Protecting the beautiful rivers, wild lands and legendary botanical diversity of Oregon's Kalmiopsis Country
The Biscuit Fire: Time to bury the myth
Introduction and fall of 2018 update On July 13, 2002, a lightning storm ignited five fires in southwest Oregon's rugged river-rich Kalmiopsis region. Four of the fires, plus massive U.S. Forest Service burnout operations (part of the agency's fire suppression strategy), eventually became known as read more
Thunderstorms bring half inch of rain to heart of Chetco Bar fire, other parts see cooler temperatures
A series of thunderstorms moved through southwest Oregon and northwest California on September 6th and 7th bringing cooler temperatures, relief from smoke, intermittent rain, and unfortunately lightning. What effect the storms had on the Chetco Bar fire we can't assess but here's some good read more
Fall color and wild salmon on the Wild and Scenic Illinois River | Little Falls
The Wild and Scenic Illinois River, leaves civilization and heads into the wilds of Southwestern Oregon's Kalmiopsis backcountry. This is one of the most underappreciated, beautiful stretches of river on the West Coast and fall is one of the best times to visit the river's read more
Oregon Caves National Monument Preserve celebrated
When Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve Superintendent Vicki Snitzler pointed to a ridge top marking the park's new boundary at a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 10th, a crowd that included Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congressman Peter DeFazio let out a read more
Help permantely protect Cathedral Hills Park
Cathedral Hills Park is a 560 acre woodland minutes from downtown Grants Pass. It's to Grants Pass, what Central Park is to New City and a delight any time of year. Best of all, enjoying its numerous amenities won't cost you a dime. It belongs to read more
Senator Wyden proposes Illinois Valley Salmon and Botanical Area
Described as a little biological gem, the proposed Illinois Valley Salmon and Botanical Area is comprised of about 15,000 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management on the west side of the Illinois Valley.  The special management area is one of read more
Cathedral Hills Park is threatened. You can help.
Cathedral Hills is to Grants Pass as Central Park is to New York—or close to it. Only no one would think of constructing a 60 foot wide road through Central Park or managing it for timber production. That's what's facing our Cathedral Hills Park. The read more
Grants Pass Courier endorses Oregon Caves expansion
In a June 25th editorial, the Grants Pass Courier endorsed the Oregon Caves expansion. Calling the National Monument the "crown jewel of Josephine County," the  Courier editorial says it's time to act on legislation that's been floating around Congress for six years. Cave Junction businessman, read more
Expanding protection for Oregon Caves National Monument
Like most places, we have our prophets of doom in Southwest Oregon. They oppose just about everything—even the most modest proposals, such as a bill expanding protection for the Oregon Caves National Monument. The legislation will help assure clean safe drinking water for the read more
Emily Camp, a private inholding in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness
Update and great news This post was previously updated in May of 2014. We began updating it again in early 2018 because we learned that the 2017 Chetco Bar fire burned through the part of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness where Emily Camp is located and the read more
Senator Wyden’s Grants Pass town hall meeting
Local coverage of Senator Wyden's Grants Pass town hall failed to capture important issues raised by the estimated 150 people who attended.  In recognition of the many who traveled from the Applegate and Illinois Valley's to be heard, we want to share some of the read more
Illinois Valley residents don’t trust the O&C Trust Act
Over 100 Illinois Valley residents packed the Cave Junction Community Building on September 24th to hear Congressman Peter DeFazio explain the O&C Trust, Conservation and Jobs Act. Protestors waved signs and giant tree puppets provided levity to the otherwise serious mood of the crowd. read more
Labrador Fire closes Wild and Scenic Illinois River Corridor
Update July 29th: The Wild and Scenic Illinois River Corridor, the Illinois River Road (FS Road 4103) and the Sixmile Creek Road (FS Road 5105) are closed and now subject to a closure order. Read the closure order here. Correction July 27th 9:00 p.m.  The Rogue read more
Labrador Fire: A sensible fire fighting plan
The Labrador Fire is burning across from Oak Flat on the Wild and Scenic Illinois River. Oak Flat is a small group of private inholdings surrounded by the Siskiyou National Forest portion of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. During the 2002 Biscuit Fire, Oak Flat read more
Labrador Fire at 300 acres
The latest update for the Labrador Fire (10:55 a.m.) can be found on the SWOFire website.  It was at 300 acres. The latest (10:30 a.m.) information about Southwest Oregon fires in general is here. The Whiskey complex on the Umpqua National Forest was at around 1000 read more
Labrador Fire on Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
A dry lightning storm rolled across Southwest Oregon early Friday morning. The storm left in its wake numerous small fires. A good source of information about the fires is ODF's SWOFire website. There's a 3 p.m. update on the Labrador Fire and an update on read more
Wild and Scenic Illinois River protected from mining
It's official. On June 27th, the Department of Interior approved continued protection for 14 miles of Oregon's Wild and Scenic Illinois River from mining. The previous mineral withdrawal was set to expire on June 30th. The action closes 14 miles of the popular river to mining for read more
Ask Secretary of Interior to protect the Wild & Scenic Illinois River from mining
Correction 6/24/2013: We've just learned the withdrawal order for the Scenic Illinois River is on the desk of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the Department of Interior and not Secretary Jewell's. Nonetheless, an email to Secretary Jewell asking her to support read more
Recommended Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion to be logged
Please ask BLM's State Director not to award the Sampson Cove timber sale before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals makes its final decision. You can help with a phone call or email and a simple message (see below). The timber sale would log and read more
An economic model for Oregon’s beautiful Illinois River Valley?
