People Who Save Wild Place: Micah Nash

Micah Nash
   When Micah Nash applied for a 15-day work project with the Siskiyou Mountain Club in 2013, he was hoping to earn a scholarship for college.

By the end of the year he had a job.

"Even when things on the trail were stressful, Micah kept a good attitude," says SMC executive director Gabe Howe. "From the beginning Micah showed promise. He was eager to learn. He adapted well and motivated the group."

A lot of Nash's free time throughout high-school was spent playing video games.

"I was playing video games up to 30-40 hours a week," Nash said while working on the rugged banks of the Chetco River in July, miles away from the nearest electronic device. "But I don't miss them," he said.

Nash excelled on his Kalmiopsis project and came back for more 2013 trips. In all he spent over 20-nights out on the trail.

Now he's on the SMC payroll, making a wage for work on the Pilot Rock Re-Route, a project funding by the Medford Bureau of Land Management. He got his first paycheck December 10.

He says he appreciates having some money around the holidays. "I haven't been able to buy anything in the past. So I'm taking my mom and my brother to the movies for Christmas," he says.

Nash is a freshman at Southern Oregon University with some offset to the ever-rising cost of education.

And so far he hasn't had to take out any loans. "We'll see what I get for scholarships in 2014," he says.

Fall term was his first in a college environment, and Nash did well, earning himself a 3.42 GPA.

Nash (right) gets ready to buck another log
His tasks on the trail have included brushing overgrown trails and running a crosscut saw. He's installed signs and built retaining rock wall switchbacks in the Soda Mountain Wilderness.

In 2013 he hiked over 45-miles with the Club. And he summited Mt. McLaughlin (9,495') with a family friend. "That's not something I would have done before," he says.

When not on the trail or studying, Nash enjoys using his computer skills to create music. He's hoping to stay out of the oppressive levels of college debt that much of his generation faces.

"I'd like to keeping working in 2014," he says.

1st Friday Art Walk: Old Growth from the Wild Siskiyou

What: 1st Friday Art Walk Gallery: Old Growth from the Wild Siskiyou
Where: Ashland Hardwired Building (340 'A' St, Ashland, OR)
When: January 3, 5pm - close

27 December 2013 | Ashland, OR -- Join the SMC for Ashland's 1st Friday Art Walk, January 3. 

Our January theme is old growth, and we'll put on display a small gallery of some of the Siskiyou's finest. We will provide beverages and treats.

We'll open the doors of Ashland's Hardwired Building (340 'A' St) at 5pm and leave them that way until the party's over.

Don't miss this fun event to see some great pics, learn how to find where they were taken, and meet awesome people.

Questions? Call 541-708-2056 or email

Start winter with some fun outside

17 December 2013 | Ashland, OR -- Start this winter with some fun outside, just footsteps from downtown Ashland, OR.

The fun starts at 12pm at the Granite Street Swimming Reservoir. From there we'll hike about 5-miles through the watershed via Ashland Loop Road, where as we ascend more and more of Mt. Mclaughlin's (pictured above) snowy cap will appear. Depending on the preference of the group, we may wander off the road for some challenging off-trail adventure.

Wind the day down at 5pm in Lithia Park's Root Memorial Picnic Area. There we'll start a bonfire and host a pot-luck. Bring a festive side-dish, tasty dessert, or something to cook over the flames.

Keep an eye on the weather and dress appropriately.

Email or call 541-708-2056 for details and to sign-up.

Go-To-Work Wednesday

4 December 2013 | Ashland, OR -- The Siskiyou Mountain Club started in 2010 as a group of hikers with a trunk full of old tools, some hardhats, and a whole lot of gumption.

Not much has changed.

While the tools are now sharper, and our core group of volunteers has grown a lot, there's nothing that replaces hard work in the backcountry. And this year we put 27 southern Oregonians to work for over 2,000 hours total.

They saved 8-miles of trails threatened by unprecedented maintenance deferments, and maintained or improved an additional 20-miles of our most remote and outstanding trails.

So if you're getting sick of being bombarded on Giving Tuesday, join us tomorrow for Go-To-Work Wednesday, when we're going to release a ton of 2014 volunteer opportunities for you to participate in. And hopefully on Go-To-Work Wednesday you can open your calendar for us.