Apr. 26, Sat. State Board Meeting: 10 A.M. - 4 P.M. Douglas County
Museum, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Roseburg. Directions: Take 1-5 exit
123 south toward fairgrounds, then take first right to Museum. Tour of
Douglas County Museum (same location) can be arranged. Also take advantage
of the timing and location to visit the Glide Wildflower Show on the same
Apr. 7, Mon. Meeting: 7 P.M. Small Business Development Center,
SE 1st & Dorian, Pendleton. Mitchell Zachs will talk about nature photography.
Apr. 26, Sat. Field Trip: Umatilla Wildlife Refuge. Meet at the
NE corner of Pendleton Safeway parking lot, 8 A.M., or the refuge headquarters
in Irrigon, 9:15 A.M. Leader: Bruce Barnes, email@example.com.
May 10, Sat. Field Trip: Squaw Creek Canyon., a tributary of Umatilla
River, east of Pendleton. Meet: NE corner of the Pendleton Safeway parking
lot, 9 A.M. Leader: Jerry Baker.
May 31, Sat. Field Trip: Squaw Creek LookoutlPoverty Flats/Cabbage
Hill. Meet: NE corner of the Pendleton Safeway parking lot, 9 A.M. Leader:
Bruce Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apr. 12, Sat. Field Trip: Lichens of MacDonald Forest. Meet: 9 A.M.,
OSU parking lot, corner of Monroe and 25th Sts., across from the Beanery.
A lab session at noon will follow the tour for those interested in pursuing
the subject further. Leader: Eric Peterson.
Apr. 14, Mon. Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Room 2087, Cordley Hall, OSU campus.
Camille Tipton will give a talk on "Conserving the Cloud Rainforests
of Northwestern Ecuador." Little remains of this high montane forest
where biodiversity equals that of the Galapagos Islands.
Apr. 5, Sat. Field Trip: An easy walk beside cascading Sweet Creek
in a beautiful coast range valley settled in 1879 by Oregon Trail pioneer
Zarah Sweet. We'll see Eiythronium revolutum, the pink coast fawn
lily, and much more. Leave S. Eugene H.S. parking lot, 9 A.M. Bring lunch
and dress for weather. Leader: Charlene Simpson.
Apr. 12, Sat. Field Trip: LCC Forest Reserve. 9 A.M. - Noon. Meet:
South parking lot, above the Science Building, LCC main campus. (See directions
for meetings) We will explore the Reserve area and add to the species list.
Cimicifuga elata and Aster vialis are of particular interest.
Please call Gail Baker, (541) 747-4501, extension 2085, for more information.
Apr. 19, Sat. Field Trip: Learn about, and search for, the federally
endangered Bradshaw's desert parsley (Lomatium bradshawii) in the
Upper Amazon Basin of South Eugene. Meet: S. Eugene H.S. parking lot, 9
A.M. We'll start by looking at one large and one small population, then
learn basic search techniques and split into teams to search the Upper
Amazon for new populations. Bring lunch, clothes appropriate for weather,
and boots for soggy ground. Leader: Bruce Newhouse, email@example.com.
Apr. 28, Mon. Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Main campus, Lane Community College.
Directions: From 30th St., turn south on Eldon-Schafer Dr., go past Oak
Hill School, park in south parking lot at LCC, walk down stairs of Science
Building to room 109, which faces south parking lot. Cohn Long will speak
on his graduate thesis, "The Holocene Fire History and Vegetation
Changes at Little Lake, Central Coast Range, Oregon."
May 18, Sun. Wildflower Show: Mt. Pisgah Spring Festival and Wildflower
Show. Exit 30th Ave.ILCC just south of Eugene, and go east over I-5. Follow
signs. 10 A.M.- 4 P.M. Hundreds of species of local wildflowers will be
May 18, Sun. Field Trip: West Eugene Wetlands Mitigation Site Tour.
