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MLHSN
What goes here?????



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What goes here?????
PostMon Aug 06, 2018 6:37 pm 
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I was exploring around a few drainages and found this enclosure towards the bottom of Pendleton Canyon up Mission Creek Road.

I did a little research and found out there was a CCC camp up mission creek in the 1930's.  Does anyone know what type of enclosure it was?  It was kind of in the middle of nowhere.  It was about a 100' square enclosure.  The fence between 8-10' tall.  It had some pretty hefty 6"x6" treated posts mixed with t-posts and round fence posts.  It was covered with roll wire fencing and barbed wire.  There was no gate in it accept for a wood ladder that went up and one that went down the other side.  All the trees within the enclosure had an aluminum tag attached to it.  The Sign on it said "G....  ... Enclosure" Constructed 1939, CCC Program. With a forest service stamp at the bottom corners of the old sign. Curious what the rest of the sign said and if there are other enclosures in the neighboring canyons.

I plan on making some follow up trips up to the neighboring draws. When I first saw the enclosure in the middle of nowhere I thought, "oh great, found someone's illegal pot grow" but then realized it looked quite a bit older.  Anyone know any history on the CCC camp there or what they were doing?


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Ski
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PostMon Aug 06, 2018 7:44 pm 
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MLHSN wrote:
"...no gate in it accept for a wood ladder that went up and one that went down the other side..."

Lacking a gate or ground-level point of egress, one could reasonably assume from that description that it was not intended to hold stock.

It is possible that it may have been an exclosure of the type used by researchers to monitor plant growth in areas where local native fauna are prevented from entering.
They have been used on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula (within Olympic National Park) to study the effects of not allowing the ungulate population the ability to browse on the native flora. In the case of those used at ONP, the growth within the exclosures became impenetrable thickets in relatively short order. (see The Olympic Rainforest © 1992 Ruth Kirk (with Jerry Franklin) - University of Washington Press.)

Purely speculation on my part, but that's my best guess.

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MLHSN
What goes here?????



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What goes here?????
PostMon Aug 06, 2018 8:13 pm 
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That's a good speculation ski. There were trees outside the enclosure as well with aluminum tags that said "Veg Plot  " with numbers.
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PostMon Aug 06, 2018 8:35 pm 
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Well.... again, lacking a gate or other means of ground-level egress, that's really the only thing that comes to mind that makes sense.
Consider the "Occam's Razor" thing.

There's a curious 6-foot-tall cyclone fence "exclosure" down at Pt. Defiance Park just to the north-northeast of the reconstructed Ft. Nisqually, but it is actually a dilapidated enclosure that was constructed to keep vandals out of the long-ago-abandoned-and-removed "Never Never Land", but I'm having a difficult time putting amusement park stuff in the vicinity of where you found that cage above. wink.gif

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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Aug 06, 2018 9:16 pm 
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Probably right, 8-10’ is enough to keep out deer. Strange because a lot of it looks newer than 1939.

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FiresideChats
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PostTue Aug 07, 2018 7:26 am 
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Quote:
Strange because a lot of it looks newer than 1939.

It does. And why no trees growing within the enclosure after all these years? Also, was the ladder still as solid as it looks after almost 80 years in the elements?
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MLHSN
What goes here?????



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What goes here?????
PostTue Aug 07, 2018 5:14 pm 
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There are trees inside the enclosure. The ladder was not usable. The posts should be pretty rotten by now. Although they were treated. Older treated lumber had a lot of nasty chemicals so it did last longer. Maybe it was in use and maintained for a while after it was built?
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PostTue Aug 07, 2018 7:11 pm 
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MLHSN wrote:
Maybe it was in use and maintained for a while after it was built?

That's what I was wondering too.

A simple search of the National archives website uncovered a promising "Camp Project Reports," but this file's summary only lists CCC camps at wildlife refuges in other states. I refined the search with this phrase, but had no further hits. My next questions are: Where were the CCC camps in WA in 1939? (An interesting question in itself.) Which one was the closest to our mystery enclosure? Where are the "Camp Project Reports" for 1939 for that camp?

I'll dig a little online for any digital records.
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PostTue Aug 07, 2018 7:19 pm 
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There are a few theses/dissertations/books to made from Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps [CCC].
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RodF
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PostWed Aug 08, 2018 9:34 am 
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FiresideChats wrote:
Where were the CCC camps in WA in 1939? (An interesting question in itself.) Which one was the closest to our mystery enclosure?

CCC Camps Washington lists CCC Company 2944 camp on Mission Creek 8 miles SW of Cashmere founded 8/21/1935.

The post-war USFS sign commemorating the enclosure suggests it must be listed in the OWNF list of inventoried cultural resources, and more could be learned by contacting them (preferably not in the middle of fire season, but in the off-season when they're not so busy).

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PostWed Aug 08, 2018 4:45 pm 
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Nice find, Rod. And good idea to contact the OWNF. I can't find anything online about that particular camp online.
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osprey
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PostWed Aug 08, 2018 6:41 pm 
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The CCC camp SCS-7 - "SCS" is a Soil Conservation Service project.

The Association of Retired Conservation Service Employees site shows the Mission Creek project open from 8/22/1935 to 9/30/1937.  But it does appear that more projects went on past that time.

I found a couple of references to this document, but I haven't been able to find the document itself:

Soil Conservation Service. 1938. Conclusion Report: Mission Creek Watershed. U.S. Department of Agriculture. SCS file document, Pacific Northwest Region 11, Spokane, WA. 36 pp.

"Dry Forests of the Northeastern Cascades Fire and Fire Surrogate Project Site, Mission Creek, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest" (2009) references the USDA SCS 1938 Conclusion Report for an estimate of the timber harvest from Mission Creek:

"In Mission Creek, intensive sheep grazing was present by the 1890s and continued through the 1920s (USDA 1938). This watershed was a sheep driveway in spring and fall, and an estimated 30,000 sheep passed through the drainage twice a year. By the 1950s, the number of grazing animals had been reduced considerably (Holstine 1992). Currently, there is no active grazing by livestock on public lands in the watershed. Selective timber harvest began in Mission Creek in the late 1800s for railroad construction, mining, homesteading, and to supply boxes for an expanding fruit industry (Lolley 2005). From 1928 to 1938, the mill at Cashmere at the base of Mission Creek processed over 200 million board feet (472,000 cubic meters) a year (USDA SCS 1938). Selective harvest of the largest and best-form (clear bole) ponderosa pine occurred through the most accessible portions of the landscape. Active fire suppression during this period dramatically increased fire-free intervals."

It would be interesting to know what else is in the 1938 Conclusion Report.  But, it seems the enclosure was constructed after this report.
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MLHSN
What goes here?????



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PostThu Aug 09, 2018 1:03 pm 
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Interesting find osprey. I live nearby and didn't know they ran sheep in the area.

It would make sense. A fair amount of grass grows in the canyon and this particular draw was pretty wide and easily accessed.
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PostThu Aug 09, 2018 7:06 pm 
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Sheep grazing was big on BLM and USFS lands in the past. There was a lot of it going on near Mt. Adams, and they finally put a stop to it.
The sheep might well be the reason that cage was erected: to see how the native flora developed with the absence of sheep grazing.

(* Unlike cattle, which "sweep" the ground with their tongues and tear off the grass above ground level, sheep have sharp teeth in the front end of their jaws and nip the vegetation off right at ground level, in many cases denuding the area of any vegetation - one of the reasons there was sucn enmity between cattle ranchers and sheep ranchers on the "open ranges" of the 19th century. )

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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Aug 09, 2018 7:11 pm 
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As any student of old western movies knows fully well.

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