Limited access to recreation sites, boat ramps and trails will continue upon the opening of the caldera, due to snow loading. Recreation fees are required where posted. For more information or updates, visit www.deschutes.org/road.

Forest Service Rd. 9720 to Lava Cast Forest is open, and snow free.

Forest Service Road 500 to Paulina Peak is closed; opening date to be determined based on snowmelt (typically end of June to early July).

Lava Butte Shuttle Service: The Lava Butte Shuttle will operate on Memorial Day weekend, then daily from June 15 – Sept. 2. (Lava Butte is open to passenger vehicles when Lava Lands Visitor Center is open and the shuttle is not running).

Paulina Visitor Center: The Paulina Visitor Center is open weekends from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., beginning May 25. The center offers monument information, orientations, and a Discover Your Northwest bookstore.

Campgrounds:

  • Forest Service campgrounds in the caldera area will re-open as conditions permit (tentatively, May 24-June 12), for first-come, first-served camping.
  • Reservations open June 13 for the Little Crater, East Lake, Paulina and Newberry Group campgrounds.
  • Chief Paulina and Cinder Hill campgrounds are have delayed openings due to an ongoing tree removal project, and are tentatively scheduled to re-open June 27 and Aug. 1, respectively.

For more information about Newberry National Volcanic Monument, visit: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/deschutes/recarea/?recid=66159.


Source information: USDA Forest Service – Deschutes National Forest (press release)

Registration opens for Sweet Home RD 2019 Heritage Hikes, interpretive tours

A 1903 Oldsmobile displayed at Fish Lake on the Willamette National Forest in 1991 (USDA Forest Service photo).

SWEET HOME, Ore. (May 1, 2019) — Sweet Home Ranger District, Willamette National Forest have announced the 2019 guided forest interpretive tour dates, and registration for these activities is now open to the public.

These professionally-guided nature tours are a chance for visitors to learn more about the plants, animals, geology and cultural history of the Sweet Home area, located at the edge of the Willamette Valley, in the Cascade mountains, and tours typically fill quickly.

Most tours meet at the Sweet Home Ranger District Office and take approximately six hours, returning by 3 p.m (longer tours return by 5:30 p.m.). Transportation to and from trailheads or other start points is provided by the USDA Forest Service.

This year’s tour topics include general outdoor preparedness, wildflowers, and the history of the Kalapuya tribe in the Willamette Valley, as well as opportunities to make art in nature, paddle boarding, horseback riding, citizen science projects, and mountain biking. 

Pre-registration is required. Most tours cost $10 per person ($5 for those with a senior or access pass), plus a $3 processing fee. Register via the National Recreation Reservation System at www.recreation.gov (search for “Sweet Home Nature and Heritage Tours”) or call (877) 444-6777 and press “1” for tours to make a reservation (ask for “Sweet Home Nature and Heritage Tours”).

These events are offered under the Recreation Fee Program authorized by The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Fees are collected to fund protection and enhancement of local historic sites for public use and enjoyment, and for the continuation of conservation education programs.

For more information and a link to the 2019 tour catalog, visit https://go.usa.gov/xmggs. Or, call Sweet Home Ranger District at (541) 367-5168.


Source information: USDA Forest Service – Willamette National Forest (press release)

Forest Service seasonal hire applications open March 4-6

Field Ranger talking with visitors at Devils Churn, Cape Perpetua, Siuslaw National Forest,

PORTLAND, Ore. — March 1, 2019 —  The USDA Forest Service is accepting additional applications for selected seasonal employment opportunities March 4-6, 2019.

Applications will be accepted for identified positions across Washington and Oregon that were not filled during the agency’s initial round of 2019 seasonal hiring.

Seasonal employment opportunities will be listed on www.usajobs.gov March 4-6 for the summer, 2019 season. Prospective applicants should refer to individual job listings for more details about specific positions.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area:

Hood River, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Stevenson, WA
TEMP-GS-0025-04-Park Ranger

Colville National Forest:

Colville, WA
TEMP-GS-0817-03-Survey Aid

Kettle Falls, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-1001-04-Visitor Information Assistant
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician

Metaline Falls, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Republic, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician

Deschutes National Forest:

Bend, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Seed Extractory)

Crescent, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Redmond, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Dispatch)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Fire Dispatch)
TEMP-GS-2151-05-Automotive Equipment Dispatcher (Logistics)

Sisters, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Fremont-Winema National Forest:

Chiloquin, OR
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0193-09-Archaeologist

Lakeview, OR
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer
TEMP-GS-0802-05-Engineering Technician (Civil)
TEMP-WG-5716-08-Engineering Equipment Operator (CDL Required)

Paisley, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Silver Lake, OR
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer

Gifford Pinchot National Forest:

Amboy, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0802-05-Engineering Technician (Civil)

Randle, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)

Toutle, WA
TEMP-WG-3502-02-Laborer

Trout Lake, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)

Malheur National Forest:

Hines, OR
TEMP-GS-0102-04-Archaeology Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)

John Day, OR
TEMP-GS-0455-04-Range Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0802-04-Engineering Technician (Civil)
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)
TEMP-GS-0455-05-Range Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0802-05-Engineering Technician (Civil)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician
TEMP-GS-0404-07-Biological Science Technician (Plants)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

Darrington, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Granite Falls, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Prairie City, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)

Mt. Hood National Forest:

Dufur, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Lookout)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Estacada, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Fisheries)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Parkdale, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Fisheries)

ZigZag, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Fisheries)
TEMP-WG-4749-05-Maintenance Worker (Facilities)

Ochoco National Forest:

Prineville, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archeology Technician

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest:

Entiat, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Plants/Noxious Weeds)

Tonasket, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)

Winthrop, WA
TEMP-GS-0464-02-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest:

Butte Falls, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Cave Junction, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
TEMP-GS-0404-06-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)

Central Point, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)

Gold Beach, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0462-06-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-06-Forestry Technician (Timber Stand Improvement)
TEMP-GS-0102-07-Archaeology Technician

Jacksonville, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-06-Biological Science Technician (Plants)
TEMP-GS-0455-07-Range Technician

Medford, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Wildlife)
TEMP-GS-0455-07-Range Technician

Powers, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0102-05-Archaeology Technician
TEMP-GS-0102-07-Archaeology Technician

Prospect, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)

Siuslaw National Forest:

Hebo, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)

Reedsport, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Waldport, OR
TEMP-GS-0404-04-Biological Science Technician (Invasive Plants)
TEMP-GS-0025-05-Park Ranger

Umatilla National Forest:

Heppner, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Ukiah, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)

Pomeroy, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)

Walla Walla, WA
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (General)
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Fire Suppression)

Willamette National Forest:

Detroit, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Wilderness/Trails)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Preparation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

McKenzie Bridge, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-1001-04-Visitor Information Assistant
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Wilderness/Trails)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Natural Resources)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)

Westfir, OR
TEMP-GS-0462-03-Forestry Aid (Fire Suppression)
TEMP-GS-0462-04-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0462-05-Forestry Technician (Recreation)
TEMP-GS-0404-05-Biological Science Technician (Plants/Noxious Weeds)


Source information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region

Holden Mine: From Contamination to Recovery

WENATCHEE, Wash. –  Deep in the heart of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, a dramatic sight was unfolding on the landscape above Lake Chelan. For five summers, bulldozers, graders, loaders, and excavators worked to reshape a rock-strewn mountain side, hauling loads of mine waste tailings across a 90-acre cleanup site until, for the first time in more than 60 years, the once-toxic area around the former Holden copper mine was again able to sustain healthy native vegetation and wildlife.

Abandoned in 1957, the Holden Mine contaminated groundwater with five toxic metals including aluminum, cadmium, copper, iron and zinc. These heavy metals washed downstream, polluting water in Railroad Creek, a major tributary to Lake Chelan. The metals also created a hazardous, hard orange coating known as ferricrete on the stream bed.

Unstable waste rock and tailings piles from approximately 10 million tons of mined ore further compounded the problem.

Today, thousands of gallons of contaminated groundwater are treated each day, through an on-site treatment plant. A concrete barrier between the toxic tailings pile and creek will prevent water runoff from the pile and reduce the chance of future contamination.

The remediation effort cost nearly $500 million, which was paid by Rio Tinto – a global mining company which inherited the responsibility for the cleanup through acquisition of a successor company to the original mine owners.

