About the Forest

Offices | Leadership | Facts & Figures | National Acreages

From forest floor to ocean shore the Siuslaw National Forest stretches from the lush forests of the coastal mountains to the unique Oregon Dunes and the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Come, play, explore a stunning choice of things to do and see.

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The Siuslaw National Forest is a very diverse and productive region extending from Tillamook to Coos Bay along the Oregon coast. The forest encompasses over 630,000 acres of unique and varying ecosystems.

The Forest is situated within the Oregon Coast Range, a mountain range that runs north to south from the Columbia River to north central California. The Siuslaw National Forest is bordered on the east by the Willamette Valley and the west by the Pacific Ocean and is one of only two national forests located in the lower 48 states to claim oceanfront property. Marys Peak, the highest peak in the Coast Range at elevation 4,097, is a prominent view west of Corvallis.

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway Highway 101 runs parallel along the west side of the Forest and the Pacific Ocean, while Highways 26, 6, 18, 22, 20, 34, 126 and 38 provide access from the Portland metro area and central and southern Willamette Valley.

Two spectacular and culturally rich coastal headlands are distinguished by the native prairie grasses and rare wildflowers of Cascade Head National Scenic-Research Area and the towering trees and jagged, rocky flanks of Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area on the southern end of the forest constitutes one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world. The large oblique dunes found here occur nowhere else in the world.

Four major rivers flow out of the Siuslaw National Forest into the Pacific Ocean: the Nestucca, Alsea, Siuslaw, and Umpqua providing excellent habitat for anadromous fish. Many other smaller streams and tributaries add to the annual route salmon and steelhead take to their ancestral spawning ground.

Abundant rainfall and mild winters provide growing conditions for a variety of vegetation species. The Siuslaw’s temperate rain forest, coastal influence, ocean-forest interface, relatively young Douglas-fir forest, and cultural history make it unique among all other national forests.

map of siuslaw national forest

The Siuslaw has two distinct vegetation zones, Sitka spruce and western hemlock. The hardy Sitka spruce zone grows where the coast influence of mild temperatures, winds, and dense fog discourage other types of vegetation. Western hemlock grows well in shade beneath the dense Douglas-fire canopy. As Douglas fir matures, western hemlock takes over. Both zones contain freshwater, upland, offshore, and estuarine habitats that support a wide variety of vegetation, fish, and wildlife.

The climate of the Siuslaw is best described as a Pacific maritime with recorded rainfall of up to 100 inches per year in some parts of the Forest. Temperatures are moderate, averaging in the '30s to '40s during the winter with a very occasional snowfall. Summers are warm and dry, with cooler temperatures along the coast, warming up as you travel inland. A typical summer day at the Oregon Coast ranges in the '60s with fog as a very common occurrence. People who live on the Coast often say September and October are their favorite months of the year due to dry days and warm temperatures.

Forest Leadership

Forest Supervisor: Angela Elam, Acting

Administrative Officer: Mike Lang

Engineering: Darren Lemmon

Fire: Dan Eddy

Natural Resources: Tere O’Rourke

Public Affairs: Lisa Romano

Recreation: Dani Pavoni

Safety: Don Andreasen

Civil Rights: Jeanna Ramos

Hebo Ranger District: Deb Wilkins - District Ranger

Central Coast Ranger District-Oregon Dunes NRA: Michele Jones - District Ranger, Garrit Craig - Deputy District Ranger

Forest Facts & Figures

Geography

Acres 630,000
Elevation: Lowest Sea level
Elevation: Highest 4097 feet (1,248.7 meters)
Length of Forest 135 miles (217 kilometers)
Width of Forest 27 miles (44 kilometers)
Natural Lakes 30
Anadromous Streams 1200 miles

Acreages by County (approximate)

Benton 18,000
Coos 11,000
Douglas 66,000
Lane 246,000
Lincoln 172,000
Polk 1,000
Tillamook 91,000
Yamhill 25,000
TOTAL 630,000

Acreages by Ranger District (approximate)

Hebo RD 151,000
Central Coast-ODNRA 479,000
Total Forest 630,000

Major Forest Tree Species

Douglas-Fir Sitka Spruce
Western Hemlock Red Alder
Western Red Cedar Big Leaf Maple

Wildlife

Amphibians and Reptiles 26 species
Birds 235 species
Fishes Over 200 species
Mammals 69 species

National Forest Service Acreages & Statistics

View Land Areas of the National Forest System for the latest statistics available on land areas administered by the Forest Service.