Botanical Areas

The Klamath National Forest has numerous Botanical Areas with many rare and endemic species.

Salmon/Scott River Ranger District

China Mountain Botanical Area

Located on the southeast edge of Salmon/Scott River Ranger District the area varies in elevation from 6320' to 8542'. This 660 acre area lies in the central portion of the China Mountain/Cory Peak crest zone and includes portions of both China Mountain and South China Mountain. The area contains high elevation ultramafic soils and as a result harbors many rare andsensitive plant species. Examples include Galium serpenticum ssp. scotticum, Epilobium siskiyouense, Phacelia dalesiana, Phacelia greenei, Eriogonum alpinum and Raillardella pringleii. In addition, both foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana) and whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) can be found on the ridgetops. Both of these species have a limited distribution within the Klamath National Forest. Whitebark pine is especially limited as this species is seldom found below 8000' elevation.

Cory Peak Botanical Area

This area lies at the south end of the China Mountain/Cory Peak crest zone and varies in elevation from 6777' to 7757'. The 660 acre site is dominated by high elevation ultramafic soils which have a limited distribution on the Klamath National Forest.  The area is inhabited by a high concentration of rare or endemic plant species. Examples include Epilobium siskiyouense and Eriogonum alpinum, both of which are restricted to high elevation ultrabasic soils. In addition, one of the only four known populations of Draba carnosula (an endemic to the Scott and Eddy Mountains) occurs within this area.

Rock Fence Creek Botanical Area

This area lies northeast of the Cory Peak Botanical Area. The boundary begins approximately 1/4 mile below Rock Fence Lake and follows Rock Fence Creek for 1 mile. The 156 acre site consists primarily of riparian vegetation within a mixed conifer forest. There are many mid-high elevation meadows in the area. The ultramafic soils are habitat for such species as California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica) and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi). Other conifers of interest within the area include western white pine (Pinus monticola) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta ssp. murryana).

Kangaroo Lake Botanical Area

A 430 acre site located on the southeast edge of the Salmon/Scott River Ranger District  (T40N, R7W, SEC 14), the area varies in elevation from 6000' to 6857'.  It provides a diversity of plant habitats ranging from wet seeps and meadows to rock walls. The high level of habitat diversity is associated with a correspondingly high botanical species diversity. Sensitive plant species present include Phacelia dalesiana and Epilobium siskiyouense. The area is easily accessible via Forest Service Road 41N08 and is associated with a developed campground facility.

Scott Mountain Botanical Area

is on the north side of the Scott Mountain campground, on the Scott Mountain crest, and extends north tothe SW edge of Little Carmen Lake (T40N, R7W, Sec 32). The area represents an example of a mid-elevation(4000-6000 ft.) ultramafic forest type. Three Sensitive species restricted to this sparsely forested habitat type are found here; Phacelia greeneii, Galium serpenticum ssp. scotticum, and Ivesia pickeringii. The area also contains a population of California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica).

Duck Lake Botanical Area is located within the Russian Wilderness (T40N, R9W/10W Sec 6,7,18,19, Sec 13,24,25).  This enriched conifer forest contains the richest diversity of conifer species in California. This includes the only known population of subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) in the state, and one of two known populations of Engleman spruce (Picea englemanii) in California. The area also supports several populations of Brewer's spruce (Picea breweriana) which is endemic to the Klamath Mountains, and stands of both whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) and foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana). Two high-elevation glacial cirque lakes are also found in the area.

Grey Pine Botanical Area is located along the north edge of the Trinity Alps Wilderness along the South Fork of the Salmon River (T38N,12W,SEC 21,22,28).  This 390 acre site represents the northern most extension of grey pine (Pinus sabiniana) and one of only a few locations on the Forest where this species can be found.

Happy Camp/Oak Knoll Ranger District

Sutcliffe Creek is a 29 acre site located in the upper Indian Creek drainage (T18N,R6E,SEC 15,16,22).  It contains a stand of old growth Port Orford-cedar Chamaecyparis lawsoniana. This stand is unusual because of it's distance from the coast and it's elevation (4000 feet). Port Orford-cedar is primarily a low elevation coastal species. The obvious habitat difference may reflect genetic variation within the species. Protection of genetic variability enhances a species' adaptability. The stand can be easily accessed via FS rd. 18N30.

