Sagebrush steppe is a type of shrub-steppe, a grassland characterized by the presence of shrubs, dominated by sagebrush, any of several species in the genus Artemisia. This ecosystem is found in the Intermountain West in the United States; the most common sagebrush species in the sagebrush steppe in most areas is big sagebrush. Others include three-tip low sagebrush. Sagebrush is found alongside many species of grasses. Sagebrush steppe is a diverse habitat, with more than 350 recorded vertebrate species, it is open rangeland for livestock, a recreation area, a source of water in otherwise arid regions. It is key habitat for declining flora and fauna species, such as greater sage-grouse and pygmy rabbit. Sagebrush steppe is a threatened ecosystem in many regions, it was once widespread in the regions that form the Intermountain West, such as the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. It has become degraded by a number of forces. Steppe has been overgrown with introduced species and has changed to an ecosystem resembling pine and juniper woodland.
This has changed the fire regime of the landscape, increasing fuel loads and increasing the chance of unnaturally severe wildfires. Cheatgrass is an important introduced plant species that increases fire risk in this ecosystem. Other forces leading to these habitat changes include fire overgrazing of livestock. Besides severe fire, consequences of the breakdown of sagebrush steppe include increased erosion of the land and sedimentation in local waterways, decreased water quality, decreased quality of forage available for livestock, degradation of habitat for wildlife and game crabs
Umpqua National Forest
Umpqua National Forest, in southern Oregon's Cascade Range, covers an area of 983,129 acres in Douglas and Jackson counties, borders Crater Lake National Park. The four ranger districts for the forest are the Cottage Grove, Diamond Lake, North Umpqua, Tiller ranger districts; the forest is headquartered in Roseburg. Stands of western hemlock, true fir, Douglas-fir and cedar transition to lower-elevation forests of mixed conifers and hardwoods. Timbered valleys of old-growth ponderosa and groves of oak separate mountains like the 9,182-foot Mount Thielsen and the 8,363-foot Mount Bailey. Notable geologic features include volcanic basalt and andesite monolithic spires with descriptive names like Eagle Rock, Rattlesnake Rock, Old Man. Ancestors of the Umpqua, Southern Molala and Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians lived here before Mount Mazama erupted forming Crater Lake nearly 7,000 years ago; the Indians were moved to reservations in 1856. As Europeans bought reservation lands, the tribes further fragmented to become farmers and ranchers in the Umpqua Valley.
Two translations of the word "umpqua" are "thundering waters" and "across the waters". The Umpqua National Forest was created by the United States Congress on July 2, 1907; the Forest Service staff soon began building trails, constructing bridges, fighting fires, monitoring grazing, erecting lookouts. Logging and mining began in 1925; the Civilian Conservation Corps was active in the Umpqua National Forest by building roads and recreation facilities in the 1930s. The Umpqua National Forest is home to more than 250 wildlife species. Large mammals such as elk, black bear, cougar, as well as the smaller residents, fox and bats are supported by the diverse forest habitats. Raptors such as owls, eagles and peregrine falcons can be seen in the forest. Coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat trout swim and spawn in the rivers and streams of the forest. A 1993 Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the forest was 535,300 acres, 82,200 acres of which were mountain hemlock forests.
Recreational activities in the forest include camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, boating. Winter activities include both Nordic and downhill skiing, as well as snowmobiling. In 1988, the Oregon Omnibus Wild and Scenic Rivers Act designated a portion of the North Umpqua River as Wild and Scenic. Twenty-six miles of the river run through the forest; the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway extends 172 miles through the Rogue River–Siskiyou and Umpqua national forests, as well as the Medford and Roseburg districts of the Bureau of Land Management and private lands. The Umpqua National Forest contains three wilderness areas: Boulder Creek, Rogue-Umpqua Divide, Mount Thielsen. Boulder Creek is a 19,100-acre wilderness area located 50 miles east of Roseburg. One popular area in Boulder Creek is Pine Bench. A flat area overlooking Boulder Creek, Pine Bench is home to a grove of majestic old growth ponderosa pines. In 1996 the Spring Fire burned 16,500 acres in the Boulder Creek Wilderness.
