June   2 0 1 8

Canis lupus

©Judy Goodman
I’ve had the pleasure of exploring roadless country from the big wildlands of the Rocky Mountains to the last slivers of untouched forests in Oregon's Coast Range, and none are more exceptional than Joseph Canyon. The Joseph Canyon Roadless Area on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest includes over 40,200 acres of rugged northeast Oregon canyonlands. The grass-covered slopes and forest-covered draws intersperse to provide high-quality, secure wildlife habitat and a key travel corridor between the Hells Canyon and Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness Areas. Comprised of three main drainages, Swamp Creek, Davis Creek and Joseph Creek, Joseph Creek is a designated Wild and Scenic River within the roadless area. We’ll explore the historic Chico Trail that leads down to Davis Creek and then up to Starvation Ridge on our upcoming outing. From Starvation Ridge we’ll enjoy beautiful views of Davis and Swamp Creek Canyons.
In addition to its exceptional natural, ecological, and scenic value, the Joseph Canyon Country stands out for its significant cultural history. The Joseph Canyon Viewpoint 30 miles north of Enterprise overlooks the depths of Joseph Canyon and is one of 38 sites that form the Nez Perce National Historical Park. The Nez Perce used Joseph Canyon as a travel corridor between their winter and summer homes in the Wallowa Country. One of their names for the area was ‘Condor Canyon.’ Condor historically lived in the Joseph Canyon Country, and it’s not difficult to imagine them soaring over the 2,200-foot depths of Joseph Canyon visible from the Viewpoint. To the North, the Joseph Canyon Roadless Area adjoins the 15,000 acre Nez Perce Precious Lands Wildlife Area. Together, these lands function as a large, intact landscape that significantly heighten their conservation value.

—David Mildrexler

Ralph's Links

June...has yet to reveal itself, although celestial events far overhead while ancient in light years will continue to unfold  Flowers will continue to bloom shifting from early to late bloomers perhaps including our local challenged Spaldings' Silene or Catchfly  And deep woods dramas involving lynx territorial squabbles and tangles with the ferocious wolverine will continue. Pollinators will remain busy monitoring and managing their hives, dodging eastern kingbirds and doing their duty by the remaining flowering plants. Other insects will continue to search for sustenance and victims
Ralph Anderson, having retired from a career with the U.S. Forest Service and as a consulting Wildlife Biologist, continues to offer his perspectives, insights and perusal of the current flow of science discoveries and its implications via postings on the Wallowology facebook page. The range of links he posts runs from hard science of physics, mathematics, geo-spatial, archaeological and natural sciences to applications in education, fun and play.  He tries to dodge the politics of most issues though they are implicit in many of the articles. A common denominator he seeks in his postings is information, a widening perspective, appreciation for all that is around us and fun.

Quote Of The Month

A lifetime can be spent in a Magellanic voyage
around the trunk of a single tree.

- Edward O. Wilson
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