We’re excited to announce that the Hagen family has entered in to a Conservation Easement with the McKenzie River Trust, protecting 62 acres of their land southwest of Monroe.
“I have always felt Ferguson Creek was really special,” said landowner Trey Hagen, who grew up in the area and still has family that lives close by.
The Ferguson Creek Conservation Easement protects the distinctive natural features of the Hagen family’s property for future generations. “When I was a kid, this creek was our entertainment. We would spend our afternoons fishing, building miniature dams, and finding the best swimming holes. Now my son will have that opportunity, too,” Hagen said.
The Ferguson Creek property is very scenic, offering a glimpse back in time to a homestead in the early settlement days of the Willamette Valley. Along with the intact, meandering stream, the property also contains hay fields and Confluence Farms, a three acre transitional organic blueberry farm operated by the Hagens.
“Farming and conservation have both been part of our plans for this property since we bought it,” said Trey Hagen. “The paradigm used to situate farming and conservation efforts on opposites sides of the spectrum. Today, property owners like us who consider land management practices for the long haul see conservation and farming coexisting and proving beneficial to each other.”
The Ferguson Creek Conservation Easement protects more than one and a half miles of high-quality meandering creek that traverses the property. The land is within the Pacific Flyway, one of several major routes across North America for migrating waterfowl. The easement area also contains diverse native forests and emergent wetlands, habitat that may benefit numerous declining species of birds, reptiles, and fish which are considered species of concern by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
Funding for the easement was provided by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), a grant program operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC) is also a partner in supporting the Hagen’s long term land management goals for their property by offering support, funding, and technical expertise for a habitat enhancement project on the property. LTWC is researching and improving habitat for native fish by removing invasive plants, replanting native vegetation, and placing large wood in the stream.