What's a botanical area?

Darlingtonia californica close-up
Certain areas of National Forest System lands have outstanding or unique examples of plant and animal communities, geological features, scenic grandeur, or other special attributes that merit special management. 

Areas with rare plants or unique vegetation communities may be designated by law or may be designated administratively by the Forest Service as Botanical Areas. The law or decision designating each area provides specific objectives and guidelines for management of each area. 

Botanical areas are generally managed to emphasize conservation and recreation related to plant study and observation. There may be special trails or interpretive signs to help visitors understand and appreciate the area's unusual plants.  Other uses are permitted in the areas to the extent that these uses are in harmony with the purpose for which the area was designated. 

Botanical area designation does not change public access to an area, nor does it change access to minerals under the Mining Law of 1872 though mining operations would likely be required to minimize their impacts to botanical resources. 

Hiking in Signal Buttes area

The proposed Veva Stansell Botanical Area and other nearby BLM botanical areas in the Hunter Creek watershed are currently "withdrawn" from new mining claims, and, owing to the withdrawal, existing claims must be proven valid before any mine development could begin.

Botanical areas may be designated by Congress or through the National Forest plan revision process. 

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Plan is currently over-due for revision, but owing to budget constraints, there is no schedule yet for when this public planning process will occur.

When it does occur, citizens will be invited to make comments on all aspects of the plan. At that time, we expect that there will be an opportunity to advance this proposal and to make comments on how the proposed botanical area should be managed. 

Other designated botanical areas in and near the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest include:
  • Eight Dollar Mountain Botanical Area (USFS)
  • Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area (USFS)
  • Rough and Ready Flat Botanical Area (BLM)
  • Red Flat Botanical Area (USFS)
  • North Fork Hunter Creek ACEC (BLM)
  • Hunter Creek Bog (BLM) 
  • Iron Mountain Botanical Area (USFS)
The Veva Stansell Botanical Area would make a good addition to this set by complementing existing BLM botanical areas in Hunter Creek watershed. Click here to read the nomination Botanical Area Nomination

Click here to read the BLM's Management plan for the
Hunter Creek ACECs.

Please join us in supporting designation of the Veva Stansell Botanical Area. Click here to add your name to our petition