The Rogue-Umpqua Divide is a 33,000-acre wilderness area, 26,350 acres of, inside the National Forest. Located 80 miles east of Roseburg, the Rogue-Umpqua Divide ranges in elevation from 3,200 to 6,878 feet and separates the drainages of the Rogue and Umpqua rivers; the wilderness includes old-growth forests. Mount Thielsen is a 55,100-acre wilderness area, 21,593 acres of, located inside the National Forest. Located 80 miles east of Roseburg, this wilderness area is the largest in the Umpqua; the 9,182-foot Mt. Thielsen was born of the same volcanic activity that created Crater Lake and some trails pass over deep pumice, deposited when Mt. Mazama erupted; the Pacific Crest Trail passes through the middle of the wilderness area. High Cascades Complex Fires Forest Service page on Umpqua National Forest Landscape Photos Showing Umpqua National Forest Umpqua National Forest Wilderness Areas
Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Up to 4,000 feet deep, the canyon stretches for over 80 miles as the river winds westward through the Cascade Range forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south. Extending from the confluence of the Columbia with the Deschutes River in the east down to the eastern reaches of the Portland metropolitan area, the water gap furnishes the only navigable route through the Cascades and the only water connection between the Columbia River Plateau and the Pacific Ocean, it is thus the route of Washington State Route 14, Interstate 84, U. S. Route 30, railroad tracks on both sides; the gorge holds federally protected status as a National Scenic Area called the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and is managed by the Columbia River Gorge Commission and the US Forest Service. The gorge is a popular recreational destination; the Columbia River, Klamath River in Northern California, Pit River in Northern California, Fraser River in Southern British Columbia are the only four rivers connecting the east-side watersheds of the Cascade Mountain Range to the Pacific Ocean.
Each river has created a gorge through the Cascade Mountain Range. The Columbia River Gorge marks the state line between Washington; the wide range of elevation and precipitation makes the Columbia River Gorge an diverse and dynamic place. Ranging from 4,000 feet to sea level, transitioning from 100 inches of precipitation to only 10 inches in 80 miles, the Gorge creates a diverse collection of ecosystems from the temperate rain forest on the western end—with an average annual precipitation of 75 to 100 inches —to the eastern grasslands with average annual precipitation between 10 and 15 inches, to a transitional dry woodland between Hood River and The Dalles. Isolated micro-habitats have allowed for many species of endemic plants and animals to prosper, including at least 13 endemic wildflowers; the Gorge transitions between temperate rainforest to dry grasslands in only 80 miles, hosting a dramatic change in scenery while driving down Interstate 84. In the western, temperate rainforest areas, forests are marked by bigleaf maples, Douglas fir, Western hemlock, all covered in epiphytes.
In the transition zone, vegetation turns to Oregon white oak, Ponderosa pine, cottonwood. At the eastern end, the forests make way for expansive grasslands, with occasional pockets of lodgepole and Ponderosa pine. Atmospheric pressure differentials east and west of the Cascades create a wind tunnel effect in the deep cut of the gorge, generating 35 mph winds that make it a popular windsurfing and kitesurfing location, it creates the right conditions for snow and ice storms during the winter months which draws cold east winds at the mouth of the gorge on the west end. The Gorge is a popular destination for hiking, sight-seeing and watersports; the area is known for its high concentration of waterfalls, with over 90 on the Oregon side of the Gorge alone. Many are along the Historic Columbia River Highway, including the notable 620-foot -high Multnomah Falls. Trails and day use sites are maintained by the Forest Service and many Oregon and Washington state parks; the Columbia River Gorge began forming as far back as the Miocene, continued to take shape through the Pleistocene.
During this period the Cascades Range was forming, which moved the Columbia River's delta about 100 miles north to its current location. Although the river eroded the land over this period of time, the most drastic changes took place at the end of the last Ice Age when the Missoula Floods cut the steep, dramatic walls that exist today, flooding the river as high up as Crown Point; this quick erosion left many layers of volcanic rock exposed. The gorge has supported human habitation for over 13,000 years. Evidence of the Folsom and Marmes people, who crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia, were found in archaeological digs. Excavations near Celilo Falls, a few miles east of The Dalles, show humans have occupied this salmon-fishing site for more than 10,000 years; the gorge has provided a transportation corridor for thousands of years. Native Americans would travel through the Gorge to trade at Celilo Falls, both along the river and over Lolo Pass on the north side of Mount Hood. In 1805, the route was used by the Clark Expedition to reach the Pacific.
