South Fork Exclosure Fence Repair

Aaron Tani

fact

Young Desert Horned Lizard

Young Desert Horned Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos

listen

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

voices

Sarah Graham, Sage Sustainers Member

Sarah Graham, Sage Sustainers Member

“I contribute to ONDA monthly because it adds up to a larger annual gift than what I’d be able to comfortably afford if I were to do a simple one-time donation annually. I’m able to give more to ONDA this way and have greater impact which is important to me, and my dog Polly.”

Organizer: Sarah Lindsay

Dates: May 30 – June 2, 2024

Region: Central Oregon

Difficulty Rating: Level 4: Strenuous

Maximum Group Size: 15 participants

About the place

This project takes place on the traditional lands of the Northern Paiute, Wasco and Warm Springs people. Many Indigenous peoples live in Oregon’s high desert region today, including members of the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute), the Klamath Tribes (Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin) and the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe.

The South Fork of the Crooked River has its source just to the south of the South Fork Crooked River Wilderness Study Area (WSA). After the river carves its way north through the canyon in the WSA it passes through a patchwork of public lands and private ranches before reaching the main stem of the Crooked River. Historically, the South Fork was home to anadromous fish such as steelhead until dam construction blocked their passage, and has been the site of successful redband trout reintroduction efforts in recent years. However, due to the eradication of beaver, riparian habitat loss from overgrazing, and irrigation withdrawals dewatering the creek, the river’s water temperatures have risen and habitat quality has plummeted. This trip will take place on along three miles of the South Fork Crooked River on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) where fences exclude cattle and feral horses, and where future riparian restoring work is being planned.

About the stewardship work

This trip is part of a collaboration with the Prineville BLM district focused on restoring the South Fork Crooked River. By repairing the fences protecting this 3 mile stretch of river we will be setting the stage for riparian restoration projects here in the coming years.  Volunteers will camp on private lands near the work site and will depart the campsite at 8 a.m. each morning and travel back to camp by 4 p.m. The work each day will involve hiking or carpooling to the project location and hiking up to 8 miles a day while completing fence repair tasks such as running heavy wire spools, pulling staples and unclipping wire, splicing wires together, and stapling and clipping the new wires. No previous fence repair experience is necessary for this trip and all training, tools and materials will be provided.

Mark Darnell

Trip timeline

  • Thursday May 30, 5 p.m.: Meet at the Jake Place property on the South Fork of the Crooked River to set up camp and get settled in with dinner. We’ll have an evening orientation about the next days’ work.
  • Friday-Saturday, May 31 – June 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Two full days of work repairing fence away from camp.
  • Sunday June 2, 8 a.m.: After breakfast we can pack up camp and head on home!

Camp

We will be car-camping on nearby private lands.  The landowner has a great camping area of scattered junipers along the river where we can spread out. However, there are really no particular improvements other than a fire pit and some tables. ONDA will provide some additional amenities such as shade/rain tarps and extra chairs. The access road is an unmaintained dirt road, but it is not too much for a Subaru, or even an adventurous sedan driven carefully (in good weather).

Difficulty

Level 4

This trip will be physically demanding. Access along the fence line is only by foot and we will likely be hauling a variety of fence materials to where they are needed to conduct repairs.  Footing is often uneven and slanted.  Total hiking distances over the course of the entire day may be around 8 miles.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food, water and camping gear, as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are required for this trip. We recommend bringing your own work gloves to provide a comfortable fit, but it is not required.  Potable water is not available at the campsite, so volunteers will need to bring sufficient water for drinking and cooking during the course of the trip.

Gear provided

ONDA will provide work gloves if you don’t have a pair, all the tools and materials required for the work, safety gear and excellent guidance in the field.

Registration

An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip. Check the box next to each trip you would like to attend.

Apply now

You will receive a confirmation email within 2 weeks of submitting your form. The confirmation email 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.”

Six 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 waitlist.

Three weeks before the trip start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive driving instructions, maps, and additional information in an email sent by the trip leader

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.