NPSO 2012 Annual Meeting

Siskiyou Field Institute / Deer Creek Center

Deer Creek Center

At the base of Eight Dollar Mountain in southwestern Oregon, Deer Creek Center is co-owned by Southern Oregon University and Siskiyou Field Institute. The Center is the gateway to the Illinois River Canyon and supports research and natural history education for youth and adults in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion. In the beautiful Deer Creek Valley you can view the high western Siskiyou Mountains to the east as well as ridgelines burned by the Biscuit Fire to the west. Deer Creek flows through the property and joins the Wild & Scenic Illinois River downstream. After the Appalachian Bioregion, the Klamath Siskiyou region is ranked number two in plant biodiversity in North America. Within this bioregion, the Eight Dollar Mountain area is a scorching hot hotspot. Why so many species? Old mountains, complex and mangled geology are part of the reason. The largest hunk of ultramafic rock in North America is in the region. Ultramafic rock originated from the earth’s mantle and contains heavy metals (e.g., nickel, chromium, magnesium, iron) that inhibit plant growth; ultramafic-influenced soils host special serpentine taxa.

Special habitats found at the 850-acre Deer Creek Center include Darlingtonia fens, Jeffrey pine/bunchgrass savanna, and serpentine barrens. Rare and endemic plants growing at Deer Creek Center include: Siskiyou trillium (Trillium rivale aka Pseudotrillium), cobralily (Darlingtonia californica), purple flowered rush lily (Hastingia bracteosa var. atropurpurea), Oregon willow-herb (Epilobium oreganum), Waldo gentian (Gentiana setigera), western bog violet (Viola primulifolia ssp. occidentalis), sawtooth sedge (Carex serratodens), Howell’s microseris (Microseris howellii) and the flower depicted in the 2012 NPSO Annual Meeting logo: Howell’s mariposa-lily (Calochortus howellii). Besides harboring special plants, ultramafic soils support primarily native plant communities; most non-native plants cannot grow on these harsh soils.

The Reservoir Trail at the Center follows Squaw Creek (in the process of getting a new official name) through Jeffrey pine savanna, serpentine barrens and exceptionally nice Festuca roemeri/Achnatherum lemmonii bunchgrass meadows with Melica geyeri, Deschampsia cespitosa and Danthonia californica. Look for Carex mendocinensis, Carex klamathensis, and Carex serpenticola. If you love bunchgrasses and sedges, this is the place for you!

To download a Deer Creek Center plant list click here; a lichen list click here; and a bird list click here.

Selma Community & Education Center

The Banquet on Saturday evening will be held at the local community center about one mile from the Deer Creek Center on the Redwood Highway.

Getting there

Directions to Deer Creek Center

From Interstate 5:

From the north - Take exit 58 into Grants Pass. Go through Grants Pass, bear right onto Hwy 199. Drive approximately 20 miles to Selma. At the first blinking yellow light, turn right onto Illinois River Road. Drive 1.3 miles, turn left onto DCC's driveway.

From the south - Take exit 55 into Grants Pass. Drive through Grants Pass on Hwy 199. Follow directions above.

From Highway 101:

Take exit 794 onto Hwy 199 toward Grants Pass. Drive approximately 70 miles to Selma. At the second blinking yellow light, turn left onto Illinois River Road. Drive 1.3 miles, turn left onto DCC's driveway.

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