Restore & Protect Eight Dollar Mountain Botanical Area
Defending the Eight Dollar Mountain Botanical Area, on the edge of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, is a high priority for KS Wild’s stewardship program. Teams of volunteers have worked for years to clean up illegal dumping sites and protect the botanical hotspot from illegal off-highway vehicle use (OHV). Our goal is to install gates to prevent further degradation, and allow for an orderly managed botanical area.
In June 2018, and again in May 2019, KS Wild’s land stewardship program, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, hosted weekend long work parties to install botanical area signage, clean up trash, and block illegal OHV routes. The project continues through the year with repeated monitoring and documentation of both our restoration efforts and the continued impacts from illegal OHV use.
With the rugged terrain, sparse vegetation, and clean water of the Illinois River, Eight Dollar Mountain Botanical Area is a treasure-trove of botanical wonders. The serpentine landscape supports numerous rare and endemic plant species. Even on a cloudy day, the emerald Serpentine riddles the ground with a shiny glow, adding to the magical beauty of the place.
When we love where we live, we take action to defend it. Members of KS Wild’s land stewardship program shared their reasons for taking action to protect the Eight Dollar Mountain Botanical Area:
“The rare plants of the Eight Dollar Mountain Botanical Area, along with the unique setting along the beautiful Wild and Scenic Illinois River, need protection. If no action is taken, more damage will be done. I feel privileged to have a role in protecting this exceptional area. Over time, I look forward to seeing this landscape recover from damage and fully regain its natural diversity and beauty.”
— Christie Nelson
“Where else can you find turquoise swimming holes, springs that provide habitat for rare carnivorous plants and healthy stands of Port Orford cedar, all less than a half-hour from Grants Pass? Preserving Eight Dollar Mountain so that all can enjoy it means discouraging misuse from off-road vehicles. I want to be able to take visitors here in 20 or 30 years and show them all the magic of our region, from the unique and colorful rocks to the plant species that might not survive anywhere else.”
— Tuula Rebhahn
“I have been hiking the Eight Dollar Botanical area for years, but I have avoided the area adjacent to the Illinois River. The constant garbage and off road vehicle damage associated with the open roads of the Illinois River corridor has been too ugly to tolerate. This river frontage should be the crown jewel of the area. I am honored to be part of the effort to take back this area, and give it a chance to become what it should be, a place of natural beauty and biological diversity to be enjoyed by everyone.”
— Mike Nelson