Siskiyou Mountain Range

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We Just Saved Paradise from Becoming a Parking Lot at Mt. Ashland! KFA litigation Leads to the Withdrawal of the Mt. Ashland Road Paving Project

Federal land management agencies are increasingly utilizing Categorical Exclusions to circumvent the public involvement and environmental review process. By utilizing a Categorical Exclusion they can expedite public land management projects while minimizing oversight, reducing transparency and limiting scientific review. This allows for less analysis, less consideration of public concerns, less thoughtful, and less effective land management projects. Mt. Ashland as seen from McDonald Peak. In September 2021, the Klamath National Forest approved the Road 20 Project utilizing a Categorical Exclusion for “road maintenance and repair.” It was approved with absolutely no public comment, no public analysis of environmental effects, and no public notification either before or after the Decision was made. The Road 20 Project authorized the paving of currently gravel roads to the summit of Mt. Ashland, the highest peak on the Siskiyou Crest, and on Road 20 to Grouse Gap Shelter along...

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Klamath Forest Alliance: 2021 Year in Review

Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) works with grassroots activists and rural communities across the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains to protect the wildlands of our region and maintain the area’s world-class biodiversity. In 2021, KFA’s Siskiyou Field Office was busy advocating for the Siskiyou Crest, the foothills of the Applegate Valley, the headwaters of the Illinois River, the spectacular Salmon River watershed, and for the permanent protection of important rivers and streams in southwestern Oregon, as new Wild and Scenic Rivers. We also maintained our existing programs, tracking off-road vehicle use on the Siskiyou Crest and working to close down illegal routes, monitoring federal land timber sales, and when necessary opposing them, advocating for connectivity between wildlands, documenting the impact of fire suppression activities on our wilderness landscapes, and advocating for the protection of wilderness values during and after wildfire events. KFA is fueled by our passion for the...

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Klamath National Forest Proposes to Pave Botanical Paradise and Put Up A Parking Lot at Mt. Ashland

At 7,532 feet in elevation, Mt. Ashland is the highest peak in the Siskiyou Mountains, and the highest peak west of the Cascades in Oregon. The area is spectacularly beautiful and easily accessed by the paved Mt. Ashland Ski Road, which currently ends at the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, and Road 20, a gravel Forest Service road that extends from the eastern flank of Mt. Ashland to the Grouse Creek Basin and beyond to the Upper Applegate River. The area contains abundant biological values, unique botanical diversity, fragile granitic soils, and incredible natural scenery. It is also extremely popular for backcountry recreation, including hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail, hiking and mountain biking on trails leading into the Ashland Creek Watershed and the McDonald Peak Roadless Area, and camping at both the Mt. Ashland Campground and at Grouse Gap Shelter, a 1930s, CCC-era snow shelter built at the headwaters of Grouse Creek. A view south from the summit of Mt. Ashland. At times, the high biological...

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Sagebrush to Sea: A Journey Across the Siskiyou Crest

Sagebrush to Sea Trailer For those of you who follow this blog or have read my book, you know my passion for the Siskiyou Crest, its unique biological values, wildland habitats, unparalleled biodiversity and spectacular scenic qualities. The region is rugged, remote, incredibly diverse, and from a conservation standpoint, extremely important. Straddling the border of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon, the Siskiyou Crest is the only mountain range in the Pacific Northwest connecting the volcanic Cascade Mountains with the lush forests of the Coast Range. This vital habitat connectivity corridor extends from the sagebrush clearings and quaking aspen groves near Mount Ashland, to the fog drenched redwoods of the Smith River. From sagebrush to sea, the Siskiyou Crest is the axis for biodiversity on the West Coast and home to some of the most diverse conifer forests in the world. The endemic Bolander’s lily (Lilium bolanderi) blooming on Clear Creek. In June 2019, my...

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