Magazine article American Forests

Transforming a Beloved Landscape

Magazine article American Forests

Transforming a Beloved Landscape

Article excerpt

IMAGINE STANDING AT THE BASE OF TOWERING MOUNTAINS, a scene that should be breathtaking. Yet, what you see is so devastatingly bare...scorched. That's what you would have seen if you stood in Oregon's Deschutes National Forest in the early-2000s.

Then, you might have come to view the lunker Kokanee salmon and brown trout that migrate up the Deschutes River from the Wickiup Reservoir in September, or the bald eagles and osprey that are enticed by the spawning fish. Or, you may have delighted in watching the American dipper and the common merganser that fly up and down the river. Or, perhaps, you came to see the wildflowers that grow along the riverbanks and the hummingbirds - blackchinned, calliope and rufous - that the flowers attract.

But in 2012, lightning struck and the Pole Creek Fire wreaked havoc on more than 26,000 acres within the range of the Three Sisters, a popular recreation attraction for so many. The high severity of the fire left little to no surviving forest cover in many areas, and this just two years after the Rooster Rock Fire swept through Deschutes in 2010.

It's because of recent disasters such as these that American Forests has continually stepped in to help restore devastated parts of Deschutes National Forest, after beginning to work there in 2007 as part of important riparian restoration and watershed protection efforts. …

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