By Robbin Schindele.
I sit writing this amid the worst weather of the Winter of 2022-23 (so far.) It is cold, windy, and snowy, so let’s all move on and look forward to the coming Spring.
Before that, though, I want to tell you about an exciting new activity for us this winter; tabling at UCC. Finding new volunteers is always challenging for any organization, and finding younger volunteers is even more so. UW AmeriCorps volunteer Jessica Saxton is also a UCC student, and she was able to create a student interest group at the college and arrange a once-a-month tabling opportunity at the Student Center. And was generous enough to include the Wilderness Committee in her plans. We have done this for two months and garnered much interest. We’ll be back again this month.
The Wilderness Committee has been working on plans to make the next few months fun and exciting for our loyal and new supporters of the Crater Lake Wilderness Proposal (CLWP.)
As in the past, there are some familiar programs we will revive this year; we will be at the Umpqua Valley Framer’s on the second Saturday of each month, May through September, tabling for the CLWP. The way it works is, we ask market visitors to sign picture postcards in support of the proposal. The cards have a preprinted message urging the legislators to put forward a bill to congress to create the wilderness on one side and a scenic view of Crater Lake on the other. Market visitors sign with their name and city of residence, and the committee then mails the cards to our federal legislators. It takes just seconds to do, and it’s free to the signatory.
We’re also working on our list of summer hikes into the CLWP. Again, our goal is a minimum of one hike per month. We like to sponsor a variety of distances and levels of difficulty. From family-friendly shorter trails to longer, more challenging day hikes.
Both these activities are fun and tried and true ways to foster interest and education in our goal of creating an understanding of the importance of protecting Oregon’s public lands.
On the new side of things, we plan to have a night at the movies featuring the current state of Pacific Northwest salmon. This informational evening explores the state salmon as they are today and what we can do to help them survive in the 21st century in two movies and a fisheries expert speaker. The location will be the Roseburg Public Library, and the exact date has yet to be determined. Watch for more news in the monthly Watersheds Moments and the Umpqua Watersheds FB page
We are planning a weekend campout for September 16. Called the Dark Sky campout. Saturday, September 16, is the only weekend this summer when there will be no moon, and we want to see the sky in all its splendor. We are in the planning stages right now, but we’d like to gather some folks, go up into the hills and learn about the Oregon night sky. We’ll have a guide to the stars join us for guidance and information and have a fun night under the stars—more information to follow.
SHOUT OUTS to Bob Hoehne for the work he’s doing gathering more information on the drainages within the CLWP; Diana Pace for her constant work on keeping our committee running smoothly; Jessica Saxton for including us in her tabling efforts at UCC and Alanna Baumann, our newest committee volunteer!
And as Bugs used to say: “That’s all folks.”