About The Klamath Waypoint Blog

You might be asking yourself: “Why Waypoint?” Why would anyone name their blog something so weird and wonky sounding?

A waypoint in modern day vocabulary indicates geographic positioning via a set of coordinates that can describe location using latitude, longitude or altitude. Technological advancements enable us to use gadgets to pinpoint and record these exact locations, sometimes even on the phones in our pockets. 

Broadly speaking, waypoints are stopover points, landmarks, or destinations. We talk about the importance of a waypoint as a beacon. A waypoint can also be a buoy or a control point.

All of these meanings are relevant to the way we work at MKWC. Every rock, tree, river bend and ridgeline holds specific significance, not only to local ecologies, but also to local cultures and communities. Our crews capture waypoints on a daily basis in the field, to document where fish spawn, where invasive weeds exist, where prescribed burning would most benefit local communities and forests, where soil would support the best gardens. And sometimes those waypoints become the bounds of our control features for controlling the movement and behavior of a fire. 

Waypoints help us to understand where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going in this mountainous country. They help us to double back to some places, and push ahead to others. They illuminate our path.

Waypoints reflect a place with all its particularities, unlike any other place. Our staff, volunteers and partners choose to live and work here in and around the Orleans Valley (found where the star is on the topographical map above) in the heart of the Middle Klamath River Basin above anywhere else. We chose this name to represent us because you cannot restore a place without learning and respecting the particularities of that place.

This blog was started to mark our progress as we work to restore the Klamath watershed together. We hope people who live here will read this blog. But this blog is also for people who visit the Klamath, and for people who have no idea that places like this one exist or what this place is like. More than anything, it's a reference for future generations.