Meet: West Eugene BLM office (on the east side of Danebo St. just north
of Hwy. 126), at 1 P.M. (to 5 P.M.) for a tour of local wetland mitigation
sites. Led by BLM botanist Kathy Pendergrass.
Meeting: No meeting in April.
Apr. 26, Sat. Field Trip: Warm Springs Indian Reservation. We are
invited to visit selected areas on the Reservation for botanizing. Gary
Clowers has spent many years laying out trails and protecting sensitive
areas on the Reservation. He will be our guide for this unique opportunity.
Contact trip co-leader, Stu Garrett, firstname.lastname@example.org,
May 18, Sun. Native Plant Show: The Central Oregon Environmental
Center, 16 NW Kansas, Bend, will be taken over, on this day, by Oregon's
native species. Howie Braunstein and his students will gather common examples
of native plants from a variety of central Oregon ecosystems and display
and identify them. Stop by the Center between 11 A.M. and 4 P.M. to see
Apr. 2, Wed. Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Mosier School. Bob Ottersberg, a
consultant on soils and vegetation, will give a slide presentation on how
soils and other site factors affect plant communities.
May 7, Wed. Meeting: 7:30 P.M. Mosier School. Dan Luoma will talk
on mushrooms and other fungi.
Apr. 6, Sun. Field Trip: Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain. Joint trip with
Portland Chapter. Meet 10 A.M. Seaside Visitor's Center parking lot. (See
under Portland Chapter, for details.) Call Kathleen
Sayce, email@example.com, or Christine
Stanley, for more information.
Field Trip: Peninsula Park. Joint trip with Portland Chapter. Meet: 10
A.M., at the Tillamook PUD, 1115 Pacific. (See under Portland
Chapter for details.) Leader: Jim Winslow, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apr. 5, Sat. Workshop: Two part plant identification
class. Session I. Leach Garden, Portland, 9 A.M. - 12 A.M. Do you want
to know more about our native flora, but find yourself bewildered by the
huge variety of plants and frustrated by plant keys? These classes, taught
by Marty Stein, USFS botanist, and offered in cooperation with the Leach
Garden, will include an introduction to the basic principles of plant taxonomy,
definition of botanical terms, lessons in the use of plant keys, and practice
in recognizing the main features of the most common plant families. Includes
hands-on identification of the native plants at the Garden. Dress for the
weather. Class limit 25. Fee: LGF or NPSO members $25, non-members $30.
To register call Leach Garden, 761-9503.
Apr. 6, Sun. Field Trip: Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain. Joint trip with
the North Coast Chapter. This is a coastal mountain in Oswald West State
Park, northern Tillamook County. Elev. approximately 1500 ft. A basalt
dike runs the length of the ridge top, east to west, outcropping at the
top edge of four south-facing meadows, or coastal balds. The wet, north-facing
side of the mountain has many typical coastal forest species, including
large Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), mosses, lichens, ferns and
typical forest under-story species, including Oxalis oregana and
Trillium ovatum. Coastal balds contain many wildflower species,
such as Erythronium revolutum, Lomatium martindaiei, Allium
cernuum. The trail begins about 600 ft. above sea level and climbs
900 ft. in under two mi. Steep in places, but doesn't cross rock faces
or other exposed features. Driving: 150 mi. RT. Leave 8 A.M., from east
end of Cedar Hills Shopping Center parking lot. (From Portland, take Hwy.
26 west to exit 69B, follow signs to Cedar Hills. Northbound on Hwy. 217,
take exit to Hwy. 26E/Cedar Hills, follow signs to Cedar Hills.) Second
mtng. place: 10 A.M., Seaside Visitor's Center parking lot, Hwy. 101, across
from City Hall. Contact Kathleen Sayce, email@example.com,
or Christine Stanley.
Apr. 8, Tue. Meeting: 7 P.M. First United Methodist Church, 1838
SW Jefferson St., Portland. Vernon Marttala will present a "Report
from the Romanzoffiorum."
