Common and Free

Weighing the Merits of Regulated Recreation

It’s the fourth of July and I’m parking about a half-mile away from “the gate” that separates the Opal Creek ancient forest from its adjacent parking lot.

The Place

I envy those newts
who so intimately entwine themselves in the scrumptious looking moss, swimming their way through that green dampness

Living with the Lichen

Pulling garden weeds on a sunny day behind cabin 9, one of the original buildings from the 1929 mining town, a grateful, enamored feeling bathed me with the reality that I finally live in this ancient community.

A Decade in the Tall Trees

March 2015 marks ten years in my tenure with Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center.  I was hired in 2005 by what was then called Friends of Opal Creek.  The organization was small, but big on ambition and vision, and still fresh off an incredible conservation victory.

Reflections on Two Years in Jawbone Flats

There are at least a thousand different colors of green, and they all occur in the Opal Creek Wilderness. There are maybe fifteen different ways it can rain and they all happen here, sometimes in one day.

Meet our New Registrar, Janelle!

Janelle Hammerstrom joined the Opal Creek team at the beginning of 2015 and we’re so excited to have her on the Portland staff. A recent arrival to Portland, she comes to us from Tri-Cities, Washington, where she grew up camping and hanging out at the river.   

Little “Littles” in the Big Woods

I recently sat down with Big Brothers Big Sisters “little” and Opal Creek Expeditions veteran Tanna to talk with her about her experience in our partnership program last year and what it is that