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Siskiyou Mountain Range

The Blog

Author: Luke Ruediger

Rum Creek Fire: Wildfire on the Wild Rogue

This past summer the Rum Creek Fire burned 21,347 acres on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River from Montgomery Creek deep in the roadless canyon, to Stratton Creek across from Indian Mary Campground. The fire burned around the scenic riverside hamlet of Galice, Oregon and into a large block of unburned forest between the 2013 Big Windy and the 2018 Klondike Fires, both of which burned right to the banks of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River at mostly low to moderate severity. The Rum Creek Fire of 2022 simply filled in the gaps, burning the last forest in the area without recent fire history. The still smoldering Rum Creek Fire downstream of Graves Creek in the Wild and Scenic Rogue River canyon near Sanderson’s Island. Currently, the area between Galice and Graves Creek is closed to the public, while the Rogue River Trail below Graves Creek is open and accessible. I recently hiked down the Rogue River Trail from Graves Creek to Alder Creek looking across the winding river to the Rum...

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Slater Fire Super Bloom & Fire Effects

The 2020 Slater Fire was a complex fire event with a wide variety of fire effects and vegetative responses. Depending on weather conditions and wind speeds, the fire behaved very differently throughout the Slater Fire area, but was also heavily influenced by a severe east wind event occurring on September 7, 2020. Pushed by 60 mile per hour winds and record low relative humidity, large areas burned at high severity within 24 to 36 hours of ignition, transforming lush, green forests into ridges and canyons of ghostly gray snags. However, as the wind died down and smoke inversions blanketed the fire, behavior was dramatically reduced and low severity, understory fire effects dominated the remainder of the fire period. The complexity and contrast of the Slater Fire is also mirrored in both the vegetative response and the public’s perception of the fire. Today, the same high severity burn areas that many declared “destroyed” by the Slater Fire are bursting with life and...

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Worth More Standing: A Report on the Worst Public Land Timber Sales in the Country

The Climate Forest Coalition is a network of conservation groups from across the country who are dedicated to the protection of forests as a natural and effective climate solution. The Climate Forest Coalition has been reviewing timber sales across the country to demonstrate that many are inconsistent with President Biden’s Earth Day Executive Order. As part of this campaign, the coalition has published “Worth More Standing: 10 Climate Saving Forests Threatened by Federal Logging,” a report that identifies the 10 worst timber sales on federal land in the country. Unfortunately, three of the worst timber sales in the country are located in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains of southwest Oregon and northwest California. Klamath Forest Alliance has been actively working to bring attention to two of those timber sales: the Bear Country Timber Sale proposed by the Klamath National Forest in the spectacular Salmon River watershed, and the IVM Project, a landscape-scale commercial...

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Watch now! Sagebrush to Sea: A Journey Across the Siskiyou Crest

Newly Released Online! The premiere screening of Sagebrush to Sea: A Journey Across the Siskiyou Crest took place in November 2021 in Ruch, Oregon. Since then we have held film showings in Selma, Medford, Phoenix, Ashland and Jacksonville, with over 250 people coming out to enjoy the visual journey along the Siskiyou Crest, from Siskiyou Summit to the coast in Crescent City. After many great opportunities for people to see the film and engage in Q&A in person, Sagebrush to Sea: A Journey Across the Siskiyou Crest is now available to be viewed online for free! Now you can sit back and relax and enjoy the journey across the Siskiyou Crest with us, and get ready for the upcoming hiking season this summer! For more detailed information about the film, the route and trails we took along the way, and resources you can use to do the backpacking trip yourself, check out the Sagebrush to Sea: A Journey Across the Siskiyou Crest page, or Facebook page.

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Notes from the Field: Destructive Fire Suppression Impacts & the Spectacular Biological Values of the Proposed Pattison Wilderness Area

During the first week of April, I spent some time in the field monitoring the impact of dozerline construction during the 2021 fire season in the Pattison Inventoried Roadless Area. What I witnessed was the appalling disregard for the land’s unique natural, scenic and recreational values during suppression of the 2021 Monument Fire. What I also saw was a rugged and beautiful landscape with deep canyons, steep rocky ridges, beautiful mixed conifer forests and a spectacular mixed severity fire mosaic. Although forest and fire managers used their discretion to implement damaging, often ineffective and unnecessary dozerlines in highly inappropriate locations, from a biological standpoint, the effects of the Monument Fire were highly beneficial. Overall, the 224,688-acre Monument Fire burned at 67% low, 29% moderate and 4% high severity. In the Pattison Inventoried Roadless Area, the fire largely maintained old forest habitats, renewed plant communities, increased heterogeneity with...

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