LEGACY - Oregon’s Fabled “High Desert”
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 03.626 W 121° 16.992
10T E 637503 N 4880017
2006 sign which was removed and replaced in 2016.
Waymark Code: WMQQ2
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 09/17/2006
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 15

This sign was located at the summit viewpoint at Pilot Butte State Park

Marker Name: Oregon’s Fabled “High Desert”
Marker Text: This complex ecosystem nurtures a variety of plants and animals.
Vast, sage-covered plains begin at the eastern foot of Pilot Butte and stretch dramatically to the east and south. This is Oregon’s fabled “High Desert”. The casual traveler is struck by the monotony of this landscape, but closer attention reveals it nurtures complex ecosystems that support a fascinating group of hardy plants and animals unique to the cold deserts of the Northern Great Basin. Wester juniper is the predominant tree while numerous varieties of sagebrush alternate with lush, native bunchgrasses to form a mosaic of plant communities. These plants form the basis for the delicate ecosystems that support the birds, animals, and people that dwell east of the Cascades.
Prior to Euro-American settlement, fire played an important role in the High Desert. Flames would sweep through on average every 20 to 40 years. These frequent fires reduced the numbers of sagebrush and juniper. Bunchgrasses are resilient and were increased by frequent fires. Human impacts over the past 100 years have led to an increase in shrubs and junipers. These impacts included fire suppression practices, livestock grazing and possible climate change. The large numbers of young junipers on the north flank of Pilot Butte are a result of this. Man’s activities have also led to introduction of noxious weeds, which threaten to replace native species on the Butte and in Central Oregon. Wise management should allow us to maintain the Butte in a relatively natural state. For a closer look at a part of the High Desert ecology, be sure to walk Pilot Butte’s Nature Trail located at the east edge of the summit.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: State of Oregon

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Central Oregon

County: Deschutes

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
TheBeanTeam visited LEGACY - Oregon’s Fabled “High Desert” 04/20/2007 TheBeanTeam visited it
Volcanoguy visited LEGACY - Oregon’s Fabled “High Desert” 09/18/2006 Volcanoguy visited it

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