Rhododendron Patch is a 100 acre site located in the NW corner of the Happy Camp RD (T18N,R6E,SEC 12).  It represents the only large stand of rhododendron known to occur this far inland. Rhododendron is essentially a coastal species. The rhododendron is intermixed with other shrub species including California hazel (Corylus cornuta). The dominant conifers in the area are Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana). Hardwood species include tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus), madrone (Arbutus menziesii), and Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii).

Preston Peak Botanical Area is located within the Siskiyou Wilderness (T17N,R5E,SEC 26,27) and lies at the western edge of the Siskiyou Crest Zone. This botanically diverse area is especially rich in conifer species. Examples include Brewer's spruce (Picea breweriana), mountain hemlock Tsuga mertensiana, whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana), and Alaska yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkaensis). In addition it supports a number of sensitive species including Arabis serpentinicola, Eriogonum hirtellum, and Lewisia cotyledon.

Poker Flat Botanical Area (T17N, R6E, Secs 20,29) is near the crest of the Coast Range.  This area lies within a zone of extremely high rainfall. This area is an example of a mid-elevation (5200 ft.) serpentine meadow and harbors a number of sensitive/rare species including Castilleja elata, Pedicularis howellii, and Epilobium luteum. The latter species is of special interest as this is a disjunct population and represents the southernmost limit of the species.

Bear Peak Botanical Area is a 310 acre site located within the Siskiyou Wilderness (T15N,R5E,SEC 13,14,15).  It varies in elevation from 4000-5740 feet and is a representative example of both mixed conifer and true fir forest types on glacial granite. The area harbors many conifer species including Alaska yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkaensis) and Brewer's spruce (Picea breweriana). The Sensitive species Pedicularis howellii is also found in the area.

Indian Creek Brewer Spruce Botanical Area is an 80 acre site, located in the NW corner of the Happy Camp RD (T18N,R6E,SEC 33,4) and represents a healthy, vigorous stand of Brewer spruce, a species found only in the Klamath Mountains. Along a major road, this stand provides good access and interpretive opportunities.

Cook and Green Pass Botanical Area is 700 acres located within the Siskiyou Crest Zone (T47N, R11W, Secs 8,9,10) and contains a mosaic of plant communities and is considered to be the dividing line between the eastern and western Siskiyous. This area has a phenomenal concentration of native plant species, one of the richest areas in California, with possibly as many as 300 species present. The area also contains a large stand of Siskiyou Cypress (Cupressus bakeri ssp. matthewsii). Rare or sensitive plants present include Pedicularis howellii, Siskiyou lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon), Antennaria racemosa, and Lilium wigginsii. Botanists and plant enthusiasts from around the country have considered the Cook and Green Pass area signifcant for years.

Observation Peak Botanical Area is located along the Siskiyou Crest approximately 8 miles SW of Mt. Ashland (T41S,R1W/2W,SEC 6,7/1,12,13). This area includes Dutchman Peak and is adjacent to Botanical Areas on the Rogue River NF. It ranges in elevation from 5700-7418 feet, and has a complex geology of peridotite mixed with of granitic and metasedimentary rock. The subalpine flora has a number of endemic species. Over 170 species of plants can be found in this area, an example of the high degree plant species diversity in the crest zone. Species more common in several other areas are all found here, such as many of the subalpine low cushion plants that are more common in the Sierra Nevada and High Cascades, and mountain mahogany, sagebrush and bunchgrasses that are common Great Basin species. The area supports five species of rockcress (Arabis), eight species of daisies (Erigeron), seven different buckwheats (Eriogonum) and five species of Haplopappus.

Lake Mountain Foxtail Pine Botanical Area a 40 acre site located just west of Lake Mtn. lookout (T45N, R11W, Sec 17) represents the northern-most extension of foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana). The area also supports stands of western white pine (Pinus monticola).

Red Mountain Botanical Area is located within the Siskiyou Crest Zone (T40S/41S, R1W, Secs 32,33,34/4) this area and is approximately 1.5 mi SW of Siskiyou Peak.   Dominated by peridotite soils and rock outcrops, it is forested with Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi) and a number of serpentine endemics. The area also contains a large stand of the native bunchgrass red fescue (Festuca rubra).