The project was complicated by the mine’s remote location. Holden Village, a religious retreat on the shores of Lake Chelan, closed its doors to thousands of summer visitors it typically hosts in order to provide lodging for work crews during the massive cleanup effort.

Other partners included the Yakama Nation, Washington Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the USDA Forest Service – which acted as the lead agency overseeing the remediation efforts, because the majority of the cleanup took place on National Forest lands.

Local officials estimate that in addition to cleaning up Railroad Creek and protecting it from future contamination, the restoration effort injected approximately $240 million into the local economy, through hiring of local construction crews and heavy equipment operators.

The project created eight permanent jobs at the water treatment plant, and an additional site manager position in Chelan, Wash.

In September, the Forest Service released a Five-Year Site Review which documents the cleanup effort to date, and outlines future monitoring and additional work that is required.

For more information: Visit www.holdenminecleanup.com


Source information: The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest encompasses more than 4-million acres in Washington state, extending from the Canadian border to the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Elevations range from below 1,000 ft. to over 9,000 ft., and the forest is very diverse – from the high, glaciated alpine peaks along the Cascade Crest, through deep, lush valleys of old growth forest, to the dry and rugged shrub-steppe country at its eastern edge. Precipitation varies from more than 70 inches annually along the crest to less than 10-inches at its eastern edge.

SWEET HOME TO DC: 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree finds first snow in Wyoming

Sweet Home to DC: The 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree journey

A Modern Day Adventure on the Historic Oregon Trail

Each year, a National Forest provides a Christmas Tree for display on the U.S. Capitol lawn in Washington D.C. This year’s tree is travelling from the Willamette National Forest’s Sweet Home Ranger District, in the western Cascade mountain range. District Ranger Nikki Swanson is recording her notes from the journey for the Your Northwest Forests blog.

To read previous entries, visit https://yournorthwestforests.org/category/capitol-christmas-tree/.

For more information, visit the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree website, www.capitolchristmastree.com, and story map: https://arcg.is/10DOyv

Track the tree! Follow the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree on its Return to the Oregon Trail journey in near real-time, at www.trackthetree.com


 

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November 17th, 2018
Laramie, Wyo.

It’s not an Oregon Trail adventure without a weather delay!

The weather forecasters were correct.  It snowed… enough to close the interstate! 

But we found a cozy little place to hole up and wait for the roads to re-open in Little America, Wyo.

Our morning event in Fort Bridger, Wyo. was fantastic. People drove more than 70 miles through the snow to see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Joy was in the air, swirling with the snowflakes floating down on us!

Fort Bridger is named for Jim Bridger, a mountain man who carried a map of the continent in his head from all his exploring of the “west” back when the maps were still blank.

When the fur trade ended, he established Fort Bridger.

In his journal, he wrote: “I have established a small fort with a blacksmith shop and a supply of iron in the road of the emigrants on Blacks Fork of Green River, which promises fairly.  They, in coming out, are generally well supplied with money, but by time they get there are in want of all kinds of supplies…. Horses, provisions, smith work, etc…”

Jim Bridger was not much of a builder, but he was free with his advice. If he was not out wandering somewhere, his advice was welcomed at this critical junction of the Oregon and California trails.

We left Fort Bridger knowing  the interstate was closed ahead due to snow, ice, high winds, and numerous crashes. We decided to pass the time at the Little America Truck Stop and wait for the road to open, inadvertently making the day of everyone else waylaid by the weather. Word of our presence at the truck stop quickly became known. Many more signatures were added and many selfies taken. We were grateful for the warmth of the building, and our unscheduled visitors. We could have been “stuck” in a much worse location!

I imagine encountering snow and sub freezing temperatures in a covered wagon, while wearing a cotton-printed prairie dress and bonnet, would likely have ended in tragedy.  We had our fancy fluffy down jackets and a truck stop complete with central heating, tables and chairs, and hot food made-to-order.

Four hours later the word “open” started to float through the air.  Sure enough, the rumor was true. The interstate had re-opened!

We quickly gathered our gear and hit the road before hundreds of other trucks and travelers beat us to it.  Best to be at the front of the wagon train when it started moving again!

The roads were still slick. Traffic moved slowly, and carefully. At times we were only moving six miles-per-hour. My horse is faster!

