Mt. Ashland Bucket Brigade

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By Rob Scott

ASHLAND, Ore. — Tuesday the siltation traps at Mt. Ashland were emptied for the first time in 8 years. Mt Ashland officials are hoping to show environmental opponents just how little sedimentation occurs each year. A group of 8th and 9th graders volunteered their time to clean out two siltation traps on Mount Ashland.

The siltation traps capture some of the sedimentation that runs off from the mountain. The traps hadn’t been emptied since 2004 and officials hope to show that not much sedimentation run off occurs.

“We pulled this out 100% just to see how we’re doing on our erosion control measures and make sure we are keeping up and keeping it to the very minimum we can,” says Summer Service Program Director, Brian Tekulve.

John Sully of the Rogue Sierra Club says that no matter what today’s results are, the numbers of sedimation will be inaccurate.

“A mis-representation to say the least,” Sully says. “That only represents a small portion of the amount of sediment that comes off of the ski area.”

Sully says that two other locations of siltation traps on the mountain have been closed because of the amount of sedimentation. Sully says that everyone agrees that sedimentation needs to be monitored for two reasons: so that the ski areas don’t lose their runs and, perhaps more importantly, so that the run off doesn’t end up in Reeder Reservoir and eventually into our drinking water.

“We’re not here to destroy it, we’re not here to make anything bad, and we’re not here to destroy anything down the road. We want this to be a gem for years to come,” Tekulve says.

The exact numbers aren’t in yet but officials are predicting they will gather about three quarters of one cubic yard from Tuesday’s collection.