My Public Lands

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    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.

    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.

    BLM employees joined the youth to conduct a grid-search of the 40-acre area on a mission to find trash, while other members of the OYCP helped install a new welcome sign. As always, the OYCP youth did a fabulous job. Thanks to everyone’s hard work hundreds of pounds of garbage were removed, and visitors to this unique area are now greeted by a new interpretive sign.

    The Oregon Youth Challenge Program provides personal growth, self-improvement, and academic opportunities for at-risk high-school aged youth in Oregon. The program offers a structured, non-traditional environment that integrates training, mentoring and diverse educational activities. To meet some of the school’s educational objectives, local BLM archaeologist, Terry Holtzapple shared stories of the cultural and geologic history of the caves before letting everyone explore for themselves. Youths learned about how the caves were formed as well as some of the archaeological finds from the area.

    Story and photo by: Lisa Clark; Posted by: Robert St. Clair

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