Willamette National Forest

Willamette National Forest

Infobox_protected_area | name = Willamette National Forest
iucn_category = V

caption =
locator_x = 18
locator_y = 39
location = Oregon, USA
nearest_city = Eugene, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
lat_degrees = 43
lat_minutes = 13
lat_seconds = 21
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 122
long_minutes = 15
long_seconds = 15
long_direction = W
area = convert|1675407|acre|km2
established = 1933
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
governing_body = United States Forest Service
The Willamette National Forest is a National Forest located in the central portion of the Cascade Range of Oregon, US. [cite web
url = http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/r6nf.htm
title = National Forests of Oregon and Washington
accessdate = 2006-12-28
] It contains 1,675,407 acres (2,618 mi², 6,780.13 km²) making it one of the largest national forests. Over 380,000 acres (694 mi², 1,540 km²) are designated wilderness which include seven major mountain peaks. There are also several Wild and Scenic Rivers. The forest is named for the Willamette River which has its headwaters in the Forest. Forest headquarters are located in the city of Eugene.

The Forest is famous for being at the center of the debate between lumberjacks and the Northern Spotted Owl. Environmentalists maintain this forest was over-aggressively clear-cut for many years threatening a federally-listed endangered species. The timber industry contends that the forest can simultaneously provide lumber jobs and wildlife habitat. Since April 1994, the Forest is governed by the Northwest Forest Plan, which restricts—but does not eliminate—logging in potential spotted owl habitat. [ cite web
url = http://www.happinessonline.org/MoralCode/SafeguardAndImproveYourEnvironment/p10.htm
title = The Spotted Owl Wins Against Humans
accessdate = 2006-12-28

The Forest stretches for over 100 miles (160 km) along the western slopes of the Cascade Range in western Oregon. It extends from the Mount Jefferson area east of Salem to the Calapooya Ridge which divides the watersheds of the Willamette and Umpqua Rivers. Most of the forest (about 61%) is located in Lane County, but there are large areas in Linn, Marion, and Douglas counties, as well as much smaller areas in Clackamas and Jefferson counties.

The elevation of the Forest ranges from about 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level on the western edge of the forest to almost 10,500 feet (3,200 m) at the top of Mount Jefferson, Oregon's second highest peak. Seven major peaks of the Cascades—Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Diamond Peak, North, Middle and South Sisters—as well as numerous high mountain lakes are within these wilderness areas. The McKenzie River and the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River are Wild and Scenic Rivers.

The Willamette National Forest receives 80 to 150 inches (2,000 to 3,800 mm) cite web
url = http://www.ocs.oregonstate.edu/index.html
title = Zone 4 - Climate Data Archives
publisher = Oregon Climate Service of Oregon State University
accessdate = 2006-12-28
] of precipitation each year from moist onshore Pacific Ocean flow which encounters adiabatic cooling rising over the Cascades. Much of the precipitation is received in the form of snow which accumulates in higher elevations from October through April. The rain and snow melt drain into the McKenzie, Santiam, and Willamette Rivers, which flow from the Forest and provide high quality drinking water to the citizens of Eugene, Salem, Corvallis, and Albany. There are over 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of rivers and streams on the Forest and over 375 lakes.

The forest's dominant tree species is the Douglas-fir, the State tree of Oregon. Douglas-fir is also a valuable timber species in the United States. The Forest still contains some stands of old-growth forest, some of which are over 300 feet (90 m) tall, among the tallest trees in the world, with tree diameters ranging from three to eight feet (0.9 to 2.4 m).

Over one dozen other conifer species are common on the Forest as well, including Western Redcedar, Incense-cedar, Western White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Pacific Yew, Western Hemlock, Mountain Hemlock, and several species of Fir. The Willamette National Forest is home to over 300 species of fish and wildlife, including the northern spotted owl, Northern Bald Eagle, Chinook salmon, Bull trout, Southern Red-backed Vole, Wolverine, and several other sensitive and threatened species.


Willamette was established by the consolidation of Santiam National Forest and Cascade National Forest on July 1, 1933.


About one fifth, or Convert|380805|acre|km2|0, of the Willamette National Forest are designated as wilderness.
*Opal Creek Wilderness at Convert|20266|acre|km2|0
*Mount Jefferson Wilderness at Convert|111177|acre|km2|0 is partially located within the Mount Hood and Deschutes National Forests
*Middle Santiam Wilderness at Convert|8542|acre|km2|0
*Menagerie Wilderness at Convert|5033|acre|km2|0
*Mount Washington Wilderness at Convert|52516|acre|km2|0 is partially located within the Deschutes National Forest
*Three Sisters Wilderness at Convert|242400|acre|km2|0 is partially located within the Deschutes National Forest
*Waldo Lake Wilderness at Convert|37162|acre|km2|0
*Diamond Peak Wilderness at Convert|52337|acre|km2|0 is partially located within the Deschutes National Forest


External links

* [http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/willamette/ Willamette National Forest Official Website]
* [http://www.cascwild.org/timbersales/index.html Timber sale information]
* [http://www.onrc.org/info/srvmng.html Background on the Northwest Forest Plan]

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