It was a long, slow trip, but we eventually made it to Laramie, Wyo., exhausted but alive.

I was grateful.

Our ancestors may not have survived such a trip.

Nikki Swanson
District Ranger, Sweet Home Ranger District
Willamette National Forest

 

 

 

UPDATED: 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree route celebrates Oregon Trail

Map of the US Capitol Christmas tree route from Oregon to Washington D.C.

SWEET HOME, Ore. – Updated Nov. 6, 2018 The “People’s Tree” will begin its cross-country journey from Oregon to Washington D.C., this weekend.

The Willamette National Forest, in partnership with nonprofit agency Choose Outdoors and Travel Oregon, have announced the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree tour, which will celebrate the tree’s journey from the forest’s Sweet Home Ranger District in Oregon to the U.S. Capitol, where it will help the nation celebrate the holiday season.

Each year, a different National Forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season.

The 2018 tour announcement celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act, with the theme “Find Your Trail,” tour stops, and community celebrations  to reflect and celebrate both the National Trails System, and the historical Oregon Trail.

Businesses donated ornaments for hikers to find while exploring local trails on the forest, and volunteers created thousands of handmade ornaments and other decorations to adorn the Capitol Christmas tree and dozens of others to be provided by the forest for display inside the U.S. Capitol Building.

On Friday, Nov. 2, the tree will be cut and prepared for the more than 3,000-mile journey that commemorates the second inspiration for the theme – the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail – by following a reverse path of the trail.

A series of festive events will be hosted by local communities at museums, main streets, city halls, state capitols, markets, retailers, high schools, and even a parade. Attendees will have the chance to sign banners on the sides of the truck to wish the tree well, learn more about the Willamette National Forest and the great state of Oregon, purchase U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise and more.

The tree will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base (Joint Base Andrews), Maryland on Nov. 25, for transportation to the U.S. Capitol lawn for a tree-lighting ceremony hosted by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in early December.

2018 Capitol Christmas Tree tour:

Tour stops may include community celebrations, activities and events. Details are provided where available. All times are approximate and do not account for unforeseen weather and traffic delays, and locations of stops are subject to change. Monitor website at https://capitolchristmastree.com/tour for the latest updates.

  • Nov. 9: Sweet Home, Ore. Sweet Home High School, 1641 Long St, Sweet Home, OR 97386 (12 p.m. Street Fair, 6 p.m. Parade and 7:30 p.m. Program)
  • Nov. 10: Albany, Ore. Linn County Circuit Court, 300 SW Fourth Avenue, Albany, OR 97321 (11 a.m. – noon)
  • Nov. 10: Springfield, Ore. Cabela’s, 2800 Gateway Street, Springfield, OR 97477 (4 – 5:30 p.m.)
  • Nov. 11: McKenzie Bridge, Ore. Tokatee Golf Course, 54947 McKenzie Hwy, McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413 (10:30 – 11:30 a.m.)
  • Nov. 11: Oakridge, Ore. 48257 E. 1st, Oakridge, OR 97463 (2:30 – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Nov. 12: Bend, Ore. 450 SW Powerhouse Dr., Ste 422, Bend, OR 97702 (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
  • Nov. 12: Detroit, Ore. 160 Detroit Ave, Detroit, OR 97342 (5 – 7 p.m.)
  • Nov. 13: Salem, Ore. Oregon State Capitol, 900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301 (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Nov. 13: Oregon City, Ore. (4 p.m., Details TBD).
  • Nov. 14: The Dalles, Ore. The Dalles City Hall, 313 Court Street, The Dalles, Oregon 97058 (9 – 10 a.m.)
  • Nov. 14: Baker City, Ore. (4 p.m., Details TBD).
  • Nov. 16: Pocatello, Idaho. City Hall, 911 North 7th Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83201 (9 – 10 a.m.)
  • Nov. 16: Soda Springs, Idaho. Soda Springs City Park; 51 E 2nd S, Soda Springs, ID 83276 (noon – 1 p.m.)
  • Nov. 17: Fort Bridger, Wyo. Ft. Bridger State Historic Site, 37001 Isthmus Loop I-80 Fort Bridger, WY 82933 (9 – 10 a.m.)
  • Nov. 18: Laramie, Wyo. 975 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070 (9 – 10 a.m.)
  • Nov. 18: Scottsbluff, Neb. Parade route from 23rd St. to 17th Street on Broadway and ceremony on the 1700 block of Broadway (3 – 4 p.m.)
  • Nov. 19: Nebraska City, Neb. Otoe County Courthouse, 110 South 11th, Nebraska City, NE 68410 (6 – 7 p.m.)
  • Nov. 20: Perry, Kansas. Perry High School, 404 Lecompton Rd, Perry, KS 66073 (12 – 1 p.m.)
  • Nov. 20: Kansas City, Mo. MHC Kenworth, 1524 N. Corrington, Kansas City, MO 64120 (4 – 5 p.m.)
  • Nov. 21: Independence, Mo. Independence Uptown Market, 201 W. Truman Rd, Independence, MO 64050 (9 a.m. – 10 a.m.)
  • Nov. 22: St. Louis, Mo. 2018 Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade, 7th Street and Market Street, St. Louis, MO (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Nov. 23: Harrison, Ohio. The Harrison Pavilion, 101 Harrison Avenue, Harrison, OH 45030 (5 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Nov. 25: Joint Base Andrews, Md. Andrews Air Force Base, 1500 Perimeter Rd. Joint Base Andrews, MD (11 a.m. – 4 p.m., event at 2 p.m.)

