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Pine Creek Conservation Area Backcountry Fence Pull #1

What a great way to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox: An afternoon backpack to the eastern edge of the Conservation Area, and two days of removing fence from a ponderosa forest criss-crossed by deep canyon streams.
When Sep 20, 2012 12:00 PM to
Sep 23, 2012 10:00 AM
Where Pine Creek Conservation Area
Contact Name
Contact Phone (541) 330-2638
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BACKGROUND:
Pine Creek Conservation Area (PCCA) encompasses 35,000 acres of land near Clarno, on the John Day River.  This land, open to the public, is managed by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as mitigation for the Bonneville Power Administration John Day Dam on the Columbia River.  As such, it is managed in perpetuity for the benefit of fish and wildlife.  The area is open to hiking and hunting, but closed to motorized vehicles.  A contiguous neighbor to Spring Basin Wilderness (PCCA borders the Wilderness on three sides), the Conservation Area is a great demonstration of the success of linking together the patchwork of public and private lands protected in the John Day Basin, ultimately providing large contiguous landscapes conserved for the enjoyment of the public, and the enhancement of native fish, wildlife and habitat.  ONDA has been a long-time partner with PCCA, planting tens of thousands of trees in critical riparian habitat, and mapping and removing dozens of miles of obsolete fence.

Barbed wire fences are a significant source of mortality for wildlife, and an eyesore.  Helping remove obsolete fences from cow-free areas has been an ONDA priority since it was founded in 1987.

HERE is a Google map showing the location of our proposed campsite within the Conservation Area.

2012 PCCA Fence Pull Trip Description

From right to left, we'll hike through this valley and over the far hills to a great little spot in the trees with a natural spring!

 

TRIP TIMELINE:

  • September 20, Thurs. 12PM.  We will meet at the Robinson Creek Campsite, have lunch together and re-load our gear for the afternoon hike out to the base-camp campsite.

  • September 21, Fri.  First of two big days of pulling down fence.

  • September 22, Sat.  Second of two big days of pulling down fence.
  • September 23, Sunday.  After breakfast we'll hike out and then head home.

THE WORK:
Taking apart barbed wire fence is scratchy, hot, dusty work, and incredibly satisfying.  Fence pulling involves removing fence clips with pliers, rolling barbed wire by human powered machine and by hand, and pulling out posts by hand with a post-pulling jack. We typically head to the work site at 8AM and stop work by 3, in order to leave time in the afternoon to clean-up, relax and cook a well-deserved dinner.  Getting to the work site typically involves a hike of about a mile.  It is a wonderful feeling after a day's work to look back and see a landscape restored and fence-less.

2012 PCCA #1 Trip description

Working our way up to the top of a canyon on a fence pull in another location in the Conservation Area.


CAMP:
We will be operating out of the same camp for the length of the trip.  Since we will be backpacking in, all your personal gear/food will need to be carried in on your back.  Potable water will be available, but the setting will be wild: not a developed campsite.


DIFFICULTY RATING:
4 out of 5.  While there is a high likelihood that we will be able to truck our packs to the campsite, everyone will still need to hike themselves in: about 5.5 miles with a 1,000 foot elevation gain.  The fenceline itself crosses challenging, steep terrain perpendicular to the headwaters of three different canyons: Old Mill, Little Pine, and Robinson Canyons.  This will be a tough couple of days of work, but in an area that is spectacular: and a different habitat than most associate with the rest of the Conservation Area. Click HERE for a description of the trip difficulty rating system.

 

PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITIES:
Participants are responsible for their own food, backpacking/camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are required for this trip.   This trip is offered to members free of charge.


PROVIDED BY ONDA:
ONDA will provide tools for the work, we will haul the heavy fence gear to the base camp (so you don't have to), expert leadership and we will teach you all you need to know about fence pulling!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
This trip will be led by ONDA's Wilderness Stewardship Coordinator Jefferson Jacobs jjacobs@onda.org.
Group size is limited to 15 participants


REGISTRATION:
An ONDA registration application and medical form is required for this trip. Click HERE for the form.  You only need to fill this form out once per year: You can join additional 2012 trips by e-mailing the trip leader directly. 

You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 working days of submitting your form.  The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the "participant list" for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the "wait list".  Five weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs open spaces will be backfilled with people from the wait list.  Three weeks before the trip begins, the trip leader will send out an e-mail with additional information, maps, driving instructions, car-pooling options etc. However, if you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact the trip leader.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638
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