Where we work
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy preserves and cares for the farms and ranches, oak woodlands, forests, streams, and native habitats throughout the Rogue River region, with a strategic focus on lands within Jackson and Josephine Counties.
These two counties comprise 95% of the Rogue Basin, a large area from which the Rogue River flows for 200 miles, from its headwaters near Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach. The basin is diverse in its topography—characterized by steep, forested mountains, to gentle foothills and valley bottoms. These lands are connected by cities and towns throughout the Rogue Valley (Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland, etc.), orchards and farms, commercial and public forestlands, and vast wilderness areas.
Conservation Focus Areas
The following criteria help ensure proper resource allocation and the greatest community benefit:
- Large properties (300 acres) with high conservation values
- Farmland with high quality soils (20+ acres)
- Connectivity to lands already conserved
- Community engagement and partnership potential
As part of our conservation strategy, Southern Oregon Land Conservancy primarily works in six focus areas.
Agate Desert—Middle Rogue
This unique low-elevation habitat includes the Denman Wildlife Area, Upper and Lower Table Rocks, the Rogue River, and the Agate Desert Vernal Pool Wetlands. Many endemic and endangered plants live here, as well as the endangered vernal pool fairy shrimp.
The Applegate Valley is a Core Salmon Area, listed by the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and home to several at-risk animal and plant species. It also contains numerous key, diminishing habitat types such as oak woodlands and chaparral. Perhaps best known as the epicenter of Southern Oregon’s emerging wine industry, we focus our conservation work on the agricultural areas on the valley floor and adjacent uplands.
These relatively low-elevation foothills nestled on the east side of the Bear Creek Valley support declining grasslands and oak woodlands, commonly attracting elk and deer during winter. The foothills also provide outstanding scenic views for the communities that lie along and west of Bear Creek.
The Colestin-Siskiyou Summit area provides habitat for a large number of plants and animals on the edge of their range and includes a critical wildlife corridor, the Siskiyou Summit, and the lovely Colestin Valley. Located on the boundary of three eco-regions, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was established for its spectacular biological diversity. Our goal is to create a pathway of conserved private land between the Monument to the east and U.S. Forest Service lands to the west.
Little Butte Creek
This area borders Little Butte Creek northeast of Medford and is prime ranchland habitat. It contains over 5% of the eco-region’s pine-oak woodlands, a diminishing habitat type in Oregon. It’s also a stronghold of coho salmon spawning in the upper Rogue River basin.
Upper Illinois River
This area in Josephine County west of Grants Pass, is noted for its abundance of rare and endemic plant species and includes approximately 30% of the region’s wetland habitat. It also contains diverse low- to mid-elevation forests and unique grassland habitats.
Our Conserved Lands
The following are some examples of our conserved lands.
- Sams Valley
- Wood House/Wildlands
- Woodcock Mountain
- Howard Prairie
- Old Siskiyou Sheep trail
Conservation Properties For Sale
Purchasing conserved land is a special way to help protect our precious and beautiful region. Check out these conservation properties for sale, and share with a friend who might be interested!