Over the years, some of our precious botanical areas along the Siskiyou Crest have been subject to damage from cattle, contributing; trampling of vegetation, erosion of soil, and spoiling the experience for visitors to these special places on our public lands. Read more about cattle on public lands.
This summer, 2016, we have seen a surge in "cattle drift," particularly concerning because it is much earlier in the year than usual. Although no "cattle trespass" (crossing the border from Klamath National Forest to Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, aka into the Ashland Watershed) has been documented, we are concerned by the proximity.
Two locations that we are looking after in particular are:
- Grouse Gap Meadows, a popular recreation destination along the Pacific Crest Trail on the south side of Mt. Ashland
- Alex Hole Meadows, a remote and sensitive wetland area that has a long history of damage from cattle.
Volunteer help is much needed and appreciated while we look for long term "cattle drift" solutions with the Forest Service.
Thank you for volunteering your time to monitor grazing on public lands! In order to maximize your volunteered time and the information you gather, we at KS Wild have prepared a checklist. We emphasize that the area is one that is tough to get to and easy to get lost in. Plan accordingly! We hope follow these guidelines and enjoy your time volunteering.
- Look for cattle present. Take note of the number of cattle, the color of their ear tags, if they have bells and chains around their neck, if they have canvass straps around their neck.
- Look for vegetation impact from the cattle. Specifically in riparian and wetland areas.
- Look for evidence of cattle present- excrement, trampling, hoof-prints, etc.
- Take photos of all of the above!
- With each photo record the location, day, and time.
- Please take photos which clearly display the subject, be it cow or cow excrement, while showing relevant landscape.
- With each photo of cattle please capture the animals color, tag color, ear notches, or any other distinguishing characteristic. If you cannot get a clear photo of a tag color please record it.
- Please use a telephonic lens for maximum clarity of photos.
- Bring a hard copy map.
- Have plenty of water and food.
- Budget your time well.
- Implement Leave-no-trace practices.
- Have a full tank of gas.
All records of your observations should be mailed to the District rangers below, and a copy to Jeanine@kswild.org
Happy Camp/Oak Knoll District Ranger
Klamath National Forest
63822 Highway 96
Happy Camp, CA 96039
Siskiyou Mountains District Ranger
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
6941 Upper Applegate Road
Jacksonville, OR 97530
Thank you again for volunteering your time! Please let us know if you have any questions.