Apr. 12, Sat. Workshop: Plant identification class. Session II,
Leach Garden, Portland, 9 A.M. -12 A.M. (See April
5, above, for details.)
Apr. 19, Sat. Field Trip: Peninsula Park. Joint trip with North
Coast Chapter to Peninsula Park on Trask River in Tillamook, to see Etythronium
revolutum and Dodecatheon austrofrigidum. Easy hike. Weather
permitting we will visit other sites on the North Fork of the Trask River.
Leave, 8:30 A.M., east end of Cedar Hills Shopping Center parking lot (see
April 6 trip for directions). Second meeting place: 10 A.M., Tillamook
PUD, 1115 Pacific. Driving: 150 mi. RT. Leader: Jim Winslow, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apr. 20, Sat. Field Trip: Memaloose Loop. Hike about 5.5 mi. R.T.,
with 700 ft. elev. gain. This hike traverses pine-oak woodlands and open
grasslands, and features matchless 360-degree viewpoints and lots of wildflowers.
Leave: 8 A.M. from Gateway l99th Ave. Park & Ride, near southeast corner
of the parking lot. Take exit 7 from 1-84, turn immediately right onto
99th Ave. Second meeting place: 9:15 A.M., Memaloose Rest Area, near M.P.
72 on 1-84. Leader: Russ Jolley.
Apr. 26, Sat. Field Trip: Camassia Preserve. Easy walk through Nature
Conservancy preserve in time to see spring bloom, including potentially
spectacular displays of blue camassia against a carpet of rosy plectritis
and lime-green moss. We may find the relatively rare pale larkspur in bloom
too. Meet: 10 A.M., West Linn H.S., 5464 West A St., West Linn, then car
pool to the preserve. Preregistration required. Limit 20. Contact Charlene
Apr. 27, Sun. Field Trip: Weldon Wagon Trail. Joint trip with Mid-Columbia
Chapter. 2-3 mi. hike, about 500 ft. elev. gain across steep side hill
east of and above Indian Creek and the White Salmon River Valley. There
are fields of balsamroot, Suksdorf's lomatium, Columbia lomatium, (and
L. macrocarpum, L. grayii, L. triternatum, L. piperi, L. dissectum),
and big-headed clover. We can see Cypnpedium fasciculatum
along the trail. The leader, Krista Thie, is particularly knowledgeable
in medicinal plant lore. Driving: 170 mi. R.T. Leave: 9 A.M., Lewis &
Clark State Park. Second meeting place: Leave, 10:45, Indian Creek Rd.
turn-off. From north end of Hood River Bridge, it is about 10.2 mi. to
turn-off in Husum. Go east from Hood River Bridge about 2 mi. on Hwy. 14,
turn at blinking light in Bingen onto Hwy. 141, go through White Salmon
on Hwy. 141, heading north toward Trout Lake. The turn-off for the Weldon
Wagon Trail is between mileposts 8 and 9, just before the old gas station,
now the White Water Rafting Outfitters. We'll meet just east of hwy, just
as you turn onto Indian Creek Rd., just south of White Water Rafters. Contact
Krista Thie, email@example.com.
Apr. 12, Sat. Field Trip: Limpy Creek Botanical Area. Easy, 1 mi.
hike, led by Linda Mullens, USFS. Beautiful, serpentine, riparian area,
very close to Grants Pass. Meet: 8:30 A.M., Grants Pass Fred Meyer parking
lot, north side near "The Key Man." Second meeting place: 9 A.M.,
Limpy Creek Botanical Area parking lot. Car pooling at Fred Meyer is encouraged
because this is a very small parking lot.
Apr. 17, Thu. Meeting: Room 171, Science Building, Southern Oregon
State College. The subject of the program will be announced.
