Working Forest Conservation Easement
Managed for wood, water, and wildlife over generations, we are helping the Parsons family conserve their Mountcrest Working Forest, which thrives at the crossroads of five eco-regions on the Oregon-California border.
Mountcrest Working Forest is part of the Klamath-Cascade, where five eco-regions converge to create one of seven areas in the world of global botanical significance. The property provides an essential connection for wildlife on the move between the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument and the Rogue River National Forest. At the heart of one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet, Mountcrest straddles the crossroads of the Klamath, Siskiyou, and Cascade mountain ranges. Just west of Interstate 5, minutes from Ashland, Oregon, Mountcrest hosts myriad of creatures within its 2,065 acres of verdant and diverse habitats.
Managed for wood, water, and wildlife for generations, the Mountcrest Working Forest has seen train robbers, surveyors, and U.S. Presidents in its 100-year history with its landowners, the Parsons family. Mountcrest is the largest remaining non-industrial owned working forest in an area that has experienced tremendous development for residential subdivisions and recreational purposes. The family partnership has granted a working forest conservation easement, making sure this landscape will remain intact and provide ecological and economic benefits to the public.
Complementing the Parsons’ excellent stewardship, forestry at Mountcrest under the conservation easement will continue to enhance habitat and watershed values long into the future. Read more about the easement.
Why Conserve This Property?
It Saves Wildlife Habitat
As it sits at the convergence of five eco-regions, Mountcrest Working Forest is world-renowned for its animal and plant diversity. Years of careful management by the Parsons family have resulted in healthy, mixed-aged forests with old growth qualities, flourishing aspen stands, beautiful oak woodlands and rich riparian habitats that attract diverse wildlife. At the center of the property is an exceptional spring-fed 300 acre wet meadow system.
Why Conserve this Property?
It Provides Educational and Scenic Enjoyment
A section of the Pacific Crest Trail winds through the Mountcrest property, hosting thousands of backpackers annually, and supporting Ashland’s tourism-focused economy. From the Siskiyou Crest on a clear afternoon, you can look down on a sweeping vista of both California and Oregon woodlands. Situated along U.S. Interstate 5, Mountcrest also shows off southern Oregon’s lush green forests for the hundreds of thousands of drivers who pass by each year.
Why Conserve this Property?
It Benefits Natural Water Systems
Mountcrest is nestled between the Rogue and Klamath River basins. It’s undisturbed springs, seeps, and ponds provide water for downstream homesteads, farms, communities, as well fish and other wildlife. Its rare wet meadow, is a natural reservoir that soaks up winter rain and snow, and then meters it out to thirsty creeks over the dry summer months. The property is headwaters for five creeks and home to steelhead and cutthroat trout.
Connecting a Larger Forest Landscape
The Mountcrest Working Forest spans over 2,000 acres where the Klamath, Siskiyou, and Cascade mountain ranges converge. It creates a critical bridge between the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument and the Rogue River National Forest, an area that is world-renowned for its animal and plant diversity.
When completed, the Mountcrest conservation easement will ensure that the property is never broken up or developed, but will remain a haven and crossroads for wildlife. As climate change challenges many creatures, securing this connectivity is more important than ever. You can help this area remain a landscape of global botanical significance, forever.
Who Lives There?
Threatened northern spotted owls nest just over the border on the surrounding National Forest. Conserving Mountcrest’s complex, older forests helps achieve goals for the owl’s recovery, and also benefits species like the Pacific fisher, who are known to traverse the property. Discover some of the species that call Mountcrest home.
Conservation Project Partners
Thanks to our partners for collaborating to ensure the natural values of this land are conserved for future generations!
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