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Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest

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Title: Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest  
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Subject: Rogue–Umpqua Divide Wilderness, Applegate River, National Register of Historic Places listings in Josephine County, Oregon, Red Buttes Wilderness, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
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Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest

Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest
IUCN category VI (protected area with sustainable use of natural resources)
Jeffrey pine on a high ridge
Map showing the location of Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest
Map showing the location of Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest
Location Oregon and California, USA
Klamath counties in Oregon
Del Norte and Siskiyou counties in California[1]
Nearest city Medford, Oregon
Area 1,723,179 acres (697,346 ha)[2]
Established 2004 (1906)
Visitors 915,000[3] (in 2006)
Governing body U.S. Forest Service

The Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest is a United States National Forest in the U.S. states of Oregon and California. The formerly separate Rogue River and Siskiyou National Forests were administratively combined in 2004. Now, the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest ranges from the crest of the Cascade Range west into the Siskiyou Mountains, covering almost 1.8 million acres (7,300 km2).[4] Forest headquarters are located in Medford, Oregon.


Map of southwestern Oregon

The former Rogue River portion of the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest is located in parts of five counties in southern Oregon and northern California. In descending order of land area they are Jackson, Klamath, Douglas, Siskiyou, and Josephine counties, with Siskiyou County being the only one in California. It has a land area of 628,443 acres (254,322 ha). There are local ranger district offices located in Ashland, Butte Falls, Grants Pass, Jacksonville, and Prospect.

Gold Beach ranger station

The former Siskiyou portion of the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest is located in parts of four counties in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California. In descending order of land area they are Curry, Josephine, and Coos counties in Oregon and Del Norte County in California. It has a land area of 1,094,726 acres (443,020 ha).[1] There are local ranger district offices located in Cave Junction, Gold Beach, and Powers.

Nearly all of the national forest is mountainous and includes parts of the Southern Oregon Coast Range, the Klamath Mountains, and the Cascade Range.

The largest river in the national forest is the Rogue River, which originates in the Cascade Range and flows through the Klamath Mountains and Coast Range. The Illinois River is a major tributary of the Rogue in the Klamath Mountains, while the Sixes, Elk, Pistol, Chetco, and Winchuck rivers drain the Coast Range directly to the Pacific Ocean.


The Siskiyou National Forest was established on October 5, 1906. On July 1, 1908, it absorbed Coquille National Forest and other lands. Rogue River National Forest traces its establishment back to the creation of the Ashland Forest Reserve on September 28, 1893, by the General Land Office. The lands were transferred to the Forest Service in 1906, and it became a National Forest on March 4, 1907. On July 1, 1908, Ashland was combined with other lands from Cascade, Klamath and Siskiyou National Forests to establish Crater National Forest. On July 18, 1915, part of Paulina National Forest was added, and on July 9, 1932, the name was changed to Rogue River.[5]

World War II bombing

On September 9, 1942, an airplane dropped bombs on Mount Emily in the Siskiyou National Forest, turned around, and flew back over the Pacific Ocean. The bombs exploded and started a fire, which was put out by several forest service employees. Bomb fragments were said to have Japanese markings. Stewart Holbrook vividly described this event in his essay "First Bomb".[6] It was later confirmed that the plane was indeed Japanese, and the incident became known as the Lookout Air Raid. It was the first bombing of the continental United States by an enemy aircraft.

Natural features

Preston Peak, Siskiyou Wilderness

The national forest is home to some stands of old growth, including Port Orford cedar and Douglas fir in the Copper Salmon area.[7] A 1993 Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the forest was 345,300 acres (139,700 ha)[8] some of which occurs in the Red Buttes Wilderness. Blue oak, Quercus douglasii, and Canyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis occur in the Siskiyou National Forest. For the California endemic Blue Oak, the disjunctive stands are occurring near the northern limit of its range, which occur no farther north than Del Norte County.[9] The world's tallest pine tree is a 268.35-foot (81.79 m) ponderosa and is located in the national forest.[10]

In 2002 the massive Biscuit Fire burned nearly 500,000 acres (200,000 ha), including much of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

Protected areas

The Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest contains all or part of eight separate wilderness areas, which together add up to 565,900 acres (229,000 ha):[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved September 30, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Land Areas of the National Forest System" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. January 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ Revised Visitation Estimates (PDF) - U.S. Forest Service
  4. ^ a b "Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest". U.S Forest Service. 
  5. ^ Davis, Richard C. (September 29, 2005). "National Forests of the United States" (PDF). The Forest History Society. 
  6. ^ "First Bomb" by Stewart Holbrook, The New Yorker, October 7, 1944
  7. ^ Copper Salmon Wilderness Campaign - Oregon Wild
  8. ^ Bolsinger, Charles L.; Waddell, Karen L. (1993). "Area of old-growth forests in California, Oregon, and Washington" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 
  9. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008). ,, ed. N. StrombergBlue Oak: Quercus douglasii
  10. ^ Fattig, Paul (January 23, 2011). "Tallest of the tall". Mail Tribune (Medford, Oregon). Retrieved January 27, 2011. 

External links

  • Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest
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