VOLUME 6/NUMBER 5: September, 1999


Fish Habitat Project a Success at "Rhododendron Meadow
The fish habitat project at "Rhododendron Meadow" was successfully completed during the month of August. This Autumn and Winter, with the return of dwindling stocks of Salmon and Steelhead to Henry Creek, they will find a much better habitat.

Cascade Geographic Society, working in cooperation with Jeremy Sikes, a Habitat Biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Eric Mauck, a heavy equipment operator from Boring, Oregon, placed 25 logs into Henry Creek to create spawning and rearing areas, upstream of a pre-existing bridge. The work was accomplished under a special permit from the Division of State Lands. The planning for the stream work took many months and involved fish biologists from state and federal agencies, as well as from the private sector.

The "key" to accomplishing the project with minimal impact to the stream environment and the wetlands of "Rhododendron Meadow," was an expensive piece of heavy equipment called a "Spider Trackhoe." Resembling something from outer space with its four spider-like arms, this unique computerizes equipment can go where most cannot without destroying the environment.

Funding for the Henry Creek fish habitat project came from the following partnerships: Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Portland General Electric, All Terrain Excavating, and the Portland Water Bureau, in addition to private citizens. Habitat projects like these are critical to help save the endangered Salmon and Steelhead in the Sandy River Basin.

An environmental science class from Barlow High School will begin monitoring the recently completed fish habitat project in Henry Creek, beginning in October. They will return sometime in the Spring to evaluate the changes associated with the placement of logs in the stream and to assess any improvements in the spawning and rearing areas utilized by Salmon and Steelhead.

Plans are already underway to do even more habitat enhancement work next year. This would entail placing logs below the bridge in Henry Creek. Like this Summerís work, the goal of the project will be to enhance the stream habitat for anadromous fish.

Another project would be to enhance an important back-channel of Henry Creek. Considered ideal for spawning and for fish to escape the high-waters of Winter and Spring, such work will make "Rhododendron Meadow" and its related streams even more important for its habitat.
Two culverts on Little Brook Lane, which access "Rhododendron Meadow," and another upstream, are also being looked at for replacement by bridges or small arched culverts. In addition, a tributary of Henry Creek that was literally buried prior to the Cascade Geographic Society taking over the 14.5 acres, will be reopened and restored.


TWO POTENTIALLY  RARE PLANTS DISCOVERED by botanist at "Rhododendron Meadow"

A botanist, recently retired after 25 years from the Bureau of Land Management, has discovered two potentially rare plants in "Rhododendron Meadow." Beginning next Spring, study and monitoring of the plants will be conducted so that they can be preserved.
Retired botanist, Larry Scoffield, who has been volunteering his time with Cascade Geographic Society at "Rhododendron Meadow," has been making some unique finds. His work has included identifying sensitive wetland plants and identifying plants used by Native Americans for food and medicines, in addition to identifying ceremonial plants.

One of the plants Larry discovered was not even supposed to grow in the Mount Hood Area. And the other one, he has never seen before in his career. So, the areas associated with these two plants are being protected, and next Spring he will begin his study on these two species, as well as continuing on with evaluating the plant species all through Rhododendron Meadow.


Interpretative Kiosk Planned for Rhododendron Meadow
The resources of Rhododendron Meadow are important, and range from historical and cultural to fish and wildlife and other natural resources. As part of the Cascade Geographic Societyís Sanctuary Lands Program, they are being preserved as heritage treasures for future generations.

Assisting in the preservation of these heritage resources are the efforts to restore and maintain the natural landscape at Rhododendron Meadow. The most recent activity was the stream enhancement work in Henry Creek that took place in August. And, more such projects are sure to follow.
Planning for an interpretative kiosk is currently underway for Rhododendron Meadow that will identify the heritage resources -- like rare plants and those utilized in the ethnobotony of Native Americans, sections of the Oregon Trail, wetlands and wildlife habitat, streams, anadromous fish like Salmon, Steelhead, and Sea-Run Trout, and other resources. In addition, the restoration work taking place will be included in the kiosk.

Partners for the interpretative kiosk for Rhododendron Meadow currently include the following: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Chief Johnny Jackson of the Cascade-Klickitat tribe, Carol Logan representing the Clackamas tribe, Michael P. Jones and Nita Kreuzer of Rhododendron. If you would like to make any contributions to the interpretative kiosk for Rhododendron Meadow, either as an individual, family, business, or organization, or want more information on the project, contact the Cascade Geographic Society at P.O. Box 398, Rhododendron, Oregon 97049; or call: (503) 622-4798. All donations are tax deductible and any donation of $250 or over will insure the donor their name will be on a placque that will be placed and maintained on the facility.


How You and your Family or organization can keep wildlife from being killed on roads
You and your class or organization can assist the Cascade Geographic Society from keeping wildlife from being killed on roads in the Mount Hood Area by sponsoring a Wild Animal Warning Reflector. These unique devices are placed along roads in wildlife migration corridors and are beneficial to the animals during the high-kill periods, which is between dusk and dawn. When the light of the on-coming traffic passes this section of road that has the "relector" mounted on a 3-foot post, Deer, Elk, Bear, Cougar, Bobcat, Coyote, Raccoons, and other wild animals will wait until the vehicle(s) pass. The cost is only $20 a reflector. This is a great class project. Every reflector makes a difference. This is a great and critical fund-raising project! For additional information how you can help, please call (503) 622-4798. Or, write: Save Our Wildlife, P.O. Box 398, Rhododendron, OR. 97049.


