Ancient Forests

The Crater Lake Wilderness proposal encompasses a wide diversity of forests, existing within a rich mosaic of unique roadless areas with their own personalities and highlights. From dry east side ponderosa pine to towering old-growth douglas fir and, shasta red fir, sugar pine, to the threatened white bark pine, these forests provide countless benefits to human health and the wildlife that them home.


Hiking through old growth forests. Photo by Darryl Lloyd.

A tapestry of roadless areas

Roadless areas(intact forests that are generally unlogged and unroaded) are increasingly rare given past and current logging practices. These special areas are incredibly important to Oregon, providing clean drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, as well as outstanding recreational opportunities that benefit Oregon’s growing outdoor recreation economy.

Big Marsh Roadless Area, USFS

Big Marsh Roadless Area. Photo contributed by USFS

Among the notable roadless areas in the proposal are Donegan Prairie and Abbott Butte have an extraordinary amount of rare and endemic plant species found no where else. Twin Lakes and Indigo Lake boast turquoise waters with stunning backpacking destinations for the adventurous. Big Marsh is a rare high-altitude wetland home to the largest known population of the Oregon Spotted Frog, a threatened species. And the Upper Rogue Canyon offers stunning trails, cascading falls and lush forests at the headwaters of the legendary Rogue River. For more information about specific roadless areas or hiking descriptions around the proposal, visit us here.

This mosaic, when put together, forms a refuge for clean drinking water, threatened wildlife and world class recreation. The Crater Lake Wilderness proposal, combined with existing pockets of Wilderness lands, will serve as a critical buffer against in appropriate development and climate change.