With the passage of the solstice, summertime is here, which means the days are long and the water is calling! Rogue Riverkeeper has officially launched their 2023 Water Quality Monitoring Program and will be posting weekly updates for safe swimming and recreating in the Rogue basin to their Swim Guide. You can download the app to easily access this information as you’re planning your weekend trips to local lakes and rivers. Learn more about RRK’s Swim Guide in their digest section below.
Summertime also brings with it the well known conversation of wildfire. The precipitous winter and occasional spring showers have left the region wetter than Julys in recent past, but drought is very much still present in the region, and it is no time to disregard wildfire preparation. We offer our Wildfire Dashboard as a one-stop-shop to keep community members up to date and informed about all things fire. Our Climate program has also been working hard to complete the Forest & Fire Toolkit 2.0 which holds resources for coexisting with fire in the region, and the publication will be available soon.
Continue on for our full July digest with summer updates from our programs and events you can attend to spend a few of your summer days with us.
For the wild,
PS: There are only three spots left on our rafting trip down the Wild & Scenic Rogue River this year! Reserve your spot today.
Summer rafting on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River. Photo credits: Frances Oyung
In this month’s digest:
Climate Program:Deadline Extended! There’s still time to have your voice heard to protect ancient forests
ForestWatch: Pacific fishers are one step closer to protection
Rogue Riverkeeper: Launching the 2023 Swim Guide in the Rogue basin
Stewardship: Celebrating six years of stewardship at Eight Dollar Mountain and Days Gulch Botanical Areas
Internal Highlight: KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Change Team
Events: Join us for a First Friday, a paddle, or a book release event!
Deadline Extended! There’s still time to have your voice heard to protect ancient forests
The USFS and BLM have both extended their deadlines for accepting public input on new national rules the agencies can adopt to better manage our public forests. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to call for permanent protections for federal mature and old-growth forests from logging. These forests need us to take action today before it’s too late!
The future of these forests largely depends on how loud forest and climate advocates across the country can be. So let’s get loud and ensure these essential, climate-saving forests get the protections that they deserve. If you haven’t already, please take a minute to add your name to the list of advocates demanding permanent protections of mature and old-growth forests on federal public land!
A Pacific fisher peeking out from a cavity in an old-growth tree.
KS Wild, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Environmental Protection Information Center have been working for over two decades to secure needed protections for at-risk Pacific Fisher populations, and we aren’t stopping now! While rodenticide poisons and habitat loss have kept fisher populations on the brink, the good news is that our efforts have resulted in the US Fish and Wildlife Service considering the need to list the species as Threatened. Read the full press release here:
Rogue Riverkeeper’s water quality monitoring program is up and running! During the first week of sampling, popular swimming spots like Granite Street Reservoir in Ashland, Evans Creek at Palmerton Park in the town of Rogue River, and the Rogue River at Gold Hill Family Beach Park were tested and all passed for water quality standards for safe recreating. Check out the Swim Guide results to know which bodies of water are safe for recreating in this summer.
A water sample taken for quality testing from Evans Creek at Palmerton Park.
Photo credits: Caitlin Eastman
We are partnering with Moxie Brew at the Ashland 4th of July celebration! Moxie is donating 20% of their proceeds to RRK, so come enjoy local kombucha and say hi at our table. We still need volunteers to help staff during this event. Please contact email@example.com if you have a couple hours to give.
Celebrating six years of stewardship at Eight Dollar Mountain and Days Gulch Botanical Areas
Bolstered by a great group of volunteers and the support of the US Forest Service, our Public Lands and You (PLAY) program has been able to steward Eight Dollar Mountain and Days Gulch Botanical Areas for six consistent years! The hard work many have put into these areas over the years has led to tremendous revival and protection. Read our latest blog post where Allee, our Events & Volunteer Manager, tells the story.
Volunteers pose with the new botanical sign they installed. Photo credits: Allee Gustafson
KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Change Team
Summertime is the season of growth and light, and we are experiencing our own growth here at KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper. A few years ago, we launched our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Change Team; a committee of KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper staff members dedicated to shining a light on how we can create a more inclusive, equitable conservation organization that feels like home for all people that support our mission.
Our staff recently completed a deep-dive training into microaggressions provided by one of our generous funders. We invite you to join us in this journey to learn more about these all-too-common acts of subtle exclusion that communicate hostile, derogatory, or insulting messages toward members of marginalized groups. Experiencing microaggressions frequently over time causes measurable physical and psychological harm to the targets of these acts. Our staff members left this training with the understanding, tools, and a commitment to practice how to speak up effectively in allyship when we witness microaggressions. The DEI Change Team has also organized an opportunity in August to support, connect with, and learn from our Yurok community members in a Yurok Canoe Tour. We hope you look into the canoe tours to support and learn more about local Indigenous people and their cultures in the KS.
Ashland 4th of July Celebration
Tuesday, July 4th from 9am – 5pm
Rogue Riverkeeper is partnering with Moxie Brew during the Ashland 4th of July celebration! Moxie Brew is donating 20% of their proceeds to our work, so come enjoy a non-alcoholic, local kombucha drink and stop by as we talk about our water quality monitoring program for the summer of 2023.
July First Friday
Friday, July 7th from 5 – 7pm
Deb VanPoolen artwork
KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper invite you to join us for First Friday with landscape painter, Deb VanPoolen at the KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper office for the July First Friday Artwalk.
The works to be showcased represent a decade of traipsing the globe while making some art about the ideals of love, peace, and simple living in Earth’s fragile, profound ecosystems. Refreshments will be provided.
Deb will be generously donating 40% of all artwork sale proceeds to KS Wild and Rogue Riverkeeper’s work.
Upcoming 2023 First Fridays at the KS Wild Office:
August 4th: Zoe Alowan
September 1st: Judy Weiner
Siskiyou Crest Stewardship Day + Campout at Alex Hole
Friday, July 7th – Saturday July 8th
Join us to protect a biological treasure on the Siskiyou Crest called Alex Hole. This high-elevation wetland meadow is an important and unique high-elevation habitat and migration corridor for flora and fauna, but cattle grazing in the area has been an ongoing concern. With a strong partnership between KS Wild and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, a remedy is in sight as the groups work alongside volunteers (that’s you!) to repair a fence to protect this meadow on public lands.
The Making of the Northwest Forest Plan: Book Release
Monday, July 10th from 6 – 7:30pm
Come hear stories and conversations with authors Dr. Jerry Franklin and Dr. Norm Johnson on their new book ‘The Making of the Northwest Forest Plan: The Wild Science of Saving Old-Growth Ecosystems’. The event will take place at the Ashland Library in the Gresham Room. There is limited space at the venue and spots are filling up fast! Once all in-person seats are filled, we will offer a live streaming option to attend. RSVP to reserve your seat.
Join us for this beginner boating day! Kids 6 years and older are welcome but it is recommended that younger children be in a boat with an adult. You must provide your own boat (canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddle board), paddle, and PFD. The Public Lands Store in Medford is offering FREE rental of a boat, pfd, and paddle if you are participating in this Rogue Riverkeeper event. To get a free one-day boat rental for this event, you must go into the Medford Public Lands store in-person and mention this Rogue Riverkeeper event when you reserve your boat. Sign up to reserve your spot as the number of participants is limited!