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Oregon

Agate Desert Preserve


Why You Should Visit  

A sanctuary for rare wildflowers, this flat, gravely outwash plain is abundant with prairie grasses and a showy display of spring wildflowers.

Small depressions on the surface create vernal, or seasonal, pools in an otherwise dry habitat. As the pools dry up in late spring, successive rings of wildflowers begin to bloom.

Location

North of Medford, in Southwest Oregon

Size

53 acres 

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

Ecologists are conducting a series of prescribed burns to restore native grasses and wildflowers and studying invertebrates and other varied forms of life found in vernal pools on the preserve.

Native bunch grass and wildflower seeds are collected by volunteers and planted to restore native prairie habitats. Volunteers are also successfully controlling invasive species.

What to See: Plants

Rare plants include two Oregon state-listed endangered species, large-flowered woolly meadowfoam and Agate Desert lomatium. Another species of concern is rare American pillwort.

What to See: Animals

The preserve's seasonal wetlands offer critical habitat to migrating birds and aquatic species, including a recently discovered population of rare vernal pool fairy shrimp. 

The best time to visit is early April when wildflowers are in full bloom. The preserve is not signed and there is no official trail. 

Please observe the following guidelines while hiking:

  • Do not collect plants, insects or other species or disturb soil, rocks, artifacts or scientific research markers.
  • No dogs. Preserves harbor ground-nesting birds and other wildlife that are extremely sensitive to disturbance.
  • No bicycles or motorized vehicles. Native plants and research sites are easily trampled.
  • No hunting, camping or campfires.
  • For groups of 10 or more, please contact us before visiting a preserve (a volunteer naturalist guide may be available).
  • Please bring a bag and carry out any trash you find.
  • Please report to us any problems you observe (e.g., camping, plant removal, hunting, off-road vehicle damage, etc).
Directions
  • From I-5 N of Medford, take the Central Point Exit (Exit 33) east about one mile to Table Rock Road.
  • Turn left (north) onto Table Rock Road and proceed four miles to its intersection with Antelope Road.
  • The preserve is on the northwest corner of the intersection. Park on the shoulder of Antelope Road.
Discussion

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Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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