Rogue River cleanup day attracted many volunteers

Rogue Scuba divers Paul Ross-L and Josh Girard-R remove one of many hook and lead sinker snags from the river.

Rogue Scuba divers Paul Ross-L and Josh Girard-R remove one of many hook and lead sinker snags from the river.

Although there was less trash this year, the annual Upper Rogue River Cleanup was still a success. The Rogue Sportsmen and Guides Association, the Greater Shady Cove Boosters and three divers from Rogue Scuba worked in harmony to create a pristine environment for the enjoyment and safety of both tourists and locals.

As well as members of the three organizations, other people who participated included Upper Rogue resident Lisa Davis of Prospect who read about the cleanup in the Independent. Another Lisa, Lisa Hellman, came the greatest distance from Saudi Arabia. Hellman who was visiting her Medford parents, said the cleanup was her last activity in Oregon before flying back to the mideast on Sunday. And a young man named Rob from Santa Clara, California helped his grandfather, former Shady Cove Mayor Tom Anderson. Rob enjoyed the day working from a boat and said he will definitely return next year. (Anderson is also a founding member of Boosters.)

Guides President Ray Downing was pleased at the turnout of guides and wants to thank all those who came and helped. Besides himself, there were Rob Nelson, Jim Pringle, Matt Grieve, Mark Grieve, Doug Johnson, Don Kirkendall and Tom Bettancourt. Others with boats were Mike Thompson, Dave Skeeters, Steve Waldrum and more who just showed up after reading about the event.

Rogue Scuba owner and Eagle Point resident Paul Ross said, “We look forward to this every year. We saw schools of fish, salmon and steelhead while cleaning up debris. The other two divers were Michael Crader and Josh Girard. “We always have a great time,” Ross added.

Bragging rights belonged to Mike Thompson who hauled the most trash out of the river from the hatchery to Sturgill Boil (fishing hole). He gathered four huge bags along with a rusty barbecue.

The most unusual find was by the Upper Rogue Watershed Coordinator Pete Mazzini. Mazzini found an abandoned backpack fully equipped for a trip. The pack and another bag were found abandoned in brush and looked as if the equipment had been in the elements for a while. Because of concern over the whereabouts of the owner, a decision to call the authorities was made. The Shady Cove Police Department and a community service officer from the sheriff’s department responded and the packs were removed for further investigation.

After a half-day of work, all volunteers returned to Shady Cove Regional Park for a delicious lunch catered and donated by the Outback Restaurant in Medford. Bryce Goodro, the steakhouse proprietor, served a gourmet chicken salad with all the trimmings including freshly made croutons that hungry volunteers raved over. They were appreciative of Goodro’s generosity. Goodro has donated lunch for several years as a service to the community because he feels the river is of major importance to Southern Oregon.

Boosters Coordinator John Burgess, who was assisted by former Mayor Dick Bailey, was pleased that volunteers this year included men and women in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s with the usual senior citizens that do the cleanup every year. Burgess noted, “Shady Cove is a small enough community that if we pulled together, civic-minded entities and organizations could all do more for the community. Together we could make grand efforts.”
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent

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