Shrubland and forest land managed by the Ashland Resource Area, Medford District of the BLM in south-central Jackson County which includes ceanothus-manzanita brushfields and scrub oak habitat. Anderson Butte is near the city of Jacksonville in south central Jackson County, on BLM lands up Little Applegate Road (lands north of Little Applegate River) past junction with Sterling Creek Road. Includes portions of T39S, R2W, Sections 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24. Takes in Wolf Gap, Tunnel Ridge, and Goat Cabin Ridge. Anderson Butte/Sterling Ditch IBA falls entirely within the ODFW Anderson Butte Conservation Opportunity Area, and contains the BLM Sterling Mine Ditch Area of Critical Environmental Concern, which was designated for both cultural and botanical resources. Anderson Butte is an east-west trending ridge north of the Little Applegate River containing Northern Spotted Owl core areas, the north slopes of which are forested and heavily-roaded for timber harvest activity. The south slopes are a mosaic of habitat with high biodoversity of plants supporting unique guild of species.
This habitat is highly important to a very specific bird community that includes Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wrentit, Oak Titmouse, and California Towhee. All but the Wrentit are near the northern extent of their range in this IBA, and all but the gnatcatcher are year-round residents in this habitat. In addition, the manzanita in these shrublands provides resources to a diversity of birds year-round. During winter, manzanita provides a berry food source for several species, particularly Hermit Thrushes. In early spring, manzanita flowers provide a nectar heavily used by arriving Rufous Hummingbirds (and others). The flowers are also eaten by songbirds such as Purple Finches and Golden-crowned Sparrows before and during spring migration (Dennis Vroman pers. comm.).
In many areas Ceanothus-manzanita brushfield habitat has been lost to urbanization and/or forest succession (due to fire suppression). Further, it is considered a "fire hazard" and is often eradicated to reduce fire danger.
The recognized IBA is 100% Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The nearby private lands are not included in the IBA, but could be if the landowners were interested in contributing to conservation of adjacent chaparral habitats.