Chucksney/Grasshopper Meadow Complex

The center of Chucksney/Grasshopper Meadow Complex can be reached after a grueling hike over steep terrain that will take you over small streams, near sheer cliffs, through bear and mountain lion habitat, and through beautiful rock gardens and forests of firs, lodgepole pine, western hemlock and western redcedar. 

Besides its ecological importance, the area also has significant cultural value as a place used by Native Americans for hunting and gathering, and as a trade route. European Americans also used this area for fur trapping until the mid-nineteenth century when the Donation Land Act provided land for farming and ranching.  Once the Transcontinental Railroad was built in the 1860s, timber became an increasingly valuable resource. 

This land is actively managed by the Willamette National Forest which has used prescribed burns and mechanical tree removal to imitate the natural fire regime of the area.  Unfortunately, fire suppression has eliminated a natural disturbance mechanism that has kept meadows open and free from tree encroachment.  Although meadows are a dynamic landscape feature that create a shifting mosaic with forests, climate change and the irreversible effects of fire suppression may mean we are losing these montane meadows regardless of the Forest Service’s efforts.  If we lose these meadows we also lose habitat for bears, butterflies and mountain lions as well as many endemic plant species.

Get more information on this area from

National Geographic