Flowing in from the east, the Sycan River seasonally feeds water into Sycan Marsh, supporting a variety of species. In turn, the marsh slowly releases water back into the river and, ultimately, Upper Klamath Lake. The unique features of this stream are its distinctive scenery that varies from a steep canyon to broad meadows before it joins the Sprague River near the town of Beatty, OR. The corridor contains a diversity of landform, rock form and vegetation, which is primarily coniferous with scattered old-growth Ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine flats intermingled with water-related riparian vegetation, such as willows and other deciduous shrubs. Expanses of sage and bitterbrush, in the dryer areas, lend diversity.
In 2011, KLLT purchased an 80 acre parcel on the Sycan River canyon a mile south of the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Falcons nest on the canyon walls, and native trout inhabit the river. The property is home to a vernal pool that harbors alkali fairy shrimp, previously unknown in the area.
In November, 2018, KLLT purchased and additional 785 acre on the Sycan River at the Coyote Bucket. KLLT now owns and manages nearly 1100 acres in this spectacular area. This land also includes a portion of the Knott Tablelands. In addition, this parcel has two miles of riverfront property. This land [and water] is critical wildlife habitat for elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, badger, mink, coyote, gray wolf and a large number of bird species including but not limited to Lewis woodpecker, violet-green swallow, mountain bluebird, horned lark, owls, eagles and hawks. In 2019, KLLT plans to conduct baseline studies of flora and fauna so that we know exactly and fully what species live on this land.
Past restoration projects include upland and riparian planting. Future actions on this property will involve monitoring and research on the unique vernal pool.
A Wild & Scenic designation
On Oct. 28, 1988, 59 miles of the Sycan River in Klamath County were designated Wild & Scenic. This federal designation protects a river’s “outstandingly remarkable” values, free-flowing character and existing uses of the river while prohibiting federally-licensed dams and any other federally-assisted water resource project that would negatively impact the river’s outstanding values.
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Click here to learn more about Wild & Scenic Rivers in Oregon.