NPSO 2012 Annual Meeting

Field Trip - Fire Ecology along Limpy Creek Trail

Lee Webb


Leaders: Dr. Tom Atzet, (Ecologist in SW Oregon for 36 years) and Armand Redischke (BLM Botanist).

Difficulty: Variable ups and downs, less than 200 feet elevation gain. Round trip is less than two miles.

Kier Morse

Description: The Limpy Creek Botanical Trail is a moderate, one mile loop trail with interpretive signs and several benches for those who want to sit and enjoy the sounds of water or mountain vistas. There is a restroom at the trailhead and one picnic table can be found a few yards up the trail. Emphasis will be on the ecological control agent of fire. Fire is the most influential process affecting species composition, structure and ecosystem health in the Limpy Creek landscape. Other agents such as insects, diseases and climate extremes are also evident in this short walk. Because of the age of the stands (seral stage), species diversity is high and structural diversity is impressive. Having a rare and unusual geologic type (ultramafics) adds to the uniqueness and species diversity.

Floristic Highlights: Conifer diversity is high and we will cover their individual strategies for competing for site resources: ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), Port-Orford-cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Riparian and more common terrestrial shrubs are evident, including poisonoak, California coffeeberry (Frangula californica), Brewer’s oak (Quercus garryana var. breweri), vine maple (Acer circinatum) and wild azalea (Rhododendron occidentale). Normal herbaceous species like rockcress and mustard, (Arabis aculeolata and Arabis subpinnatifida), snowqueen (Synthyris reniformis), fawn lilly (Erythronium hendersonii) and camas (Camassia quamash) associated with the Galice metamorphics as well as unusual serpentine flora associated with the ultramafic geology.

General Driving Directions: From Deer Creek Center, take Hwy 199 north about 13 miles. Turn left onto Riverbanks Road (just before crossing the Applegate River). Go 4.5 miles and turn left onto Limpy Creek Road. Proceed 2.3 miles to the small gravel parking lot, restroom and trailhead. (Latitude: 42.42997; N Longitude: 123.55147 W)

Appropriate Foot wear: Normal hiking footwear is recommended.

Group Size Limit: 30

Finish Time: 12-1pm

RT Mileage: 40 miles from Deer Creek Center

Topographical Map

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