Camassia Natural Area
Category: Preservation and enhancement (The Nature Conservancy).
Location: Near the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette Rivers in West Linn, Oregon.
Size: 27 acres.
Purchased in 1962, the site was the first TNC preserve in Oregon and includes a mix of woodland, savanna, and prairie. The area was sculpted by prehistoric floods (Ice Age Floods) and includes a rocky plateau with a host of extraordinary floral diversity including rare plants and uncommon wetland and grassland communities. At the time of acquisition, the site’s prairies were dominated by mature Cytisus scoparius and the forested areas were overrun by Hedera helix and Rubus spp. Today, the West Linn High School uses the preserve as an outdoor classroom and TNC volunteers offer guided hikes to educate the public about this unique property.
TNC and volunteers have worked for many years to control Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir), Hedera Helix, Rubus spp., and Cytisus scoparius across the site. Researchers regularly monitor the rare plant populations and water quality. Controlling Hedera helix, which heavily covered ten acres of the site, became a management priority starting in 2001. Hedera helix was removed through a combination of hand pulling and herbicide application (winter applications) and is now largely under control. Similar methods of hand cutting and follow-up herbicide application have been used to control Rubus spp. Proximity to urban development prevents ecological burning from being used as a management tool.
Access and Contact
A series of boardwalks and trails provide access to the site. Access from the end of Walnut Street in West Linn. For more information call 503-802-8100 or go to http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/oregon/placesweprotect/camassia-natural-area.xml