​A Conservation Gem

The 380-acre Lawrence Memorial Grassland Preserve​ ​is possibly the best remaining example of native, biscuit-scabland prairie in the Columbia Basin. While the origin of the mounds is still obscure, they are commonly found in the Columbia Basin. However, most examples are degraded from the effects of overgrazing and introduced noxious weeds.

Also know as mound and swale, this type of topography consists of low mounds, ten to twenty feet across, that rise several feet above the rocky swales in between them. When intact, different moisture and substrate conditions between the mounds and swales support drastically different vegetation. Diverse bunchgrasses dominate mounds while sagebrush and wildflowers fill the swales and rocky rings.

Visitors to Lawrence Grasslands will encounter not only the complex biscuit-scabland topography, but also steep balsalt ravines, surprising springs and seeps, and large, shady junipers. Over 230 plant species have been recorded on the property. 

Learn how Lawrence Memorial Grassland Preserve was bequested to TNC.


 

Directions

You can find a map of Lawrence Memorial Grassland Preserve on the right sidebar under Finding the Preserve. Please note, Rooper Road is an unmarked, rural, dirt road that may be difficult to find and pass, especially after precipitation events in winter. Expect potholes, washboards, and generally rough road conditions.

You can find a Google Maps image of the intersection of Rooper Road with OR-218 (Heading north), also on the right sidebar. Below are Google Map directions from Madras and The Dalles to the east end of Rooper Rd. Parking for the preserve is located about 3 miles west of OR-218 Rooper Rd. Please leave a note on your dashboard stating you are visiting the TNC preserve.

 
Google Map Directions to Rooper Rd. from Madras