South Fork Riparian Exclosure Fence Repair

Aaron Tani

success

Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Central Oregon’s “Backyard Wilderness”

Our quest to protect the Oregon Badlands

Located just 15 miles east of Bend, Oregon Badlands is a 30,000-acre wilderness area filled with fascinating lava flows and ancient juniper trees Arriving in the Badlands, so named for its rugged and harsh terrain, can feel like stepping

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fact

Swallowtail

Swallowtail

The Oregon Swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon and a true native of the Pacific Northwest. The Swallowtail can be seen in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage area.  Source: State Symbols USA

Latin name: Papilio oregonius

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South Fork Crooked River and Birds

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

Organizer: Jefferson Jacobs

Dates: June 1-4, 2023

Region: Central Oregon

Difficulty Rating: Level 4: Strenuous

Maximum Group Size: 16 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 BLM lands and private ranches before reaching the main stem of the Crooked River. The South Fork has been the historic home to anadromous fish, 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 BLM-managed public lands where fences exclude cattle and feral horses.

About the stewardship work

This trip is the first big step in a new collaboration with the Prineville BLM district focusing on restoring the South Fork Crooked River.  By repairing the exclosure fences protecting this 3 mile stretch of river we will be setting the stage for riparian restoration projects here in the coming years.

We will teach you everything you need to know about how to build barbed wire fence.

Mark Darnell

Trip timeline

  • Thursday June 1, 6 pm: Meet at the Jake Place property on the South Fork of the Crooked River. You can set up camps and get settled in with dinner. We’ll have an evening orientation about the next days’ work.
  • Friday-Saturday, June 2-3, 8 am to 4 pm: A full day of work building fence away from camp.
  • Sunday June 4, 8 am: 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 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.