Winter Wild and Scenic: A tribute to the Applegate River Watershed
After the bigleaf maple leaves fell in the canyons, bright red berries covered madrone trees, and oak woodlands turned the foothills a vibrant golden hue, winter cast its spell across the Applegate Siskiyous. Although relatively mild and dry this season, snow has accumulated in the high country, and at times, blanketed the region from the valley bottom to the highest peaks. Rains have poured from dark clouds obscuring the mountains, filling our rivers and streams with runoff. Winds have howled across the Siskiyou Mountains, blowing down trees and bringing the fire killed snags from the recent Abney, Burnt Peak and Creedence Fires crashing to the forest floor.
The low winter sun has also brightened the grassy balds, dormant oak trees and manzanita thickets, while casting dark, cold shadows across the canyon bottoms and north-facing slopes for months at a time. Each clear, starry night has left sparkling, white frost across the landscape, which accumulates in the shade and melts off each morning in more exposed locations.
With winter waning and spring just around the bend in the Applegate Valley, we ask you to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of winter by viewing this Winter Wild and Scenic Photo Essay, highlighting streams proposed for protection in the River Democracy Act, co-sponsored by Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley.
Initiated with an open, public nomination process, the River Democracy Act empowered local citizens to nominate worthy stream segments for Wild and Scenic River protections. In response, ANN got to work documenting and nominating streams across the Applegate River watershed for Wild and Scenic River designation.
From the sparse serpentine canyon of Slate Creek, with fragrant azaleas, charismatic cobra lily fens, and elegant, streamside Port Orford-cedar, to the arid oak woodlands of the Little Applegate River, and to the headwaters of the Applegate River in deep forested canyons below the Siskiyou Crest, the proposed Applegate Wild and Scenic River contains a wide variety of beautiful streams in need of protection.
This post highlights the beauty of the Applegate River and its many wild tributary streams. Please support the River Democracy Act and the designation of Applegate River tributary streams as new Wild and Scenic River segments.
Support Clean Water and Wild Rivers! Here’s how:
Write to Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley, thanking them for introducing the River Democracy Act. In your letter express your support for the inclusion of Applegate River streams, full, mile-wide stream buffers for all protected streams, and a full mineral withdrawal (allowing no new mining claims) on all protected streams.
2. Submit Letters to the Editor in local newspapers supporting the River Democracy Act and the inclusion of Applegate River streams.
3. Hike a trail, raft a river, and get to know the wildlands in our region. Those who know and love the region are often its best advocates.
4. Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to support the River Democracy Act and fall in love with the Siskiyou Mountains!