Klamath Siskiyou Forests, USA

Crater Lake National Park, in the headwaters of the Klamath and Rogue Rivers, USA. rel=
Crater Lake National Park, in the headwaters of the Klamath and Rogue Rivers, USA.
© WWF-Canon / Jamie PITTOCK
The Pacific Northwest: staggering riches but so little insurance.
What & Where?
The Klamath Siskiyou forest, located in Southwestern Oregon and Northwestern California, is one of the richest temperate coniferous forests of the world. It was spared from glaciation in the recent ice-ages and therefore, provided a refuge for various forms of species whose habitat was otherwise frozen. The ecoregion extends across 55,000 sq. km. (about half the size of Virginia) of the mountainous region called Klamath Knot.

Why?
The area has the largest network of remaining roadless wilderness in the Pacific Northwest. Its biological diversity is due to a complex mosaic of habitats which allowed species to survive here as changing climates eliminated populations elsewhere.

The region is situated at the junction of 5 major biotic regions: the Great Basin, Coast Range, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada and Great Central Valley, which all contribute to the rich biodiversity of the Klamath-Siskiyou area. It has 3,500 plant types, 220 of them found nowhere else in the world.

There are also wilderness areas large enough to support the mountain lion, black bear, several species of Pacific salmon, the tailed frog and various carnivores such as the Pacific fisher, pine marten, mountain lion and wolverine.

Endangered species include the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, bald eagle and coho salmon. However, despite incredible biological richness, only 25% is relatively intact and just 10% is protected from logging.

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