Central Oregon Coast Range

Geobox | Range
name= Central Oregon Coast Range
country= United States
state= Oregon
parent = Oregon Coast Range
parent1 = Pacific Coast Ranges
border= Northern Oregon Coast Range
border1= Southern Oregon Coast Range
geology= volcanic
geology1= forearc basin
period= Paleocene
period1= Eocene
highest=Marys Peak

image_caption=The range from west of Corvallis


The Central Oregon Coast Range is the middle section of the Oregon Coast Range located in the west-central portion of the state of Oregon, United States roughly between the Salmon River and the Umpqua River and the Willamette Valley and the Pacific Ocean. This approximately 90 mile [ [http://www.peakbagger.com/range.aspx?rid=12221 Central Oregon Coast Range.] Peakbagger.com. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] long mountain range contains mountains as high as 4,097 feet (1,226 m) for Marys Peak. [ cite web
url = http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=QE2315
title = NGS Data Sheet for MARY
publisher = U.S. National Geodetic Survey
accessdate = 2008-04-03
] Portions of the range are inside the Siuslaw National Forest and three wilderness areas exist as well: Drift Creek Wilderness, Cummins Creek Wilderness and Rock Creek Wilderness.


The underlying rock of the Central Coast Range are the igneous rocks from the Siletz River Volcanics of the Paleocene age. [http://nwdata.geol.pdx.edu/Thesis/FullText/1998/Stack/RegionalGeology.html Regional Geologic Setting.] Portland State University. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] It is estimated that this rock formation is up to Convert|16|mi|km|0 thick. These formations consist mainly of pillow basalt, large lava flows, tuff-breccia, and sills. This part of the mountains are approximately 50 to 60 million years old. It is theorized that the source of these lava flows came from oceanic islands that formed over a tectonic hotspot. The entire Oregon Coast Range overlies a convergent tectonic margin that interacts with the Juan de Fuca Plate that is being sub-ducted beneath the North America tectonic plate. [ [http://www.wou.edu/las/natsci_math/geology/luckiamute/Appendix%20A%20Geology%20of%20Luckiamute%20River%20Watershed.pdf Geology of the Luckiamute River Watershed, Upper Willamette Basin, Polk and Benton Counties, Oregon.] Western Oregon University. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] This is the Cascadia subduction zone that has experienced uplift for several million years. [http://www.uoregon.edu/~jroering/outgoing/2004Geomorphology-Kobor.pdf Jeremiah S. Kobor and Joshua J. Roering: Systematic variation of bedrock channel gradients in the central Oregon Coast Range: implications for rock uplift and shallow landsliding. (2004).] University of Oregon. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] Currently it is part of a large forearc basin that extends for much of the entire Coast Range on a north-south alignment. Parts of the upper portions of the range contain continental margin deposits from the early Eocene to Paleocene age. Portions of this include marine fossils in the geologic record. Sandstone and shale are also present in the sections of the mountains, with thickness up to Convert|7875|ft|m|0|abbr=on|abbr=on. In the southern part of the range the bedrock is overlaid by Eocene age turbidite sediments and river sediment. The active tectonic forces have created many faults and folds in the range Additionally, erosion is a major landscape-shaping force for the range. Both heavy rainfall and the resulting landslides have worked to erode and shape the mountains.Byrne, John V. An Erosional Classification for the Northern Oregon Coast, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 54, No. 3. (Sep., 1964), pp. 329-335.] Much of the landscape is dominated by steep slopes and drainages that are deeply cut into the hillsides from the erosion. Unlike many areas in North America, the mountain range did not see glaciations during the Pleistocene age.

Flora and fauna

The Oregon Coast Range is home to over 50 mammals, 100 species of birds, and nearly 30 reptiles or amphibians that spent a significant portion of their life cycle in the mountains. [http://www.reo.gov/ecoshare/Publications/documents/FieldGuides/Coast/Coast%20Wildlife.pdf Northwest Forest Plan: Wildlife Habitat Relationships for the Coast Guide.] ECOSHARE: Interagency Clearinghouse of Ecological Information. Retrieved on February 29 2008.]

Birds living in the Central Coast Range include a variety of smaller and larger bird species.cite journal
last = McGarigal
first = Kevin
authorlink =
coauthors = William C. McComb
title = Relationships Between Landscape Structure and Breeding Birds in the Oregon Coast Range
journal = Ecological Monographs
volume = 65
issue = 3
pages = 235–260
publisher = The Ecological Society of America
date = August 1995
url =
doi =
id =
accessdate =
] These include Winter Wrens, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Varied Thrushes, several swallow species, Red Crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, Brown Creepers, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Hammond's Flycatchers, Gray Jays, Western Wood-Pewees, and Western Tanagers. Some of the larger species in the range include the Red-breasted Sapsucker, common ravens, peregrine falcons, the Pileated Woodpecker, turkey vultures, wood duck, common nighthawks, and the Red-tailed Hawk. Birds in lower numbers include Vaux's Swifts, the endangered Spotted Owl, Bald Eagles, the Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpeckers, the Pine Siskin, the Hermit Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Ruffed Grouse. One of the more common avian wildlife is the American Dipper, which live mainly near rivers and streams.Anthony, Robert G. [http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-5975035/Nest-site-selection-and-productivity.html Nest-site selection and productivity of American Dippers in the Oregon Coast Range. (09-01-2006)] Goliath. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] These birds build nests from six to nine inches in diameter out of moss.