Early European and American settlers subsequently established steamboat lines and railroads through the gorge. Today, the BNSF Railway runs freights along the Washington side of the river, while its rival, the Union Pacific Railroad, runs freights along the Oregon shore; until 1997, Amtrak's Pioneer used the Union Pacific tracks. The Portland segment of the Empire Builder uses the BNSF tracks; the Columbia River Highway, built in the early 20th century, was the first major paved highway in the Pacific Northwest. Shipping was simplified after Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam submerged the gorge's major rapids such as Celilo Falls, a major salmon fishing site for local Native Americans until the site's submergence in 1957. In November 1986, Congress made it the second U. S. National Scenic Area and established the Columbia River Gorge Commission as part of an interstate compact; the experimental designation came in lieu of being recognized as a national park, which would require the existing industries in towns along the river to relocate.
National monument (United States)
In the United States, a national monument is a protected area, similar to a national park, but can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government by proclamation of the President of the United States. National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; some national monuments were managed by the War Department. National monuments can be so designated through the power of the Antiquities Act of 1906. President Theodore Roosevelt used the act to declare Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first U. S. national monument. The Antiquities Act of 1906 resulted from concerns about protecting prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts on federal lands in the American West; the Act authorized permits for legitimate archaeological investigations and penalties for taking or destroying antiquities without permission.
Additionally, it authorized the president to proclaim "historic landmarks and prehistoric structures, other objects of historic or scientific interest" on federal lands as national monuments, "the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected."The reference in the act to "objects of...scientific interest" enabled President Theodore Roosevelt to make a natural geological feature, Devils Tower in Wyoming, the first national monument three months later. Among the next three monuments he proclaimed in 1906 was Petrified Forest in Arizona, another natural feature. In 1908, Roosevelt used the act to proclaim more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon as a national monument. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Katmai National Monument in Alaska, comprising more than 1,000,000 acres. Katmai was enlarged to nearly 2,800,000 acres by subsequent Antiquities Act proclamations and for many years was the largest national park system unit.
Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Great Sand Dunes were originally proclaimed as national monuments and designated as national parks by Congress. In response to Roosevelt's declaration of the Grand Canyon monument, a putative mining claimant sued in federal court, claiming that Roosevelt had overstepped the Antiquities Act authority by protecting an entire canyon. In 1920, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Grand Canyon was indeed "an object of historic or scientific interest" and could be protected by proclamation, setting a precedent for the use of the Antiquities Act to preserve large areas. Federal courts have since rejected every challenge to the president's use of Antiquities Act preservation authority, ruling that the law gives the president exclusive discretion over the determination of the size and nature of the objects protected. Substantial opposition did not materialize until 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Jackson Hole National Monument in Wyoming.
He did this to accept a donation of lands acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for addition to Grand Teton National Park after Congress had declined to authorize this park expansion. Roosevelt's proclamation unleashed a storm of criticism about use of the Antiquities Act to circumvent Congress. A bill abolishing Jackson Hole National Monument passed Congress but was vetoed by Roosevelt, Congressional and court challenges to the proclamation authority were mounted. In 1950, Congress incorporated most of the monument into Grand Teton National Park, but the act doing so barred further use of the proclamation authority in Wyoming except for areas of 5,000 acres or less; the most substantial use of the proclamation authority came in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter proclaimed 15 new national monuments in Alaska after Congress had adjourned without passing a major Alaska lands bill opposed in that state. Congress passed a revised version of the bill in 1980 incorporating most of these national monuments into national parks and preserves, but the act curtailed further use of the proclamation authority in Alaska.
The proclamation authority was not used again anywhere until 1996, when President Bill Clinton proclaimed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. This action was unpopular in Utah, bills were introduced to further restrict the president's authority. None of which have been enacted. Most of the 16 national monuments created by President Clinton are managed not by the National Park Service, but by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System. Presidents have used the Antiquities Act's proclamation authority not only to create new national monuments but to enlarge existing ones. For example, Franklin D. Roosevelt enlarged Dinosaur National Monument in 1938. Lyndon B. Johnson added Ellis Island to Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, Jimmy Carter made major additions to Glacier Bay and Katmai National Monuments in 1978. On June 24, 2016, President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and surrounding areas in Greenwich Village, New York as the Stonewall National Monument, the first national monument commemorating the struggle for LGBT rights in the United States.
List of U. S. National Forests List of areas in the United States National Park System List of U. S. wilderness areas Protected areas of the United States List of proposed national monuments of the United States National monument proclamations under the Antiquities Act Congressional Research Service reports regar
Protected areas of the United States
The protected areas of the United States are managed by an array of different federal, state and local level authorities and receive varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness, while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation; as of 2015, the 25,800 protected areas covered 1,294,476 km2, or 14 percent of the land area of the United States. This is one-tenth of the protected land area of the world; the U. S. had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 1,271,408 km2, or 12 percent of the total marine area of the United States. Some areas are managed in concert between levels of government; the Father Marquette National Memorial is an example of a federal park operated by a state park system, while Kal-Haven Trail is an example of a state park operated by county-level government. As of 2007, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, the U. S. had a total of 6,770 terrestrial nationally designated protected areas. Federal level protected areas are managed by a variety of agencies, most of which are a part of the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior.
