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The goal of establishing and managing Douglas-Fir National Monument is to preserve and protect nature in the Monument area in all of its beauty and complexity, and to provide a sanctuary in which humans can interact with this special place in ways that respect and care for the land. The Western Cascades is home to an astonishing variety of life forms, evolving over time and interacting in ways that we can barely understand.

opal creek forest graphic


"... I think there is another language, the forgotten language of the land.  Its alphabet is the elements themselves, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen.  The words of this language are living beings, and its syntax is connection.  There is a flow of information, a network of relationship conveyed in the rising sap of cedars, in tree roots grafted to fungi, and fungi to orchids, orchids to bees, bees to bats, bats to owls, owls to bones, and bones to the soil of cedars.  This is the language we have yet to learn and the stories we must hear; stories that are simultaneously material and spiritual.  The archive of this language, the sacred text, is the land itself.  In the woods, there is a constant stream of data, lessons on how we might live, stories of reciprocity, stories of connection.  Species far older than our own show us daily how to live.  We need to listen to the land, not merely for data, but for wisdom."

-- Robin Wall Kimmerer in Brodie, Nathaniel, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick J. Swanson, eds. Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest. pp. 48-49 © 2016. Reprinted with permission of the University of Washington Press.


Fire is part of the natural cycle of forests.
For more, visit our Forests Wildfire page.

south santiam forest small graphic

Douglas-fir trees

Old-growth Forests

noble fir thumbnail graphic Other conifers
mossy maples small graphic Broadleaf trees
tiger lily small graphic Wildflowers and shrubs
amanita small graphic Other plants, lichens and fungi
elk small graphic Mammals
western tanager small graphic Birds
newt small graphic Fish, reptiles and amphibians
swallowtail small graphic


quartzville creek boulders thumbnail graphic "A view of the geology of Quartzville Creek"
by Milo Mecham