Attack of the Western Juniper

A Sweet-Smelling Tree Is Drinking Oregon Dry. Should We Log It?

The menace, if nothing else, looks beautiful.

In the high desert of Eastern Oregon, all along the banks of the Middle Fork John Day River, shrubby, haphazardly shaped, blue-gray-green trees cluster on the hillsides. Not long ago, these bunches stood thinner, creating a sort of polka-dot effect. Now, they form thick groves, blanketing a much larger chunk of the dry grasslands. Ranchers, landowners, and environmentalists think these picturesque trees have made themselves too comfortable.

Read the entire story online at Portland Monthly

Elizabeth Doerr