Apr. 19, Sat. Field Trip: Rough and Ready Botanical Area I French
Flat.. Easy hike. Leaders: Jennifer Beigle, Siskiyou Project; Linda Mazzu,
BLM; Anita Seda, USFS. Features: Rare plants such as Cook's lomatium (Lomatium
cookii), Hall's violet (Viola hallii), Waldo rockcress (Arabis
acueolata), Douglas' monkeyflower (Mimulus douglasii) and gentian
(Gentiana setigera). Meet: 9 A.M., Interagency Visitor Center, Cave
Apr. 26, Sat. Field Trip: Lower Table Rock. Moderate hike. Leader:
Barbara Mumblo, USFS. Features: Rare plants such as dwarf meadow foam
Limnanthes fioccosa ssp. pumila) Meet: 10 A.M., Lower Table
Rock parking lot.
May 4, Sun. Field Trip: Illinois River Canyon Trail. Easy hike.
Leaders: Steve Marston, Siskiyou Project, Don Heinze, BLM (retired). Features:
Rare plants such as Kalmiopsis (Kalmiopsis leachiana) and cobra
plant (Dariingtonia californica). Meet: 9 A.M., Selma Supermarket
parking lot, left (north side).
May 17, Sat. Field Trip: Return to Rough and Ready Botanical Area.
Easy hike. This will be a completely different flora from April. The remains
of the April rare plants may also be present. Leader: Don Heinze, BLM (retired).
Meet: Interagency Visitor's Center, Cave Junction.
May 17 - 18, Sat. - Sun. Wildflower Conference: The Southern Oregon
Coast/ SW Oregon Wildflower Conference, in Charleston, Oregon, focuses
on the diverse and unique flora of the southern Oregon coast and the Siskiyou
Mountains. Saturday: Presentations on rare plants of the area, local wildflower
hot spots, and impacts of exotic vegetation. Sunday: Field trip to unique
coastal habitats south of Bandon. Admission for entire weekend is $20.
For more information, contact Bruce Rittenhouse, 756-0100 (days).
Apr. 10, Thu.. Meeting: 7 P.M. Room 310, Douglas County Courthouse,
Roseburg. Russ Holmes will update us on BLM activities.
Apr. 21, Mon. Meeting: 7 P.M. United Methodist Church, 600 State
St. NE, Salem. Bruce McCune will present a program on lichens.
Apr. 5, Sat. Field Trip: The Nature Conservancy needs help planting
native bunchgrass seed in containers. The grass plugs will be grown at
the Plantworks Native Nursery, La Grande, and outplanted at the Lawrence
Grassland Preserve in the fall. Bring gloves. Planting should be finished
by 1 P.M. Meet at the Plantworks, 1805 U Ave., La Grande, 9 A.M. For information
contact Berta Youtie.
Apr. 16, Wed. Meeting: 7 - 9 P.M. Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory,
Gekeler Lane and C Ave., La Grande. Business from 7 - 8, program from 8
- 9. Karen Antell, Professor of Botany, Eastern Oregon State College, will
present a slide program on the Ladd Marsh Project. Our chapter plans to
develop a much-needed plant species list and a collection for the marsh.
This is an opportunity to learn about the project and to volunteer your
assistance if you so desire. It will be an enjoyable way to learn lots
of native plants and learn about the marsh. Come join the fun!
May 10 & 17, Sats. Classes: 8:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. Barbara Russell
will teach a class through the Baker-Union ESD, titled "Beginning
Botany and Native Plant Identification." It will focus on how to use
a plant key to identify unknown plants you encounter in your travels. Slides
will familiarize people with plant family characteristics. Plant parts
used for identification will be taught. Then we will dive in and just do
it. We will practice keying with fresh specimens. Contact Barbara Russell,
after April 2, for more information.
