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Siskiyou Mountain Range

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A view into the proposed Mt. Ashland Ski expansion area in the winter of 2011. The lack of a deep snow pack this season has brought the ski resort to the brink of financial collapse, ensuring they won’t have the funds to expand anytime soon.        For many years now the Mt. Ashland Association (MAA), owners of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, have proposed expanding their operation by building new ski runs and chair lifts in the McDonald Peak Roadless Area and the municipal watershed for the town of Ashland, Oregon. The expansion would include over 70 acres of new ski runs, clear-cut into old-growth forest at the headwaters of Ashland Creek. The area in question includes numerous rare plant species, including Henderson’s horkelia (Horkelia hendersonii), the Siskiyou Mountains’ only stand of Engelman spruce (Picea engelmannii), and the world’s only population of the Mt. Ashland lupine (Lupinus lepidus var. ashlandensis)....

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I am pleased to announce that the first printing of  The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology sold out and that the second printing has been completed and is now available for sale. Luke Ruediger, January 31, 2014   Books are available through this blog and at the following retail stores: Medford, ORThe Northwest Outdoor Store Ashland, ORBloomsbury BooksThe Northwest Nature ShopThe Ashland Outdoor Store Grants Pass, OROregon Books & GamesAquarius Books & Gifts Cave Junction, ORCommuneITea Eugene, ORTsunami BooksBackcountry Gear, Inc. Crescent City, CAJefferson State Books

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The Black Salamander — Aneides flavipunctatus

Photo by Luke Ruediger The Black Salamander is relatively rare in the Siskiyou Mountains. Unlike the restrictive range of the Siskiyou Mountains Salamander (Plethodon stormi), which is centered mainly around the mountains of the Applegate Valley, the Black Salamander (Aneides flavipuntatus) has a range that extends from Sonoma County, CA in the south, up to Jackson and Josephine Counties, OR at the northern end of its range. There is also a disjunct subspecies (Aneides flavipunctatus niger) in the Santa Cruz area. Experts are currently debating a further separation of the species into four subspecies, with the northwest lineage—including the Siskiyou Mountain population—given its own subspecies. Currently there are only 17 documented sites in Oregon, 14 of which are found on federal lands, including the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Medford District BLM. 93% (or 13) of the known sites are found within the Applegate River watershed. The Black Salamander occupies...

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Historic Osborne Photos

Bolan Lake from the Bolan Peak Lookout-1934 The historic Osborne photos highlighted on this post are just a few of the many lookout photos taken in the 1930s from Forest Service lookouts all across the Northwest. William Bushnell Osborne, a Forest Service employee and inventor, developed the Osborne Firefinder in 1911 for use at fire lookouts, and in 1932 developed the Osborne Swing Lens Camera. With his Swing Lens Camera he traveled the Northwest photographing the landscape from fire lookouts on National Forest and Park Service lands.  The photos are an excellent representation of historic forest conditions and patterns in the early part of the 20th century. The photos can be used to not only document and analyze historic conditions, but can also be used to contrast historic conditions from those that exist today. The photos document the influence of fire on the landscape in an era when fire suppression in the Siskiyou Mountains was still fairly ineffective,...

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