They are considered the crown jewels of the protected areas. Other areas are managed by the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; the United States Army Corps of Engineers is claimed to provide 30 percent of the recreational opportunities on federal lands through lakes and waterways that they manage. The highest levels of protection, as described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are Level I and Level II; the United States maintains 12 percent of the Level II lands in the world. These lands had a total area of 210,000 sq mi. A confusing system for naming protected areas results in some types being used by more than one agency. For instance, both the National Park Service and the U. S. Forest Service operate areas designated National National Recreation Areas; the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management operate areas called National Monuments. National Wilderness Areas are designated within other protected areas, managed by various agencies and sometimes wilderness areas span areas managed by multiple agencies.
There are existing federal designations of historic or landmark status that may support preservation via tax incentives, but that do not convey any protection, including a listing on the National Register of Historic Places or a designation as a National Historic Landmark. States and local zoning bodies may not choose to protect these; the state of Colorado, for example, is clear that it does not set any limits on owners of NRHP properties. Federal protected area designations National Park System National Parks National Preserves National Seashores National Lakeshores National Forest National Forests National Grasslands National Conservation Lands National Monuments National Conservation Areas Wilderness Areas Wilderness Study Areas National Wild and Scenic Rivers National Scenic Trails National Historic Trails Cooperative Management and Protection Areas Forest Reserves Outstanding Natural Areas National Marine Sanctuaries National Recreation Areas National Estuarine Research Reserves National Trails System National Wild and Scenic Rivers System National Wilderness Preservation System National Wildlife Refuge System International protected area designations UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the USA Every state has a system of state parks.
State parks vary from urban parks to large parks that are on a par with national parks. Some state parks, like Adirondack Park, are similar to the national parks of England and Wales, with numerous towns inside the borders of the park. About half the area of the park, some 3,000,000 acres, is state-owned and preserved as "forever wild" by the Forest Preserve of New York. Wood-Tikchik State Park in Alaska is the largest state park by the amount of contiguous protected land. S. National Parks, with some 1,600,000 acres, making it larger than the state of Delaware. Many states operate game and recreation areas. Lists of state parks in the United States: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming List of U.
S. state and tribal wilderness areas Various counties, metropolitan authorities, regional parks, soil conservation districts and other units manage a variety of local level parks. Some of these are little more than picnic playgrounds. South Mountain Park in Phoenix, for example, is called the largest city park in the United States. Protected areas of American Samoa Protected areas of California Protected areas of Colorado Protected areas of Georgia Protected areas of Illinois Protected areas of Kentucky Protected areas of Michigan Protected areas of Ohio National Landscape Conservation System National Park Service National Wild and S
Deschutes National Forest
The Deschutes National Forest is a United States National Forest located in parts of Deschutes, Klamath and Jefferson counties in central Oregon. It comprises 1.8 million acres along the east side of the Cascade Range. In 1908, the Deschutes National Forest was established from parts of the Blue Mountains and Fremont National Forests. In 1911, parts of the Deschutes National Forest were split off to form the Ochoco and Paulina National Forests, parts of the Cascade and Oregon National Forests were added to the Deschutes. In 1915, the lands of the Paulina National Forest were rejoined to the Deschutes National Forest. A 1993 Forest Service study estimated. Within the boundaries of the Deschutes National Forest is the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, containing cinder cones, lava flows, lava tubes; the Deschutes National Forest as a whole contains in excess of 250 known caves. The forest contains five wilderness areas, six National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Oregon Cascade Recreation Area, the Metolius Conservation Area.
