Nearly two miles of the Pacific Crest Trail permanently protected

A view of Mount Shasta from the property.

What do Pacific Crest Trail hikers, train robbers, President Rutherford B. Hayes and the pacific fisher have in common? They all have traveled through the 1,771-acre Mountcrest Forest in southern Oregon. This privately owned property on Siskiyou Pass connects the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

The Parsons family bought the first piece of this property in 1919. Jud Parsons, who has carefully stewarded the property for his family for more than 60 years, manages the forest to harvest timber sustainably while enhancing wildlife habitat and scenic resources for the Pacific Crest Trail. In 2013, Jud and his family made the decision to work with the Pacific Forest Trust to permanently protect the family legacy, and along with it, nearly two miles of the PCT.

PCTA Director of Land Protection Megan Wargo tours the site.

Last year, Jud sold a 300-acre piece of the property that contained just under a mile of the PCT to the Bureau of Land Management for permanent protection and public enjoyment. And last week, he saw the family’s vision completed with the sale of a conservation easement to the Pacific Forest Trust on the remainder of the property, which contains an additional mile of the PCT. The success of this project depended on many partners including: Mountcrest Forest LLC, Pacific Forest Trust, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

Forests are managed for timber as well as scenic and wildlife values.

“The PCTA was honored to provide a small grant to the Pacific Forest Trust to assist with the project costs necessary to permanently protect this unique and special property,” said Liz Bergeron, the PCTA’s executive director and CEO. “We are grateful for the Parsons family’s stewardship of the PCT and we look forward to having the Pacific Forest Trust as a partner in protecting this piece of the trail for generations to come.”

You can read more about this project in the Medford Mail Tribune and on the Pacific Forest Trust’s website.

A view of Pilot Rock and Mount Shasta.

Author: Megan Wargo

Megan Wargo is PCTA’s Director of Land Protection. She oversees a program dedicated to protecting the landscape and trail miles that are still held by private landowners. Megan brings more than a dozen years of experience leading teams and managing landscape-scale conservation projects.