May 17, Sat. Field Trip: Paula Brooks, Forest Botanist, Wallowa-Whitman
National Forest, will lead a spring wildflower trip to the Sumpter/Phillips
Lake area west of Baker City. Grass widows, bluebells and fawn lilies will
probably be blooming. Meet: 9 A.M., behind Baker City Post Office. Bring
lunch and a friend. Call Paula, 523-6110, to confirm.
The NPSO annual budget meeting began on Saturday, January 18 at Linfield
College in McMinnville without the president or secretary due to the ice
storms that had been plaguing the Columbia Gorge. Though the weather was
clear throughout most of the state, several inches of ice still remained
in Mike and Jerry Igo's driveway. It was so slick they "couldn't even
walk out to their cars, much less drive out!"
Rather than delve right into the budget, the board first discussed committee
reports. The membership committee's report showed that new member enrollment
lags behind prior years by 20%. If this trend continues, it will have a
negative impact on the budget, since membership dues are the largest single
contributor to NPSO's income.
The Westside Conservation Committee Chair has been exceptionally productive
in the past year submitting comments regarding "salvage" timber
sales, the Coquille Land Transfer, permanent conservation of the Bull Run
Watershed and Little Sandy River, and the Corvallis Riverfront Proposal.
A future focus for this committee includes watching our new senators and
representatives, particularly regarding the Endangered Species Act, wetlands
issues, private property issues and grazing. The chair of this committee
is seeking a replacement, so if these topics sound like something you would
like to work on please let Kate Dwire or Mike Igo know.
NPSO has also been seeking a replacement for the EFO representative. Two
members, Laura Tesler of the South Coast Chapter and Shane Latimer, president
of the Porfiand Chapter, recently came forward to share the duties. Ms.
Tesler will start by working with Ms. Muir on the annual EFO re-application
while Mr. Latimer is interested in being an EFO board member. The NPSO
board thanks and encourages both volunteers! During Maya Muir's two years
as the EFO representative, NPSO's relationship with EFO has changed from
chaos and dissatisfaction to a satisfactory working relationship. Even
though fixing this situation wasn't the job Ms. Muir expected to do, the
improvement is virtually all a result of her efforts. The board commends
Maya Muir for a job excellently done!
The new chair of the Atlas Committee, Bruce Newhouse, reported that so
far, almost 17,500 records from 131 lists have been entered in the Atlas
Database, with about 1000 plant lists to go! To add to this incredible
(and wonderful) backlog, federal agencies have now authorized release of
their databases to the Flora Project. On a more somber note, the Oregon
Flora Project is delayed because of lack of money, which will in turn delay
publication of the checklist. Contributions from chapters and individuals
are urgently needed. If anyone knows of likely sources of grants, please
tell Keli Kuykendall, the Grants Coordina-tor. Due to the same budget and
labor constraints, the Flora Newsletter will be published only three times
a year instead of the current four.
From reports statewide, it seems that many of the NPSO chapters are staying
busy, even in the doldrums of winter. The Corvallis Chapter, under the
direction of the recently elected president, Danna Lytjen, has been compiling
a plant list that will cover Linn, Lincoln and Benton counties. The Emerald
Chapter is planning a spring field trip/survey of the lower drainage of
the Amazon Creek channel for Lomatium bradshawii, for the city of
Eugene. The Siskiyou Chapter is leading a letter-writing campaign against
a proposed state prison site in the midst of vernal pools in the Agate
Desert. Comments in opposition are desired. On the South Coast, Oregon
State Parks is taking some action to achieve recovery plans for Lilium
occidentale sites. The William Cusick Chapter has been holding programs
about landscaping with natives and now the community wants more! In the
Mid-Columbia region, members are planning the April 13th Columbia River
Gorge Wildflower Show.
Finally, after lunch, it came time to adopt the annual budget. There were
significant increases in budget and balance between 1995 and 1996. Looking
ahead to 1997, the board is hopeful that the symposium proceedings will
bring in additional income to cover increasing expenses such as publishing
the Bulletin, and to support the increased needs of endeavors like the
Oregon Flora Project.
