With the buzz of bees and dragonflies, birds fledging, and the native plants (and weeds, too) growing like mad, we know that spring is just about behind us! Just days away from summer solstice, we’re very excited to welcome two new faces around the office and our protected lands.
Robin Meacher – Legal Intern
Robin joins us this summer to research legal issues and tools the McKenzie River Trust uses to achieve our conservation goals. She will begin her second year as a law student at the University of Oregon in the fall. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Between her undergraduate work and law school, Robin studied resource management and anthropology in the Solomon Islands, and worked with a community organization focused on citizen engagement in the land use process in Santa Barbara. Having grown up in Northeastern California and spending the last six years in Southern California, Robin uses whatever spare time she gets exploring Oregon.
Dane Moeggenberg – Summer Field Technician
Dane will spend the summer working on Green Island, assisting with stewardship of the more than 1,000 acres of floodplain restoration there. Dane has a bachelor’s degree in Freshwater Resource Management from Indiana University. He has been working in land management for about two years: first as a Conservation Technician in Traverse City, Michigan, then as a Crew Supervisor with Lane-Metro Youth Corps here in Eugene. He enjoys cooking, hiking, and exploring Oregon on his motorcycle. He has a passion for the protection and enhancement of freshwater ecosystems and is very excited to be with the Trust this summer.
Four recent grants secured by the McKenzie River Trust will support the next phase of our conservation efforts in the Upper Willamette and Siuslaw watersheds.
In the Upper Willamette, grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Meyer Memorial Trust support our continued work with landowners along the Mainstem of the Willamette River and its tributaries, including the Coast and Middle Forks of the Willamette, the Long Tom and the Lower McKenzie.
Ecotrust, a Portland-based nonprofit, awarded a $61,750 grant to MRT as part of a multi-partner program called the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI). The grant will fund the removal of aging infrastructure and decommissioning of septic tanks on the 216-acre Waite Ranch property.
A $75,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s NAWCA program will support the engineering analysis of Waite Ranch, which will inform the restoration design. This work paves the way for the re-establishment of tidal flow and productive wetlands on the property.
We expect that the long-term restoration efforts of the Waite Ranch Tidal Wetland Restoration project partners, including MRT and the Siuslaw Watershed Council, will yield approximately 211 acres of restored tidal estuary habitat and ten miles of tidal channels. This work benefits native fish like coastal coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead, and many other sensitive birds and wildlife species. The work also helps further the WWRI goal of providing local jobs and benefits to the local community as the restoration effort proceeds.
Thank you to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Ecotrust, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s NAWCA program for supporting the McKenzie River Trust in our efforts to protect and enhance productive natural landscapes throughout western Oregon.
Friday, May 25 from 9:30am to 12:30pm
The extensive, intact wetland habitats of the Coyote Spencer Wetlands are home to an impressive variety of native plants. Learn more about them during our upcoming guided tour of the 161-acre property near Eugene.
Join the McKenzie River Trust and Native Plant Society of Oregon for a tour of native flora on the Coyote Spencer Wetlands. We’ll explore late-blooming wildflowers in the emergent wetlands and wet prairie fields, and the understories of the extensive oak and ash forests. As time allows, we’ll visit populations of several rare and sensitive plant that are present on this site, including Bradshaw’s lomatium and Oregon peavine. Located just 5 miles southwest of Hwy 126, upstream of Fern Ridge Reservoir, this protected property is a conservation jewel in Eugene’s backyard.
Doors: 6:30 pm Show: 8:00 pm
1855 W. 2nd Ave. Eugene
$10 general admission / $5 students
We’re excited – stoked, even – to announce that Backcountry Gear will be presenting a talk by renowned rockclimber Will Stanhope. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit the McKenzie River Trust’s work to protect and care for the special landscapes that surround us right here in western Oregon. Please join us!
Thank you supporters!
With your support, we raised over $21,500 during the March Matching Gift Campaign offered by Mountain Rose Herbs!
We greatly appreciate your participation in the Matching Gift Campaign. We could not have met the match without you! This campaign helps to fund our operating budget. The critical dollars you gave during March allow our staff to get out the door to meet with local landowners and to write grant applications for the large grant dollars needed to protect and restore the unique landscapes that surround us.
We also want to offer a big THANK YOU to our loyal supporters at Mountain Rose Herbs for supporting our local land conservation work in so many ways and for investing in our community!
“Our cultural heritage would be amiss without the rapture and the delight that pure rivers provide and thankfully we have organizations like the McKenzie River Trust to protect this cultural heritage born of water, rock and fish.” – Shawn Donnille, owner and Vice President of Mountain Rose Herbs
Connect with the Land
Get outside! Our guided tours are a great way to learn about the natural world, meet our staff and Board members, and experience the McKenzie River Trust’s protected landscapes for yourself. Tours are guided by community experts in natural history, native plants, birds, and other areas of interest, along with McKenzie River Trust staff. Tours are free, and they’re open to friends old and new. Please join us by signing up today!
Tours are generally limited to 15 people, and they often fill quickly! If a tour is full, please contact Liz at 541-345-2799 or llawrence (at) mckenzieriver.org and we will gladly add you to the wait list.
For volunteer opportunities, community events, and other ways to get involved with the McKenzie River Trust, visit our Events page.
We have two great events happening on Earth Day weekend, and we hope you can join us!
Volunteer on Green Island
Saturday, April 21 from 9:30am to 12:30pm
We’re hosting volunteer groups at least once a month on Green Island this spring and summer, and one of our volunteer days happens to fall on Earth Day weekend! Get outside, and do something good for the earth. Help plant and care for native trees and shrubs on our largest protected property on the mainstem of the Willamette River just west of Coburg. Your advance RSVP is requested. Get more information and sign up here.
14th Annual Earth Day Celebration at EWEB’s Rivers Edge Plaza
Saturday, April 21 from 11am to 5pm
We’re once again joining the Earth Day celebration! Visit with MRT staff and Board members, check out maps of the places where we work, and pick up an MRT sticker, bookmark, and a copy of our latest newsletter when you visit our booth.
The 59-acre Hollyer Prairie Conservation Easement includes many natural wonders: upland and wet prairie, oak savanna and woodland, riparian forest, and even a population of rare lupines! Come on an afternoon exploration of the property with landowner Helen Hollyer and naturalists Peg Boulay and Bruce Newhouse to uncover some secrets of spring. We’ll look for flowers on the lupines, camas and lomatium in the wetlands, and migrating songbirds in the forest — as well as anything else that catches group interest. This is a unique opportunity to see a wide variety of habitats on private property on upper Camas Swale Creek.
Grab your camera! This springtime tour of the Berggren Watershed Conservation Area‘s farm fields and floodplain forest offers something for photographers of all levels. From the birds overhead, to the flowers blooming at your feet, to pastoral farm fields and the flowing backwater channels of the McKenzie River, this 92-acre landscape will give you plenty to explore and enjoy. Your camera is welcome on any of our tours, but this one will provide a special chance to get the perfect shot. Your pictures will show a landscape at the intersection of conservation and farming. Continue reading “Picturing Birds and Buds: Photo Tour”