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Protect Pipe Fork

Pipe Fork is a compelling example of lush, mature riparian forest in the Klamath-Siskyou Bioregion of Southern Oregon. Pipe Fork Creek originates from pure-water springs nestled in ancient forest on the east flank of Grayback Mountain, and flows cold and clear and abundantly year-round through a narrow canyon wilderness into the Williams Valley. There it provides generously for farms and homes as well as for rich spawning and nursery grounds vital to chinook and coho salmon. 

Designated a Research Natural Area (RNA) of Critical Environmental Concern by the Bureau of Land Management, the upper reaches of Pipe Fork have also been nominated for designation as a Federal Wild and Scenic River. Rare Pacific fishers and martens, spotted owls, elk, bear, and many other animals, as well as numerous species of rare plants, live in the undisturbed forests of the RNA. 

Josephine County has had plans to sell a 320-acre parcel right next to the BLM RNA that encompasses both sides of Pipe Fork, and to clearcut 114 acres on the north side of the creek. The devastation that would result from clearcutting on the steep slopes above Pipe Fork would do lasting damage to the sensitive riparian forest and would greatly diminish the quality and quantity of water that flows into the Williams Valley. 

But we will not let this happen! We are determined and optimistic that by all of us working together, this precious place will be saved for the benefit of present and future generations.

Williams Community Forest Project invites you to watch our brand new 7-minute film showcasing the wonders of Pipe Fork and our efforts to preserve it, and to sign the petition at the bottom of the page. Please share this page with like-minded friends and family, allies and colleagues! 


Sign the Petition

Demand that Josephine County Commissioners sell the PIPE FORK land to a CONSERVANCY.

Pipe Fork is a main tributary of the Williams Creek and vital water source for Josephine County.

Josephine County owns a major part of this watershed and is planning a clear-cut. Please help us save our water!

An intact forest with a diversity of plants and fire-resistant old growth trees decreases catastrophic wildfire, controls erosion, decreases flooding and retains moisture. The current trend towards warmer winters, with less rain and snow resulting in lower water tables and drier creeks, holds no assurance that Josephine County will continue to have enough water.

Josephine County needs to conserve this land by selling it to a Conservancy Agency. The sale would be a bridge-loan to ownership by BLM, which owns a bordering 500 acre Research Natural Area (RNA). The Pipe Fork located on the BLM RNA has been nominated for a WILD AND SCENIC Designation. Thank you to Senators Wyden and Merkeley for the inclusion into the River Democracy Act of 2021.

This is important! Pipe Fork is essential. Please sign this petition to help us save our water, animals and forest.

Save Pipe Fork Petition Letter

Dear Josephine County Commissioners,

I am concerned that the planned clearcut in the Pipe Fork area will cause damage to a rare habitat and request that a forest management which values the ecosystem be put in place.

Pipe Fork flows from the northeast flank of Grayback Mountain into Williams Creek with cool, clear water providing habitat for three major salmon runs and a variety of other aquatic fauna and flora. Josephine County owns a major part of this watershed and is planning a clearcut.

Logging roads and clearcutting is a major source of excess fine sediment in streams. Erosion from roads can carry fine silt and clay that fill the gravels and pools where salmon lay their eggs, juvenile salmon use for rearing, and aquatic insects thrive. Logging equipment can spread disease that kills Port Orford cedar and the dead and dying cedars are already obvious along the Pipe Fork. Sediment will carry it downstream to other locations and kill more trees.

An intact forest with a diversity of plants and fire-resistant old growth trees decreases catastrophic wildfire, controls erosion, decreases flooding and retains moisture. The current trend towards warmer winters, with less rain and snow resulting in lower water tables and drier creeks, holds no assurance that Josephine County will continue to have enough water.

Josephine County needs to conserve this land by selling it to a Conservancy Agency. The sale would be a bridge-loan to ownership by BLM, which owns a bordering 500 acre Research Natural Area (RNA).

Please use your knowledge and effective leadership to protect the Pipe Fork and Forest.

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1,319 signatures

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Pipe Fork is a wonderful model of Old Growth Habitats in Southern Oregon. WCFP invites you to visit our Pipe Fork blog that chronicles the amazing efforts to conserve this legacy forest and cool clear waters for future generations.