BLM, National Guard, and Youth Clean Up Redmond Caves

The Redmond Caves in Oregon - located on the southern end of Redmond city limits - are a group of five caves formed by volcanic flows of molten lava from the Newberry Caldera. The caves are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in partnership with the City of Redmond.

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District Manager Carole Benkosky goes underground for the cause.

Although the caves offer a great opportunity for local outings and exploration, their proximity to an urban area also makes them a target for parties and vandalism. Fortunately, the BLM-Oregon Prineville District was able to team up this year with the Oregon National Guard and the Oregon Youth Challenge Program (OYCP) for a day of clean-up and repair.

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Check out this blast from the past - vintage video of the Rogue River. The Rogue was one of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. The Rogue National Wild and Scenic River is surrounded by forested mountains and rugged boulder and rock-lined banks.

Learn more about the Rogue River:  http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/rogue/index.php

-Robert St. Clair

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Today is world water day!  Check out the recent event in Oregon.

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On March 13, BLM-Oregon participated in the Children’s Clean Water Festival at the University of Portland. Approximately 1,400 (yes, you read that right…1,400) 4th and 5th grade students and 52 teachers plus parent chaperons from around the Portland-Metro area attended the event. BLMers Maya Fuller (Outreach/Education) and Al Doelker (Riparian/Hydrology) staffed an exhibit about the importance of Riparian Areas - with a display and demonstration.

The Clean Water Festival is designed for 4th and 5th grade students to learn about water and how it relates to our world. Water experts from Oregon and Washington work with the 4th and 5th graders to explore water science and watershed ecology. The goal is to teach children that they are capable of having real and long-lasting, positive impacts on water resources, and to equip them with the information they need to do that in a fun and engaging way.

You can find out more about this annual event online at http://www.cleanwaterfestival.org .

-Robert St. Clair

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On Saturday, September 22nd, the BLM joined the local community for National Public Lands Day at the Cow Creek Back Country Byway. 60 volunteers had a terrific day keeping America beautiful. Check out what they’ve been up to…

-Robert St. Clair

Red Rock Ranch Bat Counting

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Photo: BLM-Oregon Flickr Going Batty!

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a bat population survey at the Rock Ranch parcel east of Davenport, Washington.  The evening started quietly at first, everybody took their positions around the abandoned ranch house that has since become a home for hundreds of the tiny creatures. 

As the sun sank to the west and the moon rose in the east, the ultrasound detectors began picking up echolocation calls, and before long the first of the bats flew out of the house.  Quickly, it turned into a swarm as they emerged from the house’s broken windows, chimneys, and doors.

It was amazing, standing there as the little gray forms flew all around me, darting this way and that in their search for sustenance.

It was also a great chance to learn more about the often misunderstood creatures, the threats they face, and what the BLM and other agencies are doing for them.  Read more about bats and their many benefits.

-Robert St. Clair

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