The official tree lighting will occur Wed., Dec. 5 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The tree will be lit by Oregon fourth-grader Brigette Harrington, whose essay about love for Oregon’s outdoors was selected by the Governor and her staff from around 1,200 entries. Read her essay here: http://www.capitolchristmastree.com/The-Peoples-Tree/contest.

This is the first tree selected from the Willamette National Forest and the second tree to come from Oregon.

The trip to Washington, D.C. is made possible thanks to large and small companies and volunteers locally and across America who provide support of time and resources, including Pape Kenworth, KGW8, Kenworth Truck Company, Central Oregon Truck Company, SkyBitz, Oregon Forest Resources Institute, Hale Trailer, VanDoIt, Alaska Airlines, Husqvarna, Meritor, Pilot Flying J, Truckload Carriers Association, Willamette Valley Visitors Association, Axis Crane, Eaton, Great West Casualty Company, the National Forest Foundation and the City of Sweet Home.

For tour information, event details, news and updates, and to track the tree cross-country, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com or www.fs.usda.gov/willamette.

Map of the US Capitol Christmas tree route from Oregon to Washington D.C.

Find Your Trail! The 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree tour theme celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act, one of the inspirations for the 2018 theme of “Find Your Trail.” The trail route celebrates the Oregon Trail, a National Trails Systems Act designated historical trail.

Capitol Tree Oregon Trail route map (PDF)

***

About the Willamette National Forest, Oregon

With more than 1.5 million acres, the beautiful Willamette National Forest is home to eight wilderness areas – including the popular Three Sisters and Mt. Jefferson Wildernesses—and has over 1,700 miles of trails for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The varied landscapes of the high mountains, coastal rainforests, narrow canyons, and cascading streams offer visitors excellent opportunities to play and explore. We encourage people to use the #FindYourTrail hashtag as they explore trails and other areas of their local National Forest.

Sweet Home, Ore., is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Santiam Playground” due to its proximity to the Sweet Home Ranger District on the Willamette National Forest and its trails, lakes, rivers and mountains.

About the U.S. Forest Service

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land; provides assistance to state and private landowners; and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. For more information, see www.fs.fed.us.


Source information: Willamette National Forest staff report

 

Field Notes: 自然に触れる大切さ (The Significance of Nature)

A man and woman pose holding pine cones.

Jay Hideki Horita is a resource assistant in the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region’s Office of Communications and Community Engagement. In this “Field Note,” he shares his first week on the job, which he spent working with a pair of Japanese Exchange students volunteering at the region’s Portland, Ore. office.

“As a new Resource Assistant with the Northwest Youth Corps and the U.S. Forest Service, I knew much of my job as a Youth & Community Engagement Specialist would be to act as a liaison between the Forest Service and improve information and access to the agency’s services for under-served communities in Oregon and Washington.

