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Rogue Group Illinois Valley Activity Section Report

The Illinois Valley (IV) is home to the the federally designated Wild and Scenic Illinois River, Oregon Caves National Monument, Red Buttes Wilderness and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

Illinois River

Illinois River
photo by G. Lyford

The Illinois Valley Activity Section includes members who live in and around Cave Junction, Selma, O’Brien, Kerby, Holland, and Takilma along US Highway 199 between Hayes Hill and the Oregon-California State line. The 75-mile-long Illinois River rises in California, flows northwest through its 628,000-acre watershed, mostly in Josephine County, and discharges into the Rogue River.

The IV watershed elevations range from 7,055 feet on Grayback Mountain to 380 feet at the mouth of the Illinois River near Agness, and the valley floor sits at about 1,200 to 1,600 feet. The average annual precipitation varies from 40 to 160 inches. The major tributaries include the West Fork, East Fork, Sucker Creek, and Deer Creek.

The watershed supports diverse native plant species, including 20 conifer trees, 29 broadleaved trees, and scores of rare endemic wildflowers. The IV is 89% forested and 8% is used for agriculture including 11,660 acres with irrigation water rights. Land uses include logging, livestock ranches, pastures, vineyards, orchards, row crop and truck farms, mining, public parks, and BLM and USFS lands.

The main environmental threats are Federal and corporate logging, inefficient irrigation practices and mining. Threatened Coho, Chinook, and Steelhead anadromous fish are struggling to survive in streams that are at times water quality limited due to increased water temperature.

Illinois Valley Activity Section Meetings and Locations

The IVSC Activity Section meets on the second Wednesday of each month alternating between the Selma Center and the Cave Junction Family Coalition Office. Join us at our next meeting with the social starting at 6:30 pm and the meeting starting at 7:00 pm. Please bring refreshments to share as you like. Everyone is welcome to attend (members and non-members alike.)

For the Meeting/Location Schedule please contact Illinois Valley Section Chair Elaine Wood.

Rough and Ready Creek

Rough and Ready Creek
photo by G. Lyford

Siskiyous

Siskiyou’s Vista
photo by G. Lyford

2002 Biscuit Fire burn area

2002 Biscuit Fire burned area
photo by G. Lyford

Madrone in Zillers' Yard

Madrone in Zillers' yard
photo by G. Ziller