5 reasons you should love the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area

5 reasons you should love the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area

Vast roadless areas of undisturbed habitat
Box Canyon Creek, tributary of Chetco River
  • It’s a huge tract of undisturbed forest habitat. At 180,000-acres the Kalmiopsis is Oregon’s 3rd largest federally designated Wilderness Area. It’s the largest Wilderness Area in Oregon west of the Cascades.
  • Unmatched biodiversity. If it grows in the Pacific Northwest, it probably grows somewhere in the Kalmiopsis. 
  • Unparalleled natural history. The Kalmiopsis has been a refuge for life since well before the Pleistocene epoch. While the rest of Oregon’s ecological library was being wiped clean by migrating glaciers, life in the Kalmiopsis was evolving. 
  • Wild Rivers. The Chetco, Illinois and North Fork Smith all originate or run through the Kalmiopsis. These rivers support native fish runs, provide clean drinking water for communities and knock-your-socks-off recreation opportunities. Rivers like the Chetco are known for their pristine clarity and enchanting effect. 
  • Modern History. From Lilla and John Leach who discovered many new plants in the area, to the 2002 Biscuit Fire, the Kalmiopsis has always been a fascinating component of Southern Oregon’s history. 

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