Last school year, over 350 volunteers from Portland Metropolitan Area schools assisted in restoring the natural environment and sections of the Oregon Trail but much work is left. If you want to contribute some volunteer time to benefit fish and wildlife, we could surely utilize you. Many things have contributed to the poor conditions of our Northwest, and we still have fish and wildlife habitats in need of enhancement or restoration. Help Salmon and wildlife species by lending Cascade Geographic Society a hand. Project sites range from the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to Mt. Hood. Give Nita Kreuzer, Volunteer Coordinator, a call at (503) 658-6233 [evenings].


The website for the Cascade Geographic Society is up and running, thanks to the work of Brian Lehmann of Beaver Creek. The site includes information about the organization, its projects, tours, classes, festivals, events, and more. Still in the development phase, you can keep updated on the organizationís work. You can locate us on the Internet at: http://members.tripod.com/cgs-mthood


Shanghai tunnel tour scheduled for October 25th
If you havenít visited Portlandís infamous shanghai tunnels the past three months, then you havenít really been there at all. Thanks to volunteers, there have been one heck of a lot of changes that has taken place in the Underground -- a Victorian-style lighting system, a major clean-up of contemporary garbage, the removal of unused overhead pipe, etc. The results have been tremendous. A members tour of Portlandís infamous Shanghai Tunnels will take place on Monday, Oct. 25th, during the evening hours. This is a "thank you" for the support that people have given us.
Participants must pre-register in order to find out about the location of the Underground Tour and must be a member of Friends of the Cascade Geographic Society in good standing. Call (503) 622-4798 for information and reservations.


1999 Mount Hood Festivals & Events
Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival
(Saturday) Oct. 2nd & (Sunday) Oct. 3rd ~ Noon to 5 p.m. at Mt. Hood Village, 65000 East U.S. Highway 26, Welches, Oregon. Also, includes the "Oregon State Chile Championship" (on Oct. 2nd) and the "Mount Hood Barbecue Cook-Off" (on Oct. 3rd).

Pioneer Harvest Feast [Reservations required!]
(Sunday) Nov. 7th ~ 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Mt. Hood Village, 65000 East U.S. Highway 26, Welches, Oregon.

Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up
(Saturday) Nov. 13th ~ 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mt. Hood Village, 65000 East U.S. Highway 26, Welches, Oregon.

Christmas Along The Barlow Trail
(Saturday) December 11th ~ "Oregon Trail Heritage Evening" ~ 6 to 9 p.m., and (Sunday) December 12th ~ "Oregon Trail Heritage Tour" ~ 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mt. Hood Village, 65000 East U.S. Highway 26, Welches, Oregon.


154th ANNIVERSARY OF Mount Hoodís Oregon TRAIL
The Autumn of 1999 marks the 154th Anniversary of the first toll road over the Cascade Mountain Range. Known as the Barlow Trail, this was the final overland link of the Oregon Trail that allowed emigrant travelers a cheaper but far more dangerous alternative to rafting their covered wagons down the Columbia River. In 1845, the wagon parties of Samuel Kimbrough Barlow, Joel Palmer, and William Rector joined together and attempted to make the first crossing of the 11,235-foot Mount Hood by widening an Ancient Indian trail. From mid-September through December, they battled their way through the thick timber of the Mountainís southern flank, and failed. They had to cache their "Prairie Schooners" and most of their possessions in a crudely-made log cabin, and hiked out. They didnít reach Oregon City until Christmas Day. The following year Barlow received a charter from the Provisional Government of Oregon and started a toll road which required, amongst other things, lowering their wagons down the steep cliffs of Big Laurel Hill with ropes.

In the pioneer spirit, the Cascade Geographic Society will continue to provide ways for the public to experience this unique and colorful history, either by working like it has through schools, or by providing tours for interested individuals or groups. We believe that by providing different opportunities to experience Mount Hoodís Oregon Trail -- by visiting emigrant campsites, graves, tollgates, wagon ruts and swales, and even the infamous Big Laurel Hill (the worst section of the 2,000-plus mile Oregon Trail). Or, by studying Old-Growth Forests, wetlands, Wild Rivers, Salmon and wildlife habitats, ethnobotany, environmental issues, and more, all which are located alongside this historic trail, the reasons for preserving this heritage resource will continue to be reinforced.

The Cascade Geographic Society also is appreciative to the Barlow family with their colorful and very important history. Their support over the years has meant a great deal to our work. They have been an inspiration to keep moving ahead, whether for the preservation of Rhododendron Meadow and its resources, preserving the history of the Oregon Trail, working towards the preservation of Native American sites, or restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitats.
With the passage of 154 years since Samuel Kimbrough Barlow attempted to cross the southern flank of Mount Hood with a party of wagons, it is time to count our blessings for the segments and sites related to the Oregon Trail that we have left, and see to it that they will be around for future generations.