A free presentation on Marys Peak on Friday afternoon will bring the mountain’s history to life.

A Kalapuya artist and ethnobotanist will discuss the mountain’s role in Native American culture, and a re-enactor playing the part of founding Forest Service Chief Gifford Pinchot will describe the agency’s role in managing the Coast Range summit.

Located 15 miles southwest of Corvallis, Marys Peak is the highest point in the Oregon Coast Range. To reach the summit, drive west from Philomath on Highway 34, turn right on Marys Peak Road and follow it to the top.

Titled “The Kalapuya and the Forest Service on Marys Peak,” the event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday in the upper parking lot. There is no charge to attend, but parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass or a $5 day pass, which can be purchased with cash or check at a self-service kiosk in the parking lot.

Marys Peak Alliance interpretive guides in yellow vests will be on hand to direct visitors to Greg Archuleta and Tony Farque, who will be walking the meadows giving presentations and answering questions on the mountain’s history and significance.

Archuleta, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, is an expert on how native plants were used by the Kalapuya people, who lived on and around the mountain for many generations.

Tony Farque, who works as an archaeologist for the Forest Service, is a historic re-enactor who dresses in period costume as Gifford Pinchot. In 1898 Pinchot was named head of the U.S. Forestry Division, which became the Forest Service in 1905. The agency is the lead land manager for Marys Peak.

The event is sponsored by the Siuslaw National Forest and Marys Peak Alliance.

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Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald