Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Activities, Free Access

Contact(s): Siuslaw National Forest

Corvallis, OR – To celebrate the 23rd annual National Public Lands Day, the Siuslaw National Forest is offering free access to recreation day use sites on Saturday, Sept. 24, and will be hosting events for volunteers and public lands enthusiasts at the end of the month.

September 22: Discover the Wonderful World of Lichen at Cape Perpetua BioBlitz
Who:    Curious volunteers, beginner to advanced, with an interest in the forest
What:   Citizen science project identifying lichen species in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
When:  10:30 am to 4:00 pm, September 22, 2016
Where: Cape Perpetua Visitor Center
How:    Contact Brian Hoeh, bbhoeh@fs.fed.us, 541-547-3289

Forest Service staff and volunteers are participating in a national effort to document the biodiversity present on public lands. Known as a BioBlitz, this type of survey uses citizen science volunteers to identify and document species of plants and animals found in special places all across the country. No special skills required!

Lichens are a complex life form created from a symbiotic partnership between two organisms, a fungi and an alga.  Besides being beautiful with many intricate forms and colors, lichens benefit humans through their ability to absorb everything in their atmosphere, especially pollutants, providing valuable information about the environment and air quality around us.  Lichens were in the news recently when Forest Service lichen monitors discovered previously undetected pollution and contaminants in the city of Portland.

Forest Service botanists Marty Stein and Doug Glavich will be on hand to provide volunteers with training on how to identify local lichens. Be prepared for hiking on and off trails and dress for the weather. Digital cameras are useful but not required.

September 24: Marys Peak Meadow Restoration
Who: Anyone ages 10 years and up
What: Removing invading tree seedlings along edges of meadows
When: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, September 24, 2016
Where: Marys Peak summit parking lot
How:  Sign up here - http://solveoregon.org/get-involved/events/marys-peak-meadow-edge-pull

Join staff and volunteers with the Forest Service, Alliance for Recreation and Natural Areas of Benton County, and SOLVE to help protect Marys Peak meadows from invading trees. Volunteers will be pulling seedlings and removing saplings. Be prepared for walking and bending on uneven terrain and remember the weather on Marys Peak can be colder and windier than in the valley. Gardening gloves are recommended, hand pruners are optional.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort in support of public lands. Each year, tens of thousands of volunteers serve at thousands of sites in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The Forest Service also offers fee-free days in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, National Get Outdoors Day, and Veterans Day. Fees are waived generally for day use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads, and destination visitor centers. Fees are not waived for concessionaire-operated facilities or for overnight use such as camping or recreation rentals. Contact the Siuslaw National Forest to learn if your destination requires a fee and if that fee is waived.