Updated March 31, 2013—Trail towns in the East—that provide unique recreation opportunities and take care of the environment—are flourishing, even in an otherwise economically depressed region. Now, two communities in the State of Jefferson are starting their own rails-to-trails project. Is there a similar read more
People who matter – Remembering Kathie Durbin
Update 5/24/2013: See new comment below.  Kathie Durbin sadly passed away on March 15th. She's someone who mattered. For those who knew her, wished they'd known her better or have no idea who she was, I recommend Andy Kerr's beautiful tribute at Oregon Wild's blog and read more
Josephine County lags in percent of federal lands protected
The refrain often used by opponents of protecting federal lands in Josephine County is that the mostly rural southwest Oregon area has already contributed more than its share. First, Josephine County lags far behind most other counties in the Klamath-Siskiyou Region and the nation, with read more
Oregon Caves and Chetco River legislation re-introduced
Update March 11, 2013: Today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee announced they will consider S. 354, the Oregon Caves Revitalization Act of 2013, on Thursday, March 14th at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Click here for the agenda and other information. The hearing will be read more
Finding the real Josephine County
More and more we're seeing simplistic portrayals of Josephine County as a rural backwater and "resource or timber dependent" community. It's neither. The reality is far more complex. Josephine County is a mix of well-to-do neighborhoods and enclaves of half million dollar plus mini-estates—often read more
Protect the Wild and Scenic Illinois River from mining
Help prevent the mining of 14 miles of this beautiful National Wild and Scenic River. The existing mineral withdrawal—the primary roadblock to the river being mined—is set to expire. You can help by sending a letter in support of extending the current withdrawal for 20 read more
Living the examined life in business
"Watch it" is the most important thing we can say about the September 27, 2012 Livestream interview with Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley at Yale University. They provide us with a successful model of a new way of doing business that's responsible to the earth read more
Understanding the whole forest (and watershed)
Understanding the whole forest — above and below the ground — is critical to understanding forest and watershed health. Much of the early work on the importance and extent of the forest below the ground was done at Oregon State University. But the lessons seem read more
Mining the Wild and Scenic Illinois River
Fisheries scientists Jack Williams and Mike Dombeck, in their recent guest opinion for the Oregonian, urge Congress to pass the Chetco River Protection Act "sooner rather than later." Instream mining on the nearby National Wild and Scenic Illinois River is one of the best arguments read more
They’re wrong on the economy and the facts
Southern Oregon Resources Alliance is wrong on what caused the downturn in the economy of Southern Oregon and who's to blame. In their anti-Wilderness video, they claim: Ever since the Northwest Forest Plan decimated our timber industry, we’ve had chronically high rates of poverty read more
In search of the Kalmiopsis
We are reminded that being open to wild places often yields unexpected gifts. On May 3rd, in search of soft light to photograph the illusive Kalmiopsis leachiana, Dick and Gwen Adams made the 17 mile (often bone jarring) drive from the Redwood Highway (199) at Selma, down read more
Coho Recovery Plan
Update—May 25, 2012: The comment period has ended for the Draft Recovery Plan for coho salmon populations in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The draft plan identified Coho Salmon Core Recovery Watersheds for the region. These include: the Illinois, Smith, Chetco and Elk River Watersheds read more