“Pumpkin Pines” and Wagon Trains–Middle Fork Ranger District Offers Free Interpretive Hike and Tour of Jim’s Creek Restoration August 27

Release Date: Aug 19, 2010   Westfir, OR

Contact(s): Judith McHugh 541.915.5372

The Middle Fork Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest is offering a free, guided, hiking tour of Jim’s Creek ponderosa pine-oak savanna restoration area and a nearby heritage site, Rigdon Meadows. The tour will take place Friday, August 27 near Oakridge along a half mile of easy trails located in the Upper Middle Fork Willamette River Watershed.

“This is a great chance for folks to explore and learn about the ecology and cultural history of these unique areas within the Upper Middle Fork Watershed,” said Forester Tim Bailey. “Jim’s Creek restoration is a collaborative restoration effort that seeks to restore open savanna and meadow habitats.”

Come learn how the Forest Service is using restoration efforts to bring back cultural and ecological benefits to the land. “Pumpkin pine” i.e. large ponderosa pine and oak trees once dotted this historically open grassy landscape. The ponderosa pines served as food sources for Native people who peeled off the tree’s outer bark and used the inner sugar-filled xylem as a thickener and sweetener. While on the tour, look for the peeled scars on healthy trees. The tour will also highlight other heritage features including Rigdon Meadows, transected by the historic Oregon Central Military Wagon Road.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please register and get details on the tour by calling the District office at (541)782-2283.

Please bring comfortable shoes for hiking, lunch, day pack, water, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellant, and a bee sting kit if you have known allergies.

Ponderosa Pine with peeled bark in trunk healed over.