Bend in Deschutes County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Oregon's Fabled “High Desert”
Pilot Butte Park
This complex ecosystem nurtures a variety of plants and animals.
Vast, sage-covered plains begin at the eastern foot of the Pilot Butte and stretch dramatically to the east and south. This is Oregonís fabled “High Desert”. The casual traveler is struck by the monotony of the landscape, but closer attention reveals it nurtures complex ecosystems that support a fascinating group of hardy plants and animals unique to the cold deserts of the Northern Great Basin. Western Juniper is the predominant tree while numerous varieties of sagebrush alternate with lush, native bunchgrasses to form a mosaic of plant communities. These plants form the basis for the delicate ecosystems that support the birds, animals, and people that dwell east of the Cascades.
Prior to Euro-American settlement, fire played an important role in the High Desert. Flames would sweep through on average every 20 to 40 years. These frequent fires reduced the numbers of sagebrush and junipers. Bunchgrasses are resilient and were increased by frequent fires. Human impacts over the past 100 years have led to an increase in shrubs and junipers. The large number of young junipers on the north flank of Pilot Butte are a result of this. Manís activities have also led to introduction of noxious weeds, which threaten to replace native species
Erected by Oregon State Parks.
Location. 44° 3.63′ N, 121° 17.004′ W. Marker is in Bend, Oregon, in Deschutes County. Marker can be reached from Pilot Butte Summit Drive. Click for map. Marker is located at the Pilot View Scenic Lookout. The park can be reached from Greenwood Avenue (U.S. 20). Marker is in this post office area: Bend OR 97701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "The Westward Movement" (within shouting distance of this marker); The City of Bend (within shouting distance of this marker); Lava Butte (approx. 10.5 miles away); Some Lava Flows Build Their Own Pipelines (approx. 12.2 miles away); Lava River Cave (approx. 12.2 miles away).
Categories. • Environment •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 311 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area view of the marker and its surroundings. • A view of the desert land to the east of the Butte. • Can you help?