ashland.news
July 23, 2024

Hike and talk this weekend to focus on fire management in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

Rich Fairbanks, kneeling, points out a fire scar. Fairbanks will discuss fire issues in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument on Friday at the Ashland Food Co-op Community Classroom. On Saturday he will lead a 2.2-mile hike for a more hands-on look at fire management. Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument photo
November 9, 2023

The Hike and Learn events on Friday and Saturday will look at contemporary and indigenous management practices

By Lee Juillerat for the Ashland.news

The history and ecology of fire in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument will be told and seen during a two-day program led by Rich Fairbanks, who has worked for years in fire management.

Fairbanks will discuss both contemporary and indigenous management practices based on his personal experience and consultation with indigenous people who have given him permission to share that information during a Friday night talk, “History and Ecology of Fire in the Monument.” The Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is organizing the event.

The talk will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ashland Food Co-op Community Classroom, 300 N. Pioneer St. The classroom is not in the grocery store but in a separate building behind the store. The program is free but organizers ask attendees to pre-register.

On Saturday, Fairbanks will lead a hike on the Green Springs Mountain Loop Trail, which is fairly flat and will cover about 2.2 miles. People attending the hike will meet at 9 a.m. at the Rite-Aid parking lot, 2341 Ashland St., and carpool to the monument. Participants should bring water, lunch or snacks, such items as hats, sunscreen, walking sticks, cameras and binoculars. They should wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing, including rain gear.

Organizers describe the Friday night talk as “an opportunity to learn, ask questions and meet your fellow hikers.” It is not necessary to attend the talk to take the Saturday hike. Likewise, people unable to join the hike are welcome to attend the talk, they said. “We believe in making the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument accessible for all people to learn about and appreciate our public lands.”

Fairbanks spent 32 years with the Forest Service in fire management, planning and silviculture. His various positions included interagency hotshot crew foreman, division supervisor and ID team leader for the Biscuit Fire Recovery Project. He also worked for five years for the California Fire Program of the Wilderness Society. Fairbanks, who has a degree in forestry and a master’s degree in planning, now owns a small forest management company. He and his wife live in the Applegate area, where they do a considerable amount of under-burning.

The Friends said Fairbanks’ Friday and Saturday programs “will take us on a historic journey through the Klamathon and Oregon Gulch fires within the monument and introduce us to the response of plants to fire and how to recognize fire scars. Though his lecture we will learn about fire behavior to understand how fire has shaped the monument in big ways and the need for more funding to be directed toward the proper protection and stewardship of its resources.”

To register for the talk and/or hike visit the website at cascadesiskiyou.org/hike-and-learn.

Email freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net.

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