Seiad Baker Cypress Botanical Area is located approximately 4 mi NE of the town of Seiad (T47N,R11W,SEC 17,18,19,20). This area contains a stand of the rare Baker Cypress (Cupressus bakeri). Part of the area was burned in the 1987 fires which triggered the germination of cypress seeds lying in the soil for years. The hundreds of seedlings now growing there make this the healthiest stand of Baker cypress on the Forest. The ultramafic soils in the area also support a number of other rare plant species including two species of ladyslipper orchid, Cypripedium californicum and Cypripedium fasciculatum, a rare lily, Lilium wigginsii, and the Siskiyou lewisia, Lewisia cotyledon.

Mt. Ashland-Siskiyou Peak Botanical Area is approximately 6 mi W of Interstate 5 at Siskiyou summit and is located along the Siskiyou Crest (T40S,R1W/1E,SEC 25,SEC 19,20,21) adjacent to the Mt. Ashland ski area and the McDonald Peak Botanical Area on the Rogue River NF. The soils are of decomposed granite and support a subalpine flora. The area is dominated by open glades and rocky brushfields. Mt. Ashland, the highest peak on the Siskiyou Crest (7533 ft.), lies at the NE end of this outstanding botanical area. The area has been botanized since the late 1800's and is home to the Mt. Ashland lupine, Lupinus aridus ssp. ashlandensis, a plant species known from nowhere else in the world. In addition, the area supports the largest known population of Horkelia hendersonii, another Klamath Mountains endemic. Three spcecies of grapefern can be found in the area; Botrychium crenulatum, Botrychium multifidum and Botrychium simplex. Siskiyou Pk., approximately 2 mi SW of Mt. Ashland, suports one of only 3 known populations of Tauschia howellii on the Klamath. This area, along with the rest of the Siskiyou Crest, supports a large native grassland. The most notable grass species in the area is greenleaf fescue (Festuca viridula) which forms pure stands in several areas. 

White Mountain Botanical Area is also located on the Siskiyou Crest.  This area is 2 mi NE of Cook & Green Pass (T47N,R10W/11W,SEC 6/SEC 1). Varying in elevation from 5400-6460 ft., it contains diverse vegetation on schist and ultramafic geology. White Mtn is composed of light colored ultramafic rock with a subalpine peridotite flora that includes anumber of species with restricted ranges including Erigeron petrophilus, Epilobium siskiyouense, Polystichum lemmonii, Lewisia leana, and Galium grayanum. In addition the area contains the only known population of Saussurea americana in California.

Horse Creek Riparian Area is a tributary of the Klamath River located in T46N, R10W, sec 7 and R11W, secs 2 and 12. The area encompasses approximatley 2 miles of low elevation old-growth riparian forest dominated by Douglas fir, bigleaf maple and Oregon ash. The dense, multi-layered vegetation at this site provides a high degree of biological diversity and serves as good habitat for many species of fish, aquatic invertebrates and insects, as well as birds and other wildlife species. This scction of stream has had only minimal disturbance and is therefore a good example of the late seral stage natural riparian vegetation in the Klamath River drainage. A well maintained road runs along one side of the creek providing access and interpretation opportunities.

Goosenest Ranger District

Little Shasta Meadow Botanical Area (T46N,R3W,SEC 22,27) varies in elevation from 6040-6400 feet and is an example of both dry and wet high elevation meadows. This 390 acre site contains several stands of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) as well as a population of Greene's mariposa lily (Calochortus greeneii), a sensitive plant species.

Black Lava Butte Botanical and Geologic Area(T45N,R3E,SEC 34), is an island of vegetation in a sea of black lava, this site represents a classic example of the interaction of geological and biological forces. It also presents an excellent example of several stages of ecological succession. Several hundred years ago the Callahan Lava flow destroyed all vegetation in its path, except on areas high enough to escape the deluge of lava. Here, the vegetation is now dominated by old-growth Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), in an overlap of two plant communities; Eastside Pine and Eastside Mixed Conifer. Fire, both recent and historic, has also played a role in shaping the ecology of the area, leaving plant stands of different species and ages. On the lava flow surrounding the island, only lichens, mosses and a few tough woody species are beginning to colonize the lava flows in the early stages of succession.


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