Join Saturday's cleanup of the upper Rogue River

If you don't mind getting a little dirty to help clean up public lands, you may want to set aside Saturday to spruce up the upper Rogue River watershed or an old ranch high in the Soda Mountain Wilderness.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Upper Rogue Watershed Association are seeking volunteers to clean along the riverbank in the river's upper watershed.

The BLM is organizing a similar cleanup event at the former Box-O Ranch in the wilderness that day.

The events, both beginning at 9 a.m., are part of the annual National Public Lands Day in which volunteers across the nation step forward to remove trash from public lands on the last Saturday of September. Since it began in 1994, it has grown into the nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands.

Last year, more than 170,000 volunteers worked on 2,067 sites nationally, including along the middle section of the Rogue.

"We're doing a different stretch of the river this year," said Jeanne Klein, a spokeswoman for the BLM's Medford District. "We're hoping to get quite a turnout. All ages are welcome."

The work will include everything from weed pulling to picking up garbage, she said.

For the Upper Rogue River event, volunteers should meet that morning at the Upper Rogue Regional Park, 7660 Rogue River Drive, Shady Cove. The site is next to the Edgewater Inn.

Teams will disperse from there to access points ranging from the fish hatchery to Takelma Park at Lost Creek Lake.

Gloves, garbage bags and water will be provided. Participants should bring a snack for earlier in the day, but a free picnic lunch will be provided from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Upper Rogue Regional Park.

In addition, the natural and cultural history displays in the McGregor Park Visitor Center at Lost Creek Lake will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Those wanting to volunteer for the Soda Mountain Wilderness event will meet at 9 a.m. at the Cascade Siskiyou Information Center adjacent to the Green Springs Inn on Highway 66. They will then carpool to the project site.

The work will include removing unneeded fences as well as cleaning up debris at the historic ranch. Biologists and resource specialists will be available to answer questions about the area and discuss the rich biodiversity there.

A sack lunch will be provided for each volunteer going into the wilderness. However, participants are asked to contact Howard Hunter at 541-601-1876 to let him know how many lunches will be needed. The Old Farm House Restaurant in Ashland is donating the lunches.

Volunteers in both events are encouraged to wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately. They should also bring plenty of water to drink.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or email him at

Share This Story