Siskiyou Mountain Range

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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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Victory in the Slater Fire Footprint: KFA and Crag Law Center protect fragile post-fire forests on the Siskiyou Crest

On the evening of September 7, 2020, the Slater Fire was lit by a downed powerline near Slater Butte Lookout. Pushed by unusually strong winds and extremely dry conditions, the Slater Fire raged through Happy Camp, California tragically burning over 200 homes before racing up Indian Creek at high severity into both the Smith River and Illinois River watersheds. Within 24 hours the fire was over 100,000 acres and was threatening the community of Takilma, Oregon. As the historic wind event died down both fire severity and spread were moderated and much of the remaining fire burned at low to moderate severity in the headwaters of the Illinois River. The Slater Fire and the East Fork Illinois River canyon with the snowy peaks of the Siskiyou Wilderness in the difference. Photo credit: Deer Creek Photography In February 2021, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest proposed the Slater Fire Re-entry Project in the mountains above Takilma, Oregon. This large, post-fire logging and “danger”...

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The Rogue Gold Timber Sale: Logging the Last Old Forest above the Rogue River Valley

Old forest proposed for logging at the headwaters of Galls Creek in the Rogue Gold Timber Sale. The Rogue Gold Timber Sale has been proposed by the Medford District BLM in the heavily logged Kane Creek, Galls Creek and Foots Creek watersheds. The project proposes commercial logging on 2,052 acres, including logging in the so-called “harvest land base,” in Late Successional Reserves (LSR) — forest designated to protect habitat for the Northern spotted owl — and in Riparian Reserves designated to protect aquatic habitats and water quality. The project also targets some of the last, old forests remaining in the mountains between Jacksonville, Gold Hill and Rogue River, Oregon for commercial logging. Like most other timber sales on the Medford District BLM, the agency has tied old forest logging that will increase fire risks and degrade intact forest habitats, to fuel reduction adjacent to homes and communities. Exploiting the public’s fear of fire, the agency has rebranded every timber...

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