About the Applegate

The Applegate Watershed: The Applegate River is a major tributary of the Rogue River in Southwestern Oregon. The Applegate River flows from the high peaks of the Siskiyou Crest, tumbling down the forested northern slope into the Upper Applegate and Little Applegate Valleys. The Upper and Little Applegate Valleys converge near the town of Ruch, Oregon where the river turns westward running through the Applegate Valley.

Bound by rugged foothills, the rural valley extends through pastoral flats, vineyards, organic farms and small rural communities. Numerous tributaries flow through smaller valleys joining the Applegate River on its way to the Rogue River west of Grants Pass, Oregon. These include Humbug Creek, Thompson Creek, the Williams Valley, Williams Creek, Murphy Creek and Slate Creek. The towns of Ruch, Applegate, Provolt, Williams, Murphy and Wilderville are located in the Applegate Valley along with smaller communities such as North Applegate and Jerome Prairie.

The Eastern Siskiyou Mountains: The Applegate River flows through the Siskiyou Mountains, which represent the climax of biodiversity on the West Coast of North America. They include an incredibly rich array of plant species and a particularly diverse assembledge of conifer species. The Applegate River watershed is located in the drier, more interior eastern Siskiyou Mountains near the border of Oregon and California. The region includes incredibly high levels of habitat diversity and intact connectivity corridors.

The low elevation foothills rise above the pastoral flats of the Applegate Valley, creating a jumbled mass of ridges and peaks. The region contains a complex patchwork of arid grasslands, sunlit oak woodlands, small juniper balds, dense chaparral and dry mixed conifer forests.

Numerous large canyons filled with dense conifer forests rise out of the valley and foothills onto the steep northern slopes of the Siskiyou Crest. Rugged forested ridges rise from these canyons into unusually diverse mixed conifer forests of pine, cedar, fir and a variety of hardwood species, reaching to the rocky spine of the Siskiyou Crest.

The Siskiyou Crest: The Siskiyou Crest is the conduit through which biodiversity flows in the Pacific Northwest.  Due to its unique geographic location, the Siskiyou Crest is a regionally important connectivity corridor, connecting the Coast Range to the Cascade Mountains. Reaching from east to west, the long, high ridgeline of the Siskiyou Crest extends across numerous climatic zones and plant communities. The region is climatically transitional, geologically complex and unusually diverse.

Species from the interior valleys of Oregon, the foothills and valleys of California, the high deserts of the Great Basin, the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and the fog drenched redwood coast collide in the Siskiyou Mountains, creating an astounding array of plant communities. The Siskiyou Mountains are known in particular for their conifer diversity, interesting range extensions, and for endemic species found nowhere else on the face of the earth.

The Siskiyou Crest region contains innumerable rare plant species, the endemic Siskiyou Mountain salamander, large, relatively stable populations of the Pacific fisher, an incredible diversity of butterflies, an abundance of birds species, mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungi, mammals and flowering plants.

Applegate Siskiyou Alliance is committed to protecting the diversity of life in the Siskiyou Crest region. Extreme biodiversity defines our region and we hope to keep it that way.