Two Cost Share Grants were awarded. A $500 grant was requested by Lucille
Housley of the Lakeview BLM District to pay expenses of volunteers. Matching
federal funds would be $1000 in BLM vehicle use. Friends of Buford Park/Mt.
Pisgah asked for a full $1000 cost share grant to fund a proposal for a
native plant restoration project in the park, one of the few sites with
Bradshaw's lomatium. The project includes restoration of up to ten acres
of three locally endangered plant communities, restoration of the nesting
habitat of the Western pond turtle, inventory of the botanical resources
in the 2000 acre park, and development of an interpretive trail. Other
partners include Lane County Parks Division, Balance Restoration Nursery,
ODFW, The Nature Conservancy, and BLM.
A budget item was approved to give $200 to the First Conference on Siskiyou
Ecology to use as scholarships and to keep registration fees low. Other
sponsors are SOSC Biology Department, and USNPS-Oregon Caves NM. (Look
at their WWW site for more information.)
The agenda items passed quickly, and by early afternoon the 1997 NPSO budget
had been ap-proved as amended. And the board members were off to their
respective corners of the state, hoping for safe driving conditions.
NPSO Need Laptop
The donation of a laptop computer for the use of the secretary is highly
desirable and the Society would be most grateful. Anyone wishing to donate
such an item, should contact Heather Laub.
Wetlands Restoration Meeting
The Society for Wetland Scientists (SWS) and the Society for Ecological
Restoration (SER), Pacific Northwest chapters, will be holding a joint
annual meeting on May 5 - 7 in Corvallis, Oregon. The theme is "Putting
Down Roots: Wetland Restoration in the Landscape." SWS is organizing
a technical program, including speakers and workshops which focus on wetlands
and wetland restoration efforts throughout the Pacific Northwest. SER is
sponsoring a special symposium about linking local scale restoration to
landscape theory and process. This will be a great opportunity for interested
parties to interact with SWS and SER members and learn more about restoration
activities throughout the Pacific Northwest, particularly in wetland ecosystems.
For more information about the conference, or to get a registration packet,
Call Laura Herbon at 503-460-0057.
1997 NPSO Annual Meeting
The Willamette Valley Chapter invites you to the 1997 annual meeting which
will be held June 6-7-8 at "Camp Cascade." The camp is located
on the banks of the Little North Fork River in scenic Elkhorn Valley, forty
miles east of Salem in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Meals and
men's and women's dormitory lodging are available on-site. Scheduled events
are: Friday evening, June 6: Registration, Evening Social and slide show,
"Wildflowers of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountains."
Saturday morning, June 7: Field trips leaving Camp Cascade at 9 A.M. Saturday
evening: Social hour, 5:30 P.M. Banquet, 6:30 P.M. Sunday morning, June
8: State board meeting, 9 A.M. See the March Bulletin for meeting and field
A detailed map and directions to Camp Cascade will be included with your
registration confirmation. Print, complete and mail your registration
form soon.Your registration must be mailed by April 30.
Shady Cove Wildflower Show
The Shady Cove Wildflower Show will take place on Saturday and Sunday,
May 3rd and 4th, in the Shady Cove Elementary School. To reach it from
Medford take Highway 62 north. For more information, or to help out at
the show, contact Margaret Meierhenry at 541-826-6649.
Save Mt. Hood Streams
Have fun and meet with others who share your values at a Columbia Group
Sierra Club fundraiser for Friends of Mt. Hood. The Sierra Club is raising
money to help support the Friends legal appeal to protect the unique creeks
and wildflower meadows of Mt. Hood Meadows.
Beer, wine, hors d'oeuvres and music in a lovely old town setting, will
be available at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 207 SW Pine, on Friday, April
25, from 6 to 9 P.M. Mark your calendar.
