About the preserve
This vast, verdant wetland in the upper reaches of the Klamath Basin is a key site for wetland research and restoration, and is home to thousands of nesting and migrating birds, threatened fish and newly discovered aquatic creatures. The preserve also includes upland forest.
Derived from the Klamath Indian term "saiga keni, Sycan means "level, grassy place.
In the headwaters of Southern Oregon's Klamath Basin, east of Crater Lake. For directions from Klamath Falls and LaPine, please download the driving tour guide brochure.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
Historically Sycan Marsh functioned as a giant sponge, soaking up the spring runoff and slowly releasing it into the Sycan River into the fall, but early 20th Century dikes and drains were drying it out. With agency and watershed partners, the Conservancy is restoring natural water flows to the system, revitalizing over 20,000 acres of wetlands.
In partnership with the historic ZX Ranch, which holds a grazing lease, the Conservancy is testing the compatibility of grazing practices with wetland restoration. The Jim Castles Applied Research Station, completed in 1997, provides research facilities for Conservancy scientists and meeting space for scientists and others to share research findings and restoration strategies.
Research includes radio telemetry studies of bull and redband trout migration and distribution patterns, studies of new species of mussel, lamprey, snails and other aquatic organisms, a botanical study of a highly unusual groundwater-fed fen, and breeding surveys of the elusive yellow rail.
The preserve also includes upland forest areas, providing a new opportunity for forest restoration.