“I didn’t know that this would mean using my experience as a Japanese-American who is fluent in Japanese in my first week on the job!

“As a participant in the Resource Assistants Program, folks like me have an internship of at least six months, after which we have a shot at becoming a permanent employee of the Forest Service. It’s one of the ways the Forest Service is trying to attract a younger and more diverse workforce.

“Recently, the Forest Service hosted two volunteers from Musashino University 武蔵野大学at the agency’s Regional Office in downtown Portland. The students were studying in the U.S. as part as an exchange program, and required to complete a volunteer service project while they were here.

“My first assignment, as a recent graduate – more importantly, Japanese-language speaker, was to guide our new volunteers during their time with us in Portland.

“During job interviews in Japan, one often explains their motivation, or 切っ掛け (kikkake), for applying to an organization or company.

A man and woman pose holding pine cones.

Kousuke Yoshia (left) and Yukime Nakajima (right) hold Douglas Fir cones on a hike at the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Ore. (Sept. 2018). USDA Forest Service photo by Jay Hideki Horita.

“For Yukime Nakajima and Kousuke Yoshida, their motivation aligns with many others who choose to work or volunteer for the Forest Service; an interest in forests, wildlife, and nature in general.

“Their assignment seemed simple enough: to help develop social media and other conservation education material by researching related pictures, quotations, and facts for 25 topics. The 25 topics ranged from universal themes like “employment” and “rivers” to more culturally-specific terms, like ‘Woodsy Owl’ and ‘Smokey Bear,’ ‘trail work,’ ‘wilderness,’ ‘mushroom foraging,’ and ‘veteran employment.’

“To understand these, the volunteers dove deep into the complicated history and culture surrounding U.S. land management.

“I asked Yukime what her favorite term was, and she expressed her affection for “Holiday Trees.” She was intrigued – and delighted – to learn that each year since 1970, the Forest Service provides the U.S. Capitol with a carefully chosen conifer, now known as “the People’s Tree.”

“These trees often complete cross-country trips to the National Mall in Washington D.C., where they are decorated with ornaments created by residents of the state where the trees originate.

“This charming tradition marries the Forest Service’s efforts with those of the many volunteers involved.

“The tradition also manifests more locally; the Forest Service encourages the public to harvest their own Christmas trees from National Forest -lands across the U.S., offering Christmas Tree cutting permits for only $5.

“Our two volunteers were delighted to hear about these traditions, as Christmas tree-harvesting is unheard of in Japan; indeed, Christmas itself is a holiday seldom celebrated in their country, as either a secular or religious holiday.

“Kousuke was surprised to learn about the darker history of land management in the United States. When looking at a map of Oregon, he asked me about the large tracts of reservation land.

“The ensuing conversation focused on the U.S. government’s displacement of and systemic discrimination against Native Americans and how this dark history laid the groundwork for public land management in the United States, including our national forests and parks.

“Through our work, our volunteers gained a more comprehensive and realistic understanding of the federal government’s role in U.S. land management.

“They also learned about the Forest Service’s more recent efforts to right these wrongs and to share perspectives often left out of the standard environmental education curriculum.

A woman and man pose with forestry hand tools

Yukime Nakajima (left) watches as Kousuke Yoshia (right) poses with a trail work tool while learning about forest recreation work. (Sept., 2018). USDA Forest Service photo by Jay Hideki Horita.

“Other terms, like ‘trail work’ or ‘wilderness,’ were completely foreign to our guests, who are both residents of Tokyo — Japan’s capital, and one of the worlds most densely populated cities.

“They learned about the creation of wilderness areas, and the trail work crews employed to maintain the nation’s many trails.

“We had sobering discussions about the accessibility of outdoor spaces for city residents across the world; in a mega-metropolis like Tokyo, these accessibility problems are often magnified.

“For their final day, the volunteers hiked the nearby Hoyt Arboretum, a 189-acre forest preserving 6,000 plant specimens from around the world. There, they gained a behind-the-scenes perspective on land management work.

Portland Parks & Recreation Trails Coordinator Jill Van-Winkle gave them a tour of the Arboretum’s facility, and the two experienced wielding a ‘double-jack’ and ‘Pulaski,’ among other classic trail work tools.

