View from Slide Creek of Emigrant Lake
Alder Forest along Slide Creek
Mixed Forest along Slide Creek

Slide Creek

Judson “Jud” Parsons, long-time Southern Oregon landowner and fruit grower, protected his 166-acre property near the Siskiyou Summit, west of I-5 near the Mt. Ashland Ski Road exit.  This is the fourth property in Jackson County that Jud and his family have protected through the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.

Jud wanted to protect his property from development, prevent clear-cutting, and preserve the wetlands, springs and wildlife habitat. He decided to work with the Land Conservancy to develop a conservation agreement that will permanently protect the land while allowing sustainable timber harvest.

The property is home to a wide range of wildlife including the Pacific fisher, Roosevelt elk, black bear, cougar, and declining bird species like the Band-tailed Pigeon, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Northern Goshawk.  It contains many wetlands and springs which feed local streams in the headwaters of Bear Creek.

Jud purchased the Siskiyou Summit property from a timber company in 2009.  It lies next to the 2,000-acre Mountcrest property that Jud’s grandfather bought in 1919, and is close to Ogden Hill, named after Peter Skene Ogden.  Ogden and his group were probably the first Europeans to cross the Siskiyou Summit, in 1827.  

Southwest of the property Native Americans historically used a trail over the Siskiyou Summit, a low point in the mountains between the Rogue Valley and the Colestin and Shasta Valley.  The Hudson Bay Company adopted the Native American trail while hunting for fur-bearing animals, named it the Siskiyou Trail, and it became part of the route between the Willamette and Sacramento valleys.  Interestingly, two modern transportation routes were established near the old Siskiyou Trail – I-5 and the Central Oregon Pacific Railroad, which crosses the property.

Jud Parson’s commitment to healthy forest and farm stewardship and conservation can be seen on all the lands he owns and manages.  He is committed to protecting ecological values while retaining economic land uses, and exemplifies the conservationist Aldo Leopold’s quote, “Conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest.”

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