APPENDIX D3: Report on the Survey and Examination of Forest Reserves, March 1898

Crater Lake National Park: Administrative History by Harlan D. Unrau and Stephen Mark, 1987

 APPENDIX D3: Report on the Survey and Examination of Forest Reserves, March 1898

The Cascade Range Forest Reserve occupies a narrow and irregular strip along the crest and on both slopes of the Cascade Mountains in western Oregon, and extends from near the Columbia River to within about 20 miles of the California line. Adjoining it on the north and west is the Bull Run timber land reserve, which, for the purposes of this description, may be considered as forming part of its larger neighbor. The Cascade Range Forest Reserve has an area of 4,492,800 acres, and includes 461,920 acres of railroad land, of which 34,560 acres are now in litigation. The Bull Run timber land reserve, with an area of 142,080 acres, includes 24,160 acres claimed as railroad land, but as to which a suit is now pending. The eastern slope of the Cascade Range is comparatively dry, and the forest is generally open enough to furnish pasturage, while the forest on the western slope is exceedingly dense and affords grazing only in the numerous areas which have been burned. The trade relations of the reserve have, so far, been restricted to the cutting of small amounts of timber on the western slope and to supplying settlers and ranchers outside of the reserve from the forests of yellow and lodge pole pine east of the summit. It will be convenient to describe the two slopes separately.


The forest on the eastern slope is open and grassy in its lower part, dense and composed of smaller trees higher up, and interrupted throughout by burned areas, often of great size, on many of which grass has entirely replaced the forest. The principal trees are yellow pine and Douglas fir (red fir) in the lower portions, and lodge-pole pine and lowland fir (white fir) at higher elevations. Occasionally the latter tree predominates in a mixed forest of Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce, larch, hemlock, and mountain white pine (silver pine). The Douglas fir is here a tall tree with a long, clear trunk. In the open its reproduction is vigorous, but less so under cover. It is of much smaller size here than on the western slope. The yellow pine forms the bulk of the forest at moderate elevations. Below 4,000 feet its reproduction is generally good. It has suffered very severely from the tramping out of its seedlings, in different parts of this slope, by the hoofs of pasturing sheep.

The lowland fir (white fir) is a tall tree, with clear trunk in good situations, and good reproduction throughout.

The mountain white pine (silver pine) occurs at moderate elevations in mixture with the Douglas spruce and various firs. It is a tall tree with long, clear trunk, of great value for lumber and with good powers of reproduction.

The larch reaches a diameter of from 4 to 5 feet. A tall tree with a very short crown, it reproduces itself admirably, seeding up many burned areas, if not interfered with by sheep, to the north of the Metolius River.

Lodge pole, or black pine, here, as elsewhere, is a small tree with remarkable powers of reproduction. It occupies situations avoided by more valuable trees, but is apt to disappear and be replaced by grass and brush as the result of repeated fires.

Engelmann spruce occurs chiefly in hollows and basins. Its reproduction is excellent near seed trees, and the young seedlings bear shade well. In places it is an important factor in the forest.

The black hemlock is a subalpine tree with good reproduction, but without commercial importance at present.

The white-bark pine occurs on the summits of the mountains, and need not be considered here. Other trees are the western cedar, amabilis fir, and western hemlock.