Oregon Wild

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-07-15
  • Publisher: Timber Pr

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Five million acres of unprotected roadless forest remain in Oregon, stretching from the rain-drenched shores of the Pacific and Coast range, across the snow-covered Cascades to the Blue Mountains, Wallowas, and Hells Canyon; from the Deschutes, John Day, Malheur, Klamath, Umpqua, Siskiyou, and Rogue basins to the ponderosa pine forests of the Ochoco, Winema, and Fremont. These roadless public forests shelter ancient trees, protect our cleanest drinking water, and provide vital habitat for fish and wildlife, including many of the Pacific Northwest's last healthy runs of wild salmon, steelhead, and trout, and numerous species of rare and imperiled flora and fauna. Their awe-inspiring landscapes provide stunning views, quiet inspiration, and outstanding recreational opportunities. Only a small fraction of Oregon's forests remain intact. In Oregon Wild: Endangered Forest Wilderness, noted nature writer and conservation advocate Andy Kerr describes these wild forests, with 40 maps based on new research, 199 stunning color photographs, and a foreword by Kathleen Dean Moore. The book is both a guide and a celebration, it will be treasured by hikers and nature lovers in Oregon and beyond.

Table of Contents

A brief natural history of Oregon's forestsp. 1
A brief unnatural history of Oregon's forestsp. 35
A brief political history of Oregon's wilderness protectionsp. 48
A brief political future for Oregon's forest wildernessp. 64
A long-term vision for a wild Oregonp. 79
Home to Oregon's rainforests : coast range ecoregionp. 77
World class biodiversity : Klamath Mountains ecoregionp. 98
Young volcanoes and old forests : Cascades ecoregionp. 115
Dry open forests : East Cascades slopes and foothills ecoregionp. 154
Neither Cascades nor Rockies, but with attributes of both : Blue Mountains ecoregionp. 172
National wilderness preservation system in Oregonp. 216
Protected and protectable Oregon forest wildernessp. 219
National wild and scenic rivers system in Oregonp. 221
Other Congressional conservation designations in Oregonp. 224
Enjoying Oregon's unprotected forest wildernessp. 225
How you can help save Oregon's wildernessp. 226
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.


Do you know where your tap water comes from? Two thirds of Oregonians get their water from surface sources and most Oregon tap water originates on federal lands, primarily national forests. Rain and snowmelt from forests are collected, treated (sometimes only minimally because the initial quality is excellent) and delivered to businesses, schools and household taps. Intact forests are natural reservoirs that absorb, store, filter and gradually release water to forest streams. Logging and road building in forest watersheds degrades their natural hydrology. Water that once percolated slowly through stable soils runs off more quickly, carrying with it soil and other sediments. Logged watersheds have both earlier peak flows and greater storm volumes than do pristine watersheds that maintain more consistent flows through the hot summer months. Logging reduces water quantity in other ways as well. An intact old-growth conifer forest "harvests" water from fog, as droplets condense from the moist air onto the needles, then drop to the ground. The surface area of the needles of a single old-growth Douglas-fir tree, if spread flat, would cover a football field. This "fog drip" contributes up to one third of all precipitation in Portland's Bull Run municipal watershed and, in many Northwest watersheds, may be the only source of summer precipitation. Of course, when the trees are logged, fog drip no longer occurs. Moreover, without shade from the standing forest, the sun evaporates even more water from the soil. This decreases the amount of water "migrating" into the streams and rivers during the dry summer months when the demand for municipal and irrigation water is greatest. The combination of high summer demand (related to increased population and per capita consumption) and reduced supply (related to roading and logging) may ultimately force us to drink from dirty rivers full of agricultural chemicals, dioxin and sewage. Clackamas area water planners, for example, could be driven to tap the polluted lower Willamette River (home to toxic three-eyed fish), while timber interests continue to deforest and dewater the Clackamas River watershed.

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