Enjoying our spectacular backyard!
Jack Ash Trail OverviewJacksonville to Ashland Proposed Trail System: “Jack-Ash” Trail

The Jack-Ash Trail is a “general” idea of the route for the proposed SUTA trail system and is very preliminary in nature. The combination of needing BLM approvals and private landowner involvement may mean this route changes substantially over time. SUTA will post revised maps as the route becomes developed. The trail system may also be expanded as short loops are added in key areas to enhance trail use and access or local residents come up with expansions for trails already in existence on either public or private lands.

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Sterling Mine Ditch Trail Se;f Guide Map 100212

Let BLM Know Your Recreation Preferences

Categories: From the President, News & Updates - Tags: ,

Dear Trail Enthusiasts,

As many of you know, the Oregon BLM office has released a draft of its latest management plan for all of the lands it oversees in Western Oregon.  This covers the waterfront such as how they will manage your public forests or provide recreation. This plan, once finalized, will cast the fate of BLM lands for years to come, so weighing in by July 23rd with your comments is extremely important.

On the recreation front there are definitely improvement from past management plans.  Some tough issues are starting to be addressed.   The good news is that the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail, the proposed Jack-Ash Trail and the proposed Applegate Ridge Trail are recognized as recreational assets to be managed – at least in some of the various management options presented.

The entire plan is four volumes and rather daunting to look at.  But there are great summaries available from BLM, KS Wild and other sources.

For starters I encourage you to come to one of the public workshops specifically on recreation.  It is being held

June 18th from 6-9 PM

at the Grants Pass High School

at 830 NE 9th St in Grants Pass.

While other recreation workshops will be held around the state, I believe this is the only one for our area.  It is extremely important for BLM to hear from you –  the owner of these public lands –  about your concerns for how these lands will be managed in the future.

If the provision of trails is important to you let them know.  If you would like to see target practice restricted to designated areas, let them know.  If off-highway vehicle activity is an issue you care about, they should hear about it. This plan represents a shift in the approach for recreation from the current plan in that it recognizes the need to manage both OHV use and non-motorized recreation.  A Travel Management plan is proposed to be completed within five years.  This will theoretically detail exactly what OHV and non-motorized trails are allowed, need to be altered and so forth.  But the over-arching guidance for recreation and which lands are managed actively for recreation or not is one part of what the draft RMP (Resource Management Plan) addresses.  So your views are very important.   There are inter-active maps on BLM’s website you can open up and see how the recreation plans under each option will work.  They are quite interesting and there is lots of details associated with each feature shown on the map

There will also be a workshop on the forest and wildlife management proposals on:

June 17th in Medford

from 4-7 PM

 at the Ramada Medford Hotel

at 2250 Biddle Rd. 

Obviously it is forest management that is the crux of the entire plan and will shape the forests we recreate in in the future.  So, if the management of your public lands are important to you…you might want to take some time and voice your views.

For details on the proposed RMP and copies of it – CLICK HERE

For details on all the workshops here is the link:   – CLICK HERE

For interactive maps on recreation, forestry and more:  http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/rmpswesternoregon/interactivemap.php  Click on a location you are interested in on the map on this page and it will open up a map and you can then select this aspect you are interested in such as recreation.  If you mess around some all sorts of management information pops up when you click on a specific name such as Anderson Butte.  Warning – there are a bunch of data errors on these maps so don’t be surprised when you see trail lengths that are wildly inaccurate.  Something happened in their mapping which will be addressed.  But the management information is correct.   

Sorry for the long email but this is a very important issue for our region.  Thank you so much for participating and voicing your thoughts about the proposed resource management plan.

Hope Robertson


The Tunnel Ridge Interpretive Sign is IN!!!!!

Categories: News & Updates - Tags:

Thank you everyone who made this possible!  Starting with our former board member Mike McClain who wrote the original text to start the whole process.  Justin Glasgow at BLM who guided us through this complex production,  is responsible for  finding the artist, editing our copy and getting a fabulous professional printing job done – no small feat with the colors we used,  Lisa Rice at BLM for making sure our text was historically accurate.   Zach Million at BLM who selected the indestructible sign frame and post (we are going lighter on the next one!!!!) and for arranging for the invaluable help from  Evan Gammon from the Job Council and his crew  – Ian and Dane.  They carried the sign and the post up one mile – no small feat!!!!! Jim Reiland made sure it was level, plumb and perfect!  And definitely key – Dixie (the mule) and her trust worthy sidekick Annette Parsons –  carried 120 lbs of concrete mix and water up to the site ( the mule, not Annette).  It was quite the parade, a gorgeous day and its done!!!!  Furthermore it looks terrific.

If that was not enough, Jim Reiland and Ian walked back down the mountain, drove to Bear Gulch and carried a chainsaw around the whole loop, taking out some large fallen trees!  While they did that, Evan and Dane did some excellent treadwork on the Tunnel Ridge access trail.  Plus we got some directional signs up on a post.

A highly productive day.

Thank you everyone!

Hope Robertson


Wildflowers Abound Come Join Us March 21, 2015

Categories: Trail Maintenance Outings - Tags:
Triliium - April 28, 2012 SMDT

Triliium – Photo by Hope

Come Enjoy the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail’s Diverse Wildflowers at our next Trail Work Party

With the warm winter we have had so far, we expect many wildflowers to be in full bloom by March 21st.  The Little Applegate to Tunnel Ridge trail section has an amazing array of wildflowers.  Come join us to help maintain this wonderful segment of the trail.  This trail work party will concentrate on light trimming and some tread work. Great views, lovely woods and a rigorous 6 mile hike.  We may split into two groups, hiking in from both trailheads and eating a picnic lunch at a scenic overlook.

When:  March 21, 2015 – Saturday   8:30 AM – 1:30 PM (includes lunch provided by SUTA)

Where Meet at Tunnel Ridge Trailhead on Little Applegate Road at 8:30AM.   For detailed driving directions click here.

What: Brushing and tread work along the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail from Tunnel Ridge to the Little Applegate Trailhead (6 mile hike).

What to Bring: Wear comfortable hiking or work boots, dress in layers and bring gloves.  If you have them, please bring loppers, a pruning saw or a tread tool such as a Pulaski, grubber, or sturdy shovel.  Bring water and whatever snacks you like.  SUTA supplies additional trail tools and the classic SUTA snacks.

RSVP:  If you plan to come, please email SUTAoregoncontact@gmail.com so we can plan the work party and food!  Thank you

The last spring 2015 work party is April 18th, Saturday 8:30-1:30PM

To receive notices of trail work parties and other events, email us at sutaoregoncontact@gmail.com.



We look forward to seeing you out on the trail and on a work party!