|Grass meadows and Douglas fir forests create a mosaic landscape at Horse Rock Ridge|
Horse Rock Ridge is a unique mosaic habitat located in the Coburg Hills that has received dual designation from the Bureau of Land Management as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and a Research Natural Area. Areas that receive such designations are managed to provide for scientific research and protection of key natural attributes through short and long term studies, education, and restoration. An ACEC can serve as a baseline reference for measuring human impacts on native ecosystems and for studying the effectiveness of restoration efforts. IAE has been involved with experimentation and restoration on Horse Rock Ridge since 2006 and has developed research projects that include experimental seeding and treatment plots, seed collection and redistribution, plant community mapping, and invasive species management. This area is considered to be the best, and largest, remaining example of a "grassy bald" meadow located west of the Cascade Range. The high botanic value can be attributed to the abundance of native Willamette Valley species interspersed with species that are more prevalent in the mountainous Cascade region. Douglas fir and western hemlock forests surround the grassy meadows creating a distinct mosaic landscape.
|IAE staff next to the dike at Horse Rock Ridge|
|Monitoring of experimental seeding plots|
|The meadows on Horse Rock Ridge exhibit spectacular wildflower displays in early summer. Some of the most prevalent wildflower species are Oregon sunshine, Indian paintbrush, and darkthroat shooting star.|