The Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center created this beautiful map outlining the entirety of the 12 million acre Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion.
The region stretches from the Yolla-Bolly mountains of northern California northward through the Rogue River and Elk River watersheds of southern Oregon. To the west, it is bound by the Pacific Ocean and to the east by the Cascade Volcanic Range.
The film “Klamath” was shot within the Ancient Forest National Park Proposal, the heart of the Klamath-Siskiyou.
This park proposal was outlined to protect the remaining pristine and most recoverable ecosystems of the region long into the future. See map below
To learn more, visit www.AncientForestNationalPark.org
From the director of Ancient Forest National Park:
KS Film has spent the last three years filming in some very rugged forested land. It’s been, at times, a mighty fete lugging camera equipment into remote areas that are not readily accessible by a road system put in place to transport logging equipment to trees or mining equipment to mineral deposits. Even the trails in the Klamath-Siskiyou have a history: they were mostly constructed for mining or to get cattle into high country meadows. The Pacific Crest Trail was put where it is to somtimes protect fragile meadows and lakes, but also to avoid looking at clearcuts and the worst of the so called “management” of the Klamath and Siskiyou National Forests. The film also avoids looking at eyesores in order to give a sense of what the Klamath-Siskiyou used to be like. Mostly, the film was taken in “roadless” areas, places that are not designated as protected by an act of Congress, but are still largely in tact; free of logging scars and mostly as they were hundreds of years ago. Of the whole ten million acre Klamath-Siskiyou, about one third is still in good shape.
Aaron talked to many scientists on the way to producing the film. He said he didn’t want to get politics involved in the film, just show and talk about what the Klamath-Siskiyou is. Over and over he heard from scientists that the area he was filming was one of the most biodiverse areas in the world due its proximity to the ocean, its diverse rock and soil types, and its jagged, multifaceted mountains. This is among the most diverse coniferous forests in the world. The Klamath-Siskiyou mountains served as a hide-out for many plant species through the Ice Age because the mountains were never entirely covered with ice, and their microclimates allowed plants to move around as needed while the climate shifted, from warm to cold and back again.
As Aaron says in the film, the Klamath-Siskiyou is the Galapagos of North America. And that fact is recognized by scientists throughout the region. Parts of it have been proposed as national parks over the years. Right now there are over a hundred roadless areas, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, a national recreation area, and botanical areas that help protect the heart of this magnificent region. But many of those designations are administrative and could be reversed with the stroke of a pen. The threats to the area are mostly from fragmentation, making high elevation wilderness islands in a sea of low elevation clearcuts. But many factors threaten the biodiversity for which the area is famous: Mining, grazing, logging, air and water pollution, and weather and climate modification are pushing constantly to degrade this wonderland.
As you can see from the film, there is a lot of great scenery and the environment is still pretty good. I hope that future generations will have an opportunity to see the Klamath-Siskiyou as I have for the last forty five years since I first came here. A lot has remained the same during that time, but a lot has changed too. Mighty fish runs have been reduced to a pittance, invasive species have taken over some ecosystems, clearcuts have become more visible, water and air quality has been reduced, but over all, restoration is possible and could bring it back to it’s original productivity and biodiversity.
We would expect the Galapagos to have the greatest protection possible, and so should the Klamath-Siskiyou. The Ancient Forest National Park Proposal protects the the heart of and the most intact portions of this extremely important region.