“Next, they visited the World Forestry Center, where they learned about the diverse forests across the world, including those in their home country Japan.

“Throughout these two weeks, both the Forest Service and the volunteers gained much insight into cross-cultural conservation work.

“As their journey in Oregon concluded, Yukime and Kousuke said they’d miss the Pacific Northwest’s vibrant landscapes, and wished they could stay longer.

“As the day ended, we said our final farewells in true cross-cultural spirit: with a big hug, and a low bow.

“When I asked Yukime what message she plans to bring home, she offered the phrase自然に触れる大切さ, which roughly translates as “the significance gained from nature.”

“She said she was moved by the love and care that people place on wilder places in this country and how nature gives its humans a way to understand love, care, and significance.

“For the many who live, work, and play in outdoor spaces – whether in the city or beyond – perhaps the same sentiments are true after an early morning wildlife sighting, an afternoon walk in the woods, or even an evening outdoors playing basketball on the blacktop, in a park surrounded by some of the trees that comprise Portland’s urban forest.”

A man and woman pose holding certificates outside the entrance and sign for the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum

Kousuke Yoshia (left) and Yukime Nakajima (right) at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon (Sept., 2018). USDA Forest Service photo by Jay Hideki Horita.

More information:

USDA Forest Service – Resource Assistant Program:
https://www.fs.fed.us/working-with-us/volunteers/resource-assistants-program


Source Information: Jay Hideki Horita is a resource assistant in the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region’s Office of Communications and Community Engagement.

Special activities, events through Labor Day weekend on Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie NF

An accessible trail circles the shore of a small alpine lake

EVERETT, Wash.August 22, 2018 —  The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is offering a number of opportunities to explore the history, culture, ecosystem, and other features of the forest through Labor Day weekend.

At Heather Meadows Visitor Center, a guest speaker, class, activity or event is scheduled every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m., through Sept. 2. The visitor center is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 7 days a week and features exhibits on local geology, plants, and animals, and a Discover Your Northwest gift shop. Please note: Heather Meadows Visitor Center exhibits and the events listed are ADA-accessible, free, open to the public – but you will need a federal inter-agency / “America the Beautiful” pass or the Northwest Forest Pass annual pass or day-pass for your visit.

Upcoming special presentations at Heather Meadows Visitor Center include:

  • AUG. 25, 1 p.m.: Civilian Conservation Corps and Camp Glacier – Janet Oakley. Listen to local historian, Janet Oakley, as she shares her knowledge of the Civilian Conservation Corps and their pivotal role in developing infrastructure within the rugged Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
  • AUG. 26, 1 p.m.: Nooksack Tribal Storytelling – Tammy Cooper-Woodrich. Join Nooksack Tribal elder Tammy Cooper-Woodrich for traditional stories about the animals, plants, and people of the Nooksack River drainage.
  • SEPT. 1, 1 p.m.: Local Wildlife Education – David Drummond. Join David Drummond as he talks about local wildlife within this Alpine Ecosystem!
  • SEPT. 2, 1 p.m.: The Grand Old Lady of Mt. Baker – Michael Impero. A history of the Mt. Baker Lodge with Michael G. Impero, author of the books, “The Lone Jack: King of the Mount Baker Mining District” and “Dreams of Gold” will give a presentation on his newest topic of interest, the Mount Baker Lodge.

Guided hikes at Deception Falls:

At Deception Falls Picnic Area, guided hikes are offered with a Forest Service field ranger Saturdays through Sept. 1. Learn about identification of local plants and animals, forest ecology and health, and the geologic processes which have shaped this unique landscape during a free, one-hour interpretive hike, beginning at the Deception Falls Picnic area. Bring your wilderness related questions about animals, vegetation, geology, waterfalls, hiking and forest safety!

You’ll find the Interpretive Ranger near the picnic tables, just off of the parking lot at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. on the scheduled days. Come early as the walks begin promptly. Guided hikes are complimentary and open to everyone. For questions, please contact the Skykomish Ranger Station on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest  at (360) 677-2414.

A uniformed Forest Service field ranger speaks as a visitor listens attentively

A field ranger talks with visitors at Artists Ridge, near the Heather Meadows Visitor Center, on Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Wash., August 4, 2016. USDA Forest Service photo.

 

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