78a: Rogue/Illinois Valleys

The Rogue/Illinois Valleys ecoregion includes terraces and floodplains in the Rogue and Illinois river valleys at an elevation of 900 to 2,000 feet (274 to 610 m). Historically, the valleys supported Oregon white oak and California black oak woodland, with Pacific madrone, ponderosa pine, and grassland. Common understory plants included California fescue, snowberry, and serviceberry. Riparian areas supported willow and cottonwood. Much of the land has been developed for agricultural or residential use, and little of the original vegetation remains. Remnants of oak savanna, prairie vegetation, and seasonal ponds persist on the mesa tops of the Table Rocks north of Medford. Elsewhere, land uses include orchards, cropland, and pastureland. Climate, vegetation, and resulting land use are more similar to Northern California’s inland valleys than to the Willamette Valley ecoregion to the north. The region covers 285 square miles (738 km2) in Oregon, in three separate areas around Medford and Ashland, Grants Pass, and Cave Junction.

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