The central coast range is also home to some larger animals such as deer, elk, bobcat, and bear.Kerr, Andy. [http://www.andykerr.net/Wilderness/OCRWild.html 1980. Last Stand for Oregon's Coast Range.] "Not Man Apart", Vol. 10, No. 1. January. 7. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] Bear are black bear while deer are mule and black-tailed deer species. Some additional mammals are Mountain Beaver, coyote, mink, river otter, mountain lion, the common raccoon, common porcupine, brush rabbit, and skunk.

The coast range is inhabited by eleven different species of bats, and they account for nearly 20% of all the mammal species in the range.John P. Hayes, Patrick T. Hounihan, Stephen P. Cross. [http://www.cope.hmsc.orst.edu/projects/bats.htm Habitat relationships and riparian-zone associations of bats in managed coast range forests.] Adaptive C.O.P.E. Program. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] Species of bats include the Yuma myotis, silver-haired bat, big brown bat, hoary bat, and the long-eared myotis. Other mammals living in the central range include beavers, creeping voles, long-tailed voles, vagrant shrews, deer mice, Pacific jumping mice, Western pocket gopher, Marsh shrew, Shrew-mole, coast-mole, ermine, northern flying squirrel, and Townsend’s chipmunk among others.Nobuya Suzuki and Brenda C. McComb. [http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/org_NWS/NWSci%20journal%20articles/2004%20files/Issue%204/v78%20p286%20Suzuki%20and%20McComb.PDF Associations of Small Mammals and Amphibians with Beaver-occupied Streams in the Oregon Coast Range (2004).] Washington State University. Retrieved on February 29 2008.]

Amphibians include, but are not limited to, rough-skinned newts, northwestern salamanders, Western red-backed salamander, Coastal tailed frog, Coastal giant salamander, red-legged frog, Southern torrent salamander, and Ensatina. Additional species include northwestern garter snake, northern alligator lizard, Pacific Tree Frog, western pond turtles, gopher snake, ringneck snake, and western fence lizards. Fish species in the Central Coast Range include chinook salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, and the threatened species coho salmon. [ [http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/fishing/forests/gofishing/siu_streams.html Siuslaw National Forest - Stream & River Fishing.] United States Forest Service. Retrieved on February 29 2008.]

A large section of the range is covered by the Siuslaw National Forest. Most of the range is forested and mainly within the western hemlock vegetation zone with the overstory of the forest dominated by red alder, western hemlock, western cedar, bigleaf maple, and Douglas-fir trees. In these forested sections, trees include Sitka spruce, western redcedar, Douglas-fir, and western hemlock. [http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/jk-64-html/index.html From the Forest to the Sea: A Story of Fallen Trees.] Tree Dictionary. Retrieved on February 29 2008.] The understory of the forest areas contain vine maple, Oregon grape, salmonberry, huckleberry, and sword fern to name a few. Other plants that grow in the region are Pacific madrone, salmonberry, Pacific silver fir, bracken fern, manzanita, thimble-berry, Pacific dogwood, bitter cherry, snowberry, some rose species, and cascara.Macnab, James A. Biotic Aspection in the Coast Range Mountains of Northwestern Oregon, Ecological Monographs, Vol. 28, No. 1. (Jan., 1958), pp. 21-54.] Additionally, various grass, sedge, and moss species are some of the other plant life growing in the mountain range.

Arthropods include various spiders, millipedes, collembolans, beetles, and a variety of centipedes.

Location and climate

The range begins around the Salmon River with the Northern Oregon Coast Range to the north. Oregon Route 18 is the general divide between the two sections. On the southern end the Umpqua River and Oregon Route 38 provide the general dividing line between the Central and Southern Oregon Coast Range.

The climate of the mountains is of the mild maritime variety. It is characterized by cool dry summers followed by mild and wet winters. Most precipitation falls in the form of rain, with snow during the winter months at the higher elevations. Annual precipitation varies from 60 to 120 inches (150-300 cm), with more in the higher elevations. The average high temperature in January is 36.3°F (2.4°C), and the average high in July is 61.9°F (16.6°C) with temperature also varying by elevation.


All peaks in the range over 3,000 feet in elevation.


The following rivers have portions of their headwaters in the Central Oregon Coast Range:

Drains to Willamette River:
*Long Tom River
*Luckiamute River
*Marys River

Drains to Pacific Ocean:
*Alsea River
*D River
*Little Nestucca River
*Salmon River
*Siletz River
*Siltcoos River
*Siuslaw River
*Smith River
*Umpqua River
*Yachats River
*Yaquina River

ee also

*U.S. Route 101


External links

* [http://www.fsl.orst.edu/cfer/pdfs/Vol6_1.pdf CFER News: Riparian Litter Inputs to Streams in the Central Oregon Coast Range]

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