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

Saturday May 30, 2020    9 a.m. - 4 p.m.                    Field Trip # 27

Cascade Head Nature Conservancy Preserve

Photo: courtesy of Camp Westwind
Cascade Head and the Salmon River Estuary at low tide


Difficulty:     Moderate to strenuous  (4.2 miles) - The lower part of the trail is steep with rocks, exposed tree roots, and uneven terrain.

Elevation:     700 feet elevation gain

Group Size Limit:     12

Photo: courtesy of Oregon Flora Project
Hairy stemmed checkermallow (Sidalcea hirtipes)


Trip Description:     Bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the south by the Salmon River Estuary, Cascade Head is a coastal prairie offering spectacular views of the Oregon coast. The basalt headland originated as a seamount, an underwater extrusion of lava that occurred 40-12 million years ago when the ocean extended far inland. The Preserve and surrounding forest are recognized as a National Scenic Research Area and United Nations Biosphere Reserve.

The headland provides critical habitat for the Oregon silverspot butterfly, which is federally listed as a threatened species. The larvae depend upon leaves of the hookedspur violet (Viola adunca ssp. adunca) as their sole food source and adult butterflies nectar on various species of Asteraceae. The headland requires periodic disturbance to maintain the grassland, and prescribed fire is used as a management tool, carrying on the tradition of Tribal burning at the site.

The trail meanders through a forest of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), and red alder (Alnus rubra). It emerges onto a coastal prairie that is home to numerous wildflowers and native prairie grasses, including red fescue (Festuca rubra ssp. rubra), wild rye (Elymus glaucus), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), California brome (Bromus carinatus), wild oatgrass (Danthonia californica), edible thistle (Cirsium edule), Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), Pacific paintbrush (Castilleja littoralis), stream lupine (Lupinus rivularis), farewell-to-spring (Clarkia amoena), Oregon iris (Iris tenax), Menzies' larkspur (Delphinium menziesii), hairy-stemmed checkermallow (Sidalcea hirtipes), and coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis). Ninety-nine percent of the world's population of the Cascade Head catchfly (Silene douglasii var. oraria), a federally listed species of concern and state threatened species, is protected here.

Appropriate Clothing and Footwear:     Sturdy boots and hiking poles recommended.

Special Considerations:     The headland can be windy and cold.


Meeting Place and Time:     Trip # 27 leaves at 9 a.m. from Spirit Mountain Lodge entrance. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before departure time to meet your group and arrange carpools.

Alternate Meeting:     Participants may also meet the trip at 9:30 a.m at Knight County Park Boat Landing, 2341 N. Three Rocks Road, Otis, Oregon 97368. If you choose this option, be sure to notify your trip leader in advance.

Driving Miles and Time from Spirit Mountain Lodge:     26 miles, 32 minutes to Knight County Park boat landing

Driving Directions:     Trip leader will provide detailed driving instructions.


Leader:       Catherine Dunn

Oregon Coast preserves steward, The Nature Conservancy.



Plant Lists and Other Information:    

Book: "Burning Cascade Head." In Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and teachings of plants. Milkweed Editions, 2013.



Prairie on Cascade Head with a nice patch of hairy stemmed checker mallow (Sidalcea hirtipes)



The view from Cascade Head includes the Salmon River Estuary and Camp Westwind.