Notes from the Field: January 2012

Jan 11, 2012
The latest news from Land Trust Community Preserves

Whychus Canyon Preserve

Stewardship Director Amanda Egertson has been enjoying her time out at Whychus Canyon Preserve scouting potential new trail alignments.  With the help of John Schubert, a trails specialist from the USFS, Amanda has been hiking all over the property looking for potential trails for the modest trail network to be developed at Whychus Canyon Preserve.  "Trail planning requires a certain amount of juggling," said Amanda.  "Our highest priority is the protection of fish and wildlife habitat--so that’s always in the forefront of our minds when we’re scouting for possible trail alignments. But we’re also incorporating plans for future stream and forest restoration, protection of cultural resources, current public use patterns and hiker access to stream and scenic views, and adjacent land ownerships. The Bureau of Land Management has been a great partner and we’re currently working with them to designate a formal trailhead. This parking and kiosk area will most likely be on BLM land and trails will fan out from there.”  It's a tough job, but someone has to spend their days hiking around Whychus Canyon Preserve.  Luckily, Amanda took some video from her adventures so that we could all enjoy the fruits of her labor. 

Wildlife update: A human-friendly female deer has been encountered by a few hikers at Whychus Canyon Preserve.  The Land Trust has posted signs on the property asking hikers to call us at the office should you encounter the deer, which has followed one group back to their cars and down the road.  For the deer's protection, please help it develop a more cautious approach to humans.  ODFW advises clapping loudly or yelling at it if you should be approached by the doe.  We are unsure where the deer came from or why it is not afraid of humans, but caution is in order should you encounter it.

Metolius Preserve

Fire patterns in the duff layer.
Fire patterns in the duff layer.
Fire patterns in the duff layer.
Progress is being made with plans to expand the parking area and install a new information kiosk at the North Fork entrance of the Metolius Preserve, along the Lake Creek Trail that runs from Camp Sherman to Suttle Lake.  The Land Trust has contracted with Chuck Newport of Construction Management Services in Sisters to develop designs for the new kiosk as well as two pedestrian bridges, one to cross the North Fork and one to cross the Middle Fork of Lake Creek.  The JC Kellogg Foundation provided primary funding for these projects, which will improve access to the ecologically diverse northern portion of the Metolius Preserve for low impact recreation and outdoor education for students. 

Fire!  The fires from November pile burning finally burned themselves out after a month of smouldering and creeping along the ground at the Metolius Preserve.  Now it's time to do it again!  We hope to burn the remaining piles on section 17 of the property by the end of February, but as always, the weather will be the deciding factor for burning.