The NICORE Mine v. Rough & Ready Creek
- Barbara Ullian, Siskiyou Chapter
The NICORE Project, a large nickel laterite mine proposed for the Rough
and Ready Creek watershed in Oregon's Siskiyou Mountains, is gaining momentum
as the Forest Service begins preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.
If this mine proceeds in any form it will destroy the integrity of this
biologically rich reference watershed  and heavily
impact a potential Wild and Scenic River,  the
Rough and Ready Botanical Area, the Rough and Ready Area of Critical Environmental
Concern, and the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area.
The position of the mining claimant proposing the NICORE Project is that
it is his right to mine the Rough and Ready watershed, and to additionally
own much of it at the bargain basement price of $2.50 per acre. (The Freeman/NICORE
mineral patent application, for 4,380 acres, is the largest pending patent
application in the United States.). What possible authority gives such
privilege and preference to one individual and one use on National Forest
lands belonging to the public.
The authority is one granted by default. The Siskiyou National Forest,
the primary land managing agency in the Rough and Ready watershed, maintains
that the right to mine, as granted by the 1872 Mining Law, cannot be denied.
The agency further holds that it is their mission to encourage and facilitate
mining on public lands,  but many feel this position
is as out of date as the Mining Law itself. Essentially, there is no clear
command that mining is the absolute dominant use of public lands, 
despite the Forest Service's historic solicitude toward activities granted
by the Mining Law and despite the environmental havoc and degradation of
public lands and water.
Why should the Native Plant Society and its members be concerned with the
application or misapplication of the Mining Law and the prevailmg attitude
and demands of public land miners? Because mining is an enormous and imminent
threat to the Rough and Ready Creek watershed and its native plants, their
habitats and the ecological relationships and processes which sustain them.
In the 1994 issue of Kalmiopsis ("Oregon Plants, Oregon Places"),
the significance of the Rough and Ready Creek watershed and its botanical
other values are examined. In order to preserve these values and the ecological
integrity of this rare, mostly intact landscape, we must gain an understanding
of the NICORE mining operation, the processes driving it and what it will
take to stop both.
Rough and Ready Creek's watershed is part of the Josephine ophiolite. 
Its headwaters flow from the venerable Klamath Peneplain, 
down through the dramatic red rock country of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness
and the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area to a broad alluvial valley and confluence
with the West Fork of the Illinois River. The environmental conditions,
geologic processes and mineralized soils  which
have challenged extremes in species adaptation and evolution and created
unique and diverse plant assemblages, have put Rough and Ready in the greatest
jeopardy during its entire forty million year history. 
The NICORE Project claims that stainless steel can be produced from Rough
and Ready's laterite soils. The original mining plan of operation was to
mine a 5,000 ton bulk sample to test a proprietary experimental metallurgical
process. In 1996, the Siskiyou National Forest prepared a Surface Use Determination
-- a report to determine if the mining claimant's proposal had merit. It
was the opinion of the Forest Service that the NICORE plan of operation
was reasonable with certain conditions. One of the recommendations was
that before the Forest Service accepted the NICORE plan of operation and
began the Environmental Impact Statement that there was some assurance
that a smelter facility would be available to process the ore and test
The owner of NICORE countered with as new plan of operation, this time
to go into "full production" and over time, mine out each ore
body. Because much of the information concerning
the NICORE Project and the Freeman patent has been determined to be proprietary
and not available to the public, little is known about the how, when and
where of the smelting facility that will transform Rough and Ready's soils
into stainless steel and about the extent of the area to be mined.
We do know that the NICORE plan calls for eleven stream crossings constructed
by dumping rock in the mainstem of Rough and Ready at six separate locations
and at five locations on its tributaries. Over fourteen miles of road will
be constructed. Additionally, current information
is that the processed ore will be stockpiled on the Rough and Ready Area
of Critical Environmental Concern.
