Upper Leslie Gulch Wilderness Study Area
The Upper Leslie Gulch Wilderness Study Area (WSA) (OR-3-74) is located in Malheur County, five miles east of the Owyhee Reservoir and approximately 50 miles south of Vale. U.S. Highway 95 is approximately 27 miles to the southeast. The WSA includes 3,000 acres of BLM land. It is roughly triangular with two extensions of land projecting due south. The WSA is bounded on the north by a high standard gravel road, on the west by a maintained dirt road, on the south by private land, and on the east by a fenceline on public land. The WSA is adjacent to two other being separated by roads from the Honeycombs WSA (OR-3-77A) to the north and the Slocum Creek WSA (OR-3-75) to the west.
The surface of the WSA is overlain by thick volcanic deposits that have been cut by intermittent streams, resulting in a land pattern of alternating drainages and steep, north-south oriented ridges. Almost 85 percent of the WSA is composed of slopes with gradients exceeding 25 percent. Natural vegetation consists mostly of sagebrush and bunchgrass. Western junipers are scattered throughout the area. Two groves of mountain mahogany, totaling 240 acres, are contained in the WSA.
The WSA was studied under Section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) as the area is less than 5,000 acres in size. The WSA was included in the Final Oregon Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) filed in February 1990.