From the Field

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.

Partners Break Ground on Tidal Wetland Restoration Project 10 Years in the Making

A decade after McKenzie River Trust, purchased 217-acre Waite Ranch in the Siuslaw Estuary, partners are breaking ground on a large-scale restoration project. Led by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), the project will improve salmon and shorebird habitat, contribute to regional climate resilience, and provide a place for local Tribal citizens and families to celebrate and promote Indigenous culture on their ancestral lands.

Floodplain Restoration Underway at Finn Rock Reach

Two and a half years after the Holiday Farm fire burned more than 173,000 acres in the McKenzie River valley, partners are breaking ground on the second and final phase of floodplain restoration work at Finn Rock Reach, a 278-acre conservation area owned by McKenzie River Trust.

An Outdoors for Everybody

McKenzie River Trust has partnered with the Gleasons and local volunteer John Helmer to deepen our investments in programs that connect people of all abilities to the lands we protect. Through programs like “Nature Your Way,” limited mobility bus tours held in partnership with Willamalane and the City of Eugene, and adaptive recreation trainings for volunteers and tour guides, we’re expanding the reach of our outreach programs so that everybody, no matter their ability can connect with the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon.

Property Donation Protects Coho Salmon Habitat on Oregon Coast

In March of 2023, the Estergard family donated 85 of their original 300 acres of farmland on the North Fork of the Siuslaw River to McKenzie River Trust. The site, located a few miles upstream from the confluence with the mainstem Siuslaw River, provides important habitat for native species including Coho Salmon, lamprey, and waterfowl.

History Shapes a New Future for the Siuslaw River Estuary

For more than 20 years, wetland scientist Laura Brophy has been pioneering research on the wetlands of Oregon’s central coast. As both a technical researcher and a field ecologist, Laura has brought a unique lens and approach to unveiling a lost