This year, we will be welcomed by the great temperate conifer forests, oak woodlands, and wildflower meadows of the Siskiyou National Forest foothills. These brilliant compositions painted onto the landscape remind us of the world we want to inhabit and tend to. In such vanishingly rare places that are still intact, we can listen deeply to the wisdom of this land and her original guardians, and we can begin to rise to the ever-present call of Earth stewardship.
This is the ancestral land of the Takelma People. Long before European conquest, these foothills were the home of cougars, deer, elk, beaver, bear, antelope and bighorn sheep, owls, eagles, long-eared chipmunks, golden trout and of course lots and lots of salmon. A rich mosaic of ecosystems spanned the mountain ranges, with deep pine, cedar and fir forests opening into oak savanna, where the wildlife congregated to feast on acorns, as well as countless types of berries, grasses, and flowering plants. Every elevation hosted a different assembly of species, all the way up to where the lodgepole pines gave way to the alpine meadows and rocky spires.