Oregon's Fabled "High Desert"

Oregon's Fabled "High Desert" (HM16V9)

Location: Bend, OR 97701 Deschutes County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 3.63', W 121° 17.004'

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Pilot Butte Park

This complex ecosystem nurtures a variety of plants and animals.
Vast, sage-covered plains begin at the eastern foot of the 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 the 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. Western 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 junipers. 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. The large number 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.
HM NumberHM16V9
Placed ByOregon State Parks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 10:53pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10T E 637487 N 4880024
Decimal Degrees44.06050000, -121.28340000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 3.63', W 121° 17.004'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 3' 37.80" N, 121° 17' 0.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)541
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2748 Pilot Butte trail, Bend OR 97701, US
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