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Siskiyou Mountain Range

The Blog

Rough and Ready Creek: Worth More than an Unnecessary Dozerline

Along the southwestern Oregon and northwestern California border is an incredibly lonely, starkly beautiful, and spectacularly wild landscape. The area is more reminiscent of the red rock deserts of the American Southwest, than the coastal rainforests and giant redwood groves that grow nearby. Known by geologists as the Josephine Ophiolite, the area is a rusty red mass of ultramafic rock cut by deep, rugged canyons, incredibly clear streams lined in Port Orford-cedar, stunted pine woodlands, chaparral, and broad ridges of coarse red stone that originated in the mantle of the earth. The red rock  found in the area has technical geologic classifications and gradations, including peridotite, serpentinite, dunite and other ultramafic rock types, but they are generally referred to colloquially and collectively as “serpentine” throughout the region. The region supporting these unusual rock types is a geologic oddity, a botanical wonderland, and home to some of the most stunningly...

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McKinney Fire Superbloom: A land where wildflowers dominate

Last summer the McKinney Fire burned on the Klamath River in the rugged Scott Bar Mountains. Apparently lit by downed powerlines in the McKinney Creek watershed on July 29, 2022, the region had been trapped in a ridge of high pressure creating a pronounced heat dome with extremely high temperatures and low relative humidity. In nearby Montague, California high temperatures had not dropped below 96 degrees for two weeks, drying out forest fuels and creating the conditions under which fire could quickly spread through parched vegetation. These conditions were made worse by high winds which reportedly toppled the powerlines on McKinney Creek and contributed to the fire’s initial spread. That evening with the fire at only 300 acres, dry thunderstorms developed, creating gusty outflow winds which fanned the fire to the north and east. These outflow winds produced extreme fire behavior and generated a massive pyrocumulus smoke plume billowing 50,000’ into the sky. When this massive plume...

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The Slater Fire Road Risk Reduction and Safety Project: A Proposal by the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest to Subsidize Damaging Hazard Tree Logging and Climate Polluting Biomass Utilization.

The 2020 Slater Fire was a massive wind driven wildfire reportedly lit by downed powerlines on Slater Butte above Happy Camp, California. The fire raged into Happy Camp, tragically burning large portions of the town and the surrounding homesteads, then burned north towards the Oregon-California border to the edge of Takilma, Oregon. Directly after the 2020 Slater Fire had cooled, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest began logging the Takilma-Happy Camp Road and quickly approved the Slater Fire Re-entry Project, a massive post-fire, hazard tree logging project that would have “treated” nearly all existing roads in the Slater Fire area. This project was ultimately litigated by Klamath Forest Alliance and withdrawn by the Forest Service in an out of court settlement, but only after significant damage had already been done. The entire Takilma-Happy Camp Road, along with Road 48 leading across the Siskiyou Crest to Bolan Lake Campground, and numerous other roads were logged...

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Protect Wild Streams in the Applegate and Illinois River Watersheds!

Watch our new Applegate Headwaters Wild and Scenic River video! For the last three years, Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) has been working with allies in the southwestern Oregon and adjacent parts of northwestern California to nominate streams for protection under Senator Wyden’s River Democracy Act. This legislation proposes to establish new Wild and Scenic River segments in worthy Oregon watersheds and would dramatically increase protections for rivers and streams throughout the state. Originally, the River Democracy Act proposed to designate approximately 4,700 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers, including many in the Siskiyou Mountains along the Oregon-California border. Unfortunately, Senator Wyden recently released a new version of the River Democracy Act, which removed proposed protections for many deserving streams. In total, about 30% of the streams originally proposed for protection were removed from the revised legislation, and in the Applegate River watershed deserving...

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Klamath Forest Alliance: 2022 A Year in Review

For over 30 years, Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) has been working across the broader Klamath-Siskiyou region, advocating for forests, wildlife, wildlands, watersheds, and biodiversity. Our goal is simple: the protection of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains and their natural environments. Our approach includes passionate grassroots advocacy, extensive on-the-ground monitoring, in-depth scientific analysis, public education, and if necessary, litigation. Working with conservation partners throughout both northern California and southern Oregon, we have achieved significant victories in 2022, but we also see significant threats ahead in 2023 that must be addressed through aggressive advocacy and thoughtful, strategic action. We are proud to protect and defend wild watersheds like the spectacular Salmon River in the western Klamath Mountains. We need your support to defend some of the wildest watersheds remaining on the West Coast of North American. Please make a generous year end donation...

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