Forest headquarters are located in Oregon. There are local ranger district offices in Bend and Sisters. Recreational activities in Deschutes National Forest include boating, wildlife watching, hiking, as well as mountain biking on an extensive system of trails. Hiking and skiing can be done on a stratovolcano in the Cascade Range. There are five designated wilderness areas within Deschutes National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. All of them are shared administratively with neighboring National Forests. Diamond Peak Wilderness Mount Jefferson Wilderness Mount Thielsen Wilderness (mostly in Winema NF or in Umpqua NF Mount Washington Wilderness Three Sisters Wilderness Deschutes River Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway The National Forest Foundation's Conservation Plan for the Deschutes National Forest Deschutes National Forest from the U. S. Forest Service
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is located on the Oregon Coast, stretching 40 miles north of the Coos River in North Bend to the Siuslaw River in Florence, adjoining Honeyman State Park on the west. It is administered by the United States Forest Service; the Oregon Dunes are a unique area of windswept sand. They are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America and one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world, with some dunes reaching 500 feet above sea level, they are the product of millions of years of erosion by rain on the Oregon Coast. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area provides numerous recreational activities, including off-highway vehicle use, photography, canoeing, horseback riding, camping; the Carter Dunes Trail and Oregon Dunes Day Use provide forest access for the disabled. Frank Herbert's science-fiction novel Dune was inspired by the author's research and fascination with the area; the Oregon Dunes are over 100,000 years old and stretch 40 miles.
The youngest dunes, which are the closest to the ocean, began forming about 7,000 years ago. Studies of individual sand grains show that these sands were carried down from the mountains by the Umpqua and other smaller rivers. In 1963, Congressman Robert B. Duncan introduced a bill to establish a national seashore at the Oregon Dunes. Senator Wayne Morse opposed provisions of the bill that increased environmental protections by restricting property uses. In 1972 Congress set aside 32,186 acres of the total dune area as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; the actual dunes are managed by the U. S. Forest Service, while the remaining area is private or county land; the sand dunes were formed by water over time. The dune formation is dependent on the wind. In the summer the wind blows from the northwest at 12 -- 16 miles per hour. Mountain barriers near the coast deflect the wind currents, forming the sand into many different shapes. In the winter the winds are much slower, coming from southwest.
These winds move large amounts of sand. Water plays a role in dune formation. Waves and tides dredge sand from the ocean floor and deposit it onto the beaches, where the wind takes over; the water currents create marshy areas where standing water is several feet deep. Upward pressure causes the sand grains to float; this process results in quicksand. Quicksand is found in the unvegetated areas between the dunes; the barrage lakes are the largest lakes in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. They were formed when streams flowing west from the Coast Range foothills were dammed up by the developing dunes. Stable native plant species are vital to the success of the dunes ecosystem. Several native plants and plant groups have been identified as crucial and are part of active management and conservation efforts; these plants include red fescue, Port Orford cedar, evergreen huckleberry, seashore bluegrass, shore pine, hairy manzanita, bog blueberry, tufted hairgrass, slough sedge, Sitka spruce, skunk cabbage.
Original native plant species were drastically reduced over the years due to the planting of European beachgrass, Scotch broom and shore pine for sand stabilization that occurred from 1910 through 1979. Many species of birds live in the varied habitats of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; the South Jetty area includes beach and coastal wetlands where the tundra swan, marsh wren, Canada goose, yellow-rumped warbler, red-tailed hawk, long-billed curlew and least sandpiper make their home. The great blue heron, American bittern, green heron, Virginia rail, cinnamon teal, common yellowthroat, common merganser, belted kingfisher, snowy plover, bald eagle, osprey live along the Siticoos area by the Waxmyrtle Trail; the Eel Creek area includes many shore pines and provides shelter to the pine siskin, chestnut-backed chickadee, Swainson's thrush, northern flicker, red crossbill, olive-sided flycatcher, Anna's hummingbird. The white-tailed kite, northern harrier, violet-green swallow, downy woodpecker, orange-crowned warbler, yellow warbler, black-throated gray warbler, Townsend’s warbler, hermit warbler, great horned owl, great egret have been sighted in the Horsefalls area.
The western snowy plover uses the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area as a nesting site. In 1993, it was identified as a "threatened" species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, with only 68 birds remaining in Oregon. Multiple agencies used a multi-pronged approach to increase their numbers. Techniques included restoring the plover habitat along the sand dunes by removing invasive beach grasses and maintaining the appropriate structures optimal for nest building. Protection of nesting sites is achieved by education and beach restrictions during the nesting season from March 15 through September 15; when necessary, these restrictions are enforced by police officers. Other techniques include removal of accurate population monitoring; as of 2012, the number of plovers had increased to 403 birds. The Oregon Dunes Restoration Collaborative is an organization that works with numerous government entities to preserve and restore the dunes; the group, formed in 2014, is engaged in efforts to combat the spread of invasive plant species that consume a large portion of the dunes.
The invasive species seen today are a result of a twentieth-century effort by land managers to stabilize the du