Lessons from a Beaver on International Beaver Day

Beavers have important lessons to teach us about how to care for the living rivers in our backyard. As we celebrate the start of the 54th annual Earth Month, we also celebrate one of our area’s most incredible caretakers of land and water, the North American Beaver.

A Living Legacy at Sweet Creek Forest

When Mat Purvis moved to Oregon in the early 1970s, he was excited to spend more outdoors. Growing up in urban Atlanta, Mat was accustomed to camping, hiking, and fishing but had always dreamed of owning a wilderness property. As a young physician with spare time, Mat leapt at an opportunity to pursue his dream when a colleague offered to sell him a tract of forest
on Sweet Creek.

430-acre Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center protected forever!

Local conservation organizations Yakona Nature Preserve and McKenzie River Trust have partnered to permanently protect 430 acres on the Yaquina River estuary. Founded by longtime Newport residents JoAnn and Bill Barton, Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center offers educational programming, community events, and guided access to the historic site. This month, the area was permanently protected through a conservation easement with McKenzie River Trust, ensuring the site’s future remains focused on serving the community through conservation, education, and building cultural connections.

On This Land 2024

Our Winter Writers Series weaves stories of connection between people and place. From logging camps to Wild and Scenic Rivers, the frontlines of climate activism, and off-grid retreats into the wilderness, we are met with grief, connection, hope, and humor.

Improvements Underway at the Finn Rock Boat Landing

Exciting changes are underway for the McKenzie River recreation community! Beginning in November 2023, McKenzie River Trust broke ground on a large-scale improvement project for the Finn Rock Boat Landing. Generously funded through the Oregon State Parks Recreational Trails and Permits grant program, investments from the Lane County Parks Levy, and the generous support of private donors, large and small; this project will have wide-reaching benefits for recreational river users and commercial outfitters alike.

Submit Your Story – On This Land 2024

Celebrate your connection to place through our annual winter writers series. On This Land is an annual event showcasing local poets and authors. 2024 submissions are due by Sunday, February 11th for consideration for our public reading on Sunday, March 3rd.

Celebrating 20 Years at Green Island

In 2023, McKenzie River Trust celebrated the 20th anniversary of the purchase of Green Island. This celebration gave us time to pause and reflect on the many hands who have helped us to put love into the land and the incredible story of how people came together to restore nearly a thousand acres of land where the McKenzie and Willamette rivers meet.

Ecological Burning Promotes Habitat Health in the Upper Willamette Watershed

Each fall, partners work together across our region to include controlled ecological burning in areas where habitat restoration has been completed or is underway. Ecological burning in natural areas benefits native prairie, savanna, and oak woodland habitats while also reducing the potential for severe, high-intensity wildfires by removing built up fuels including dense shrubs and thatch.

Partners Complete Multi-Year Floodplain Restoration Project at Finn Rock Reach

Three years after the Holiday Farm fire burned more than 173,000 acres in the McKenzie River valley, partners are celebrating the completion of floodplain restoration work at Finn Rock Reach. Beginning in the summer of 2021, restoration activities have included reshaping nearly 90 acres of floodplain forest and returning the area back to aquatic habitat along the Middle McKenzie River.