In order to stop the NICORE mine and to protect the Rough and Ready Watershed
there must be a massive and thoughtful outpouring of opposition to the
NICORE mining plan of operation and an embracing of Rough and Ready Creek
and its non-mineral values by the public. There must be support for legal
challenges to the mining operation and for a legislative or administrative
"no mining" remedy. The participation of the Native Plant Society
of Oregon and its members is crucial to the preservation of this exceptional
At this time there are three actions that are vitally important:
Write to your members of Congress and inform them of the proposed NICORE
Mine and its threat to a unique and ancient landscape, the Rough and Ready
Participate fully in the National Environmental Policy Act process
for the NICORE mine. The Illinois Valley Ranger District has developed
a proposed action and must now request input from the public on issues
and concerns for the NICORE plan of operation (March and April). The Draft
Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be released in September.
Write to the Illinois Valley District Ranger, 26568 Redwood Highway, Cave
Junction, Oregon 97623, requesting to be put on the mailing list for the
NICORE Project EIS.
Help raise public awareness about Rough and Ready's significant ecological
values, encourage scientific research in the area and conduct plant and
other surveys in the watershed.
For more information on Rough and Ready Creek and the NICORE Mine and to
be put on a mailing list for Action Alerts, please write the Siskiyou Project,
P.O. Box 220, Cave Junction, Oregon 97523, or phone (541) 592-4459.
The Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
lists the Rough and Ready Watershed as an Aquatic Diversity Area and as
a "highly sensitive," "genetic refuge" and "reference
In a 1993 Wild and Scenic River eligibility study,
most of the mainstem and all of the North Fork of Rough and Ready Creek
were found to have one or more outstandingly remarkable values making them
eligible for a Wild and Scenic River suitability study. The Forest Service's
eligibility study erred in not finding the whole Rough and Ready stream
system eligible, a precedent set by the National Wild and Scenic Smith
River in California. The study found that the outstandingly remarkable
values of Rough and Ready's mainstem were: 1) Geological/Hydrological,
2) Botanical/Ecological, and 3) Wildlife, and Botanical/Ecological for
the North Fork. The Forest Service erred in not naming water quality as
Leshy, John D. The Mining Law: A Study in Perpetual
Motion, Resources for the Future, 1987.
An area where ocean crust is emplaced against the
continent is called an ophiolite. Ophiolites consist of layers of rock
that represent fragments of formerly intact oceanic crust and mantle. The
layers of an ophiolite consist, from base to top, of peridotite, gabbro,
sheeted diabase dikes, pillow lavas, and pelagic sediments. (USDA Forest
Service, 1996, A Field Guide to Serpentine Plant Associations and Sensitive
Plants in Northwestern California, Pacific Southwest Region, R5-ECOL-TP-06).
The Josephine ophiolite has been influenced by
additional geologic processes since its emplacement onto the continent.
Increased erosion during a period of geologic inactivity in the Miocene,
has resulted in a series of flat topped ridges in the area of the western
Siskiyou Mountains, called the KIamath Peneplain (Ibid.).
The chemical weathering of serpentinized pendotite
results in soils rich in magnesium, silica and iron and low in available
calcium and potassium. Serpentine soils also typically have high pH values
and high concentrations of the heavy metals, nickel, chromium, cobalt.
Unaltered peridotite or slightly serpentinized
peridotite can develop to laterite soils in areas with high rainfalls.
These soils are associated with mining activity because of their high concentrations
of nickel and chromium. (Ibid.).
The NICORE plan also implies ore reserves in the
Woodcock Mountain and Free and Easy Pass areas of the Illinois Valley.
The NICORE Project plan of operation involves
haul routes that go through the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area, and the
Rough and Ready Botanical Area and ACEC. Some bulldozer tracks exist. In
places, these tracks have altered the natural drainage patterns. Heavy
equipment and 25 ton ore trucks will make thousands of trips on their way
to where the ore is to be stockpiled on the ACEC.