2020 NPSO Annual Meeting Cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the best interests for the health and safety of our members, the Cheahmill Chapter has decided to cancel the Annual Meeting this year. While the number of new cases should decline over the next several weeks and months, subsequent waves of COVID-19 are likely to recur once social distancing is relaxed. We are exploring hosting the meeting next year (2021) at Spirit Mountain Lodge and offering much the same program.

If you have already sent in your registration form and payment, your checks will be shredded. Those whose checks were already deposited will receive a refund.

We look forward to seeing all of you in 2021, hopefully at Spirit Mountain. Please stay safe and healthy through this difficult time.

NPSO 2020 Annual Meeting

May 29 - 31     Spirit Mountain Lodge, Grand Ronde, Oregon

Field Trips

This section gives an overview of the field trips for each day. Click on the field trip name to see detailed information about each hike, including descriptions, photographs, meeting location, driving directions and plant lists. All driving is on paved roads unless otherwise noted. Please refer to the map at the bottom of this page to see the general location of fieldtrips.



Friday May 29, 2020 ------------------ Field Trips


1 Native Plant Garden at McMinnville Library                          Leader:  Rob Tracey

    1 - 4 p.m.      Easy

Stroll in the garden to see 67 species of plants indigenous to the Willamette Valley and surrounding low elevation Cascade and Coast Ranges. Established in 1999, the garden is maintained by volunteers from the Cheahmill Chapter.

2 Erratic Rock and Maysara Winery                    Leaders:  Lisa Blackburn, Mo Momtazi

    1 - 4 p.m.      Easy to moderate  (0.5 mile)

Walk on paved trail to see an erratic rock that floated into the Willamette Valley in an iceberg and was deposited on a hillside 250 feet above the valley floor. Learn about Ice Age floods that brought such rocks to the valley from Canada. Travel a short distance to Maysara Winery for a tour of the vineyard and learn about biodynamic farming.

3 Deer Creek Prairie Park                                            Leader:  Dave Hanson

    1 - 4 p.m.      Easy  (0.5 mile)

This is Yamhill County's most biologically diverse park, with upland and wet prairies, beaver ponds, and riparian habitats. After many attempts to farm the site, it was abandoned and acquired by Yamhill County. It is now a designated mitigation site for enhancement of endangered Fender's blue butterfly populations and its host species, threatened Kincaid's lupine.

4 Grass ID Workshop at Deer Creek Prairie Park                Leader:  Cindy Roché

    1 - 4 p.m.      Easy

Join Dr. Cindy Roché to explore native and introduced grasses at Deer Creek Prairie Park. Use the Field Guide to Grasses of Oregon and Washington to learn about grass anatomy and the art of using a dichotomous key to identify a variety of grasses growing in the park.

5 Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center                           Leader:  Rachelle Kellogg

    1 - 4 p.m.      Easy

The museum tells the story of the more than 27 tribes and bands of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and honors the Elders who kept traditions alive during Termination. Exhibits tell the story of the Missoula Floods, traditional foods and housing, relationship to Willamette Falls, and more.

6 Drift Creek Falls                                                  Leader:  Bruce Waugh

    1 - 4 p.m.      Easy  (3-miles round-trip, plus optional 1-mile North Loop to view old growth)

Hike through a beautiful forest of Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, and other coastal woodland species to cross a 100-foot high suspension bridge overlooking a spectacular 75-foot waterfall as it cascades over columnar basalt.

7 Grass Mountain at the Sitka Center                                  Leader:  Bob Langan

    1 - 4 p.m.      Easy  (1 to 2 miles)

Walk through a coastal forest and meadows in the Cascade Head Scenic Research Area, an 80-acre site newly acquired by the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. The Center is in the process of determining how the property will be used, with an emphasis on promoting stewardship of the land and deepening an understanding of ecology through art and science.


Saturday May 30, 2020 ------------------ Field Trips


20 Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Left Coast Winery     Leaders:  Tom Kaye, Chris Seal, Bob Pfaff

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy  (4 miles at refuge, 1 mile at winery)

The view from this National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) stretches from the Willamette Valley to the foothills of the Cascade Range. Varied habitats include wetland, wet and dry prairie, oak woodland, and mixed forest. The refuge is home to the largest known population of Fender's blue butterfly and its host plant, Kincaid's lupine. Leaders will discuss efforts to improve habitat, reintroduce native plant species, and restore plant communities. Following a picnic lunch at Left Coast Winery, we will tour the winery's 200+ acres of ecological compensation areas.

21 Confederated Tribes (CTGR) Plant Nursery and Champoeg State Park     Leaders:  Jeremy Ojua, Peter Moore, Andy Neill

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy to moderate

The Plants for People project aims to make culturally important plant species more available for restoration projects. In the morning, we will tour the CTGR native plant nursery and will hike a short nature trail where these plants have recently been established and should be in bloom. In the afternoon, we will visit Champoeg State Heritage Area where the Institute for Applied Ecology is helping to restore a 45-acre prairie that eventually will be a traditional tribal harvest area.

22 Masonville and Muddy Valley Habitat Reserves     Leaders:  Amie Loop-Frison, Josh Togstad, Chris Seal, Thomas Hoskins, Lynda Boyer

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy to moderate  (2- to 3-mile hikes at each site)

These adjacent sites are managed by the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District. At Masonville, major habitat types in the Willamette Valley (wet and upland prairie, marsh, riparian, white oak savanna, and coniferous forest) are being restored. Muddy Valley includes 540 acres of wet prairie, oak savanna, mixed forest, and ponds with western pond turtles. Douglas fir was removed to restore oak habitat, followed by seeding with native grasses and forbs. Both offer excellent examples of how partnerships have enabled a transition to high quality habitats. These sites are normally inaccessible to the public.

23 Deer Creek Prairie Park and Yamhill Oaks Preserve     Leaders:  Dave Hanson, Josh Togstad, Paul Hammond

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy to moderate  (0.5 mile at Deer Creek Park; 1.5 miles at Yamhill Oaks Preserve)

Deer Creek is Yamhill County's most biologically diverse park, with upland and wet prairies, beaver ponds, and riparian habitats. It is a designated mitigation site for enhancement of endangered Fender's blue butterfly populations and its host species, threatened Kincaid's lupine. Yamhill Oaks is a 640-acre remnant upland prairie and oak woodland with over 27 at-risk species and is home to one of the largest populations of endangered Fender's blue butterfly. A special feature will be a butterfly tour and walk with lepidopterist Paul Hammond. Yamhill Oaks is normally inaccessible to the public.

24 Basket-Making Workshop               Leaders:  Stephanie Wood-Craig, Margaret Mathewson

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy

Margaret Mathewson and Stephanie Wood-Craig are accomplished basket makers and teachers. They will lead a workshop on how to construct a simple tule rush or cattail basket involving twining and plaiting. Students will explore the plant materials followed by a demonstration of how to construct their baskets.

25 Lost Prairie and Saddle Bag Mountain                         Leader:  Heidi Christensen

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy to moderate with a strenuous option  (about 1 mile total)

Lost Prairie was designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern to protect 60 acres of mid- to high-elevation sedge fen, Sphagnum bog, and beaver marshes in the Oregon Coast Range. The fen supports a diverse array of vascular plants and bryophytes that are uncommon in coastal coniferous forests of northwestern Oregon. Saddle Bag Mountain Research Natural Area occupies 300 acres on the 3,290-foot summit and western slopes of the mountain and was established to protect one of the last remaining stands of Pacific silver fir in the Oregon Coast Range. Many of the trees at the site are between 250-400 years old. This site is normally inaccessible to the public.

26 Salmon River Estuary                                            Leader:  Kami Ellingson

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy

The Estuary forms a bay between two basalt headlands. In 1960, salt marshes were diked to exclude saltwater to provide areas for pasture. Restoration efforts focus on restoring native plant communities and controlling erosion and noxious weeds. The trip will visit two restoration projects and discuss what was learned about the recovery of native vegetation and the return of juvenile salmon to the estuary.

27 Cascade Head Nature Conservancy Preserve                        Leader:  Catherine Dunn

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Moderate to strenuous  (4.2 miles)

Cascade Head is a basalt headland offering a spectacular view of the Oregon coast and the Salmon River Estuary. The trail begins with a steep climb through a coastal rainforest of Sitka spruce and western hemlock and emerges onto a coastal prairie, home to numerous native wildflowers.

28 Camp Westwind - Beach                                          Leader:  Kareen Sturgeon

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy  (about 0.5 mile)

Nestled between two basalt headlands, the camp sits in a beautiful bay beside the Salmon River Estuary. The site harbors a wide diversity of habitats on beaches, seaside cliffs, and dunes. An optional hike to High Meadow leads through a coastal forest to a meadow and spectacular view overlooking the ocean.

29 Camp Westwind - Upland                                             Leader:  Bruce Waugh

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Moderate  (0.5 mile)

Nestled between two basalt headlands, the camp sits in a beautiful bay beside the Salmon River Estuary. This field trip begins with a hike through a coastal rainforest to Lost Lake and High Meadow for a spectacular view overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In the afternoon, participants will visit the beach with seaside cliffs, dunes, and dune forest.

30 Mt. Hebo - Driving                                                   Leader:  Ken Hiser

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Easy  (1 mile round trip)

This peak in the Coast Range is a 2.5-mile long ridge over 3100-foot elevation offering panoramic views of the ocean and eight Cascade peaks. Soils on the hard, basaltic rocks are shallow, covered with mosses, boggy areas with Sphagnum, and numerous wildflowers, such as dwarf camas and Cardwell's penstemon. A short walk through the forest reveals fawn lilies, orchids, and more.

31 Mt. Hebo - Hiking                                                  Leader:  John Savage

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Moderate  (4 miles)

This peak in the Coast Range is a 2.5-mile long ridge over 3100-foot elevation offering panoramic views of the ocean and eight Cascade peaks. Participants will hike through a beautiful coastal forest, visit meadows where two culturally significant species of Vaccinium are managed by Forest Service and tribal members, and visit sites with shallow soils on basaltic rocks covered with mosses, boggy areas with Sphagnum, and wildflowers, such as dwarf camas and Cardwell's penstemon.

32 High Peak/Moon Creek Research Natural Area          Leaders:  Dan Luoma, Joyce Eberhart

    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.      Strenuous  (3-4 miles)

Hike through a representative cross-section of low- to mid-elevation forest associations in the northern Oregon Coast Range that developed following late 19th century wildfires. See 500-year old Douglas-fir, riparian areas with alder and maple, and noble fir on the 2,980-foot summit.


Sunday May 31, 2020 ------------------ Field Trips


90 Native Plant Garden at McMinnville Library                          Leader:  Rob Tracey

    9 a.m. - Noon      Easy

Stroll in the garden to see 67 species of plants indigenous to the Willamette Valley and low elevation Cascade and Coast Ranges. Established in 1999, the garden is maintained by volunteers from the Cheahmill Chapter and Master Gardeners.

91 Miller Woods Conservation Area                                Leader:  Sonya Wilkerson

    9 a.m. - Noon      Easy or moderate  (0.3 mile interpretive walk and optional 4.5 miles)

Located west of McMinnville in the foothills of the Coast Range, Miller Woods includes 130 acres with an extensive trail system highlighting a wide array of ecosystems, from oak savanna to conifers of varying ages, ponds, and streams that are home to a diverse group of native plants, birds, and other wildlife. An on-site native plant nursery provides plants for restoration projects.

92 Erratic Rock State Park and Maysara Winery         Leaders:  Lisa Blackburn, Mo Momtazi

    9 a.m. - Noon      Easy to moderate  (0.5 mile)

Walk on paved trail to see an erratic rock that floated into the Willamette Valley in an iceberg and was deposited on a hillside 250 feet above the valley floor. Learn about Ice Age floods that brought such rocks to the valley from Canada. Travel a short distance to Maysara Winery for a tour of the vineyard and learn about biodynamic farming.

93 Deer Creek Prairie Park                                           Leader:  Dave Hanson

    9 a.m. - Noon      Easy  (0.5 mile)

This is Yamhill County's most biologically diverse park, with upland and wet prairies, beaver ponds, and riparian habitats. After many attempts to farm the site, it was abandoned and acquired by Yamhill County. It is now a designated mitigation site for enhancement of endangered Fender's blue butterfly populations and its host species, threatened Kincaid's lupine.

94 Drift Creek Falls                                            Leader:  Self-guided tour

   Self-guided tour      Easy  (3-miles round-trip, plus optional 1-mile North Loop to view old growth)

Hike through a beautiful forest of Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, and other coastal woodland species to cross a 100-foot high suspension bridge overlooking a spectacular 75-foot waterfall as it cascades over columnar basalt.


Field trip locations are indicated by trip numbers in black boxes. Spirit Mountain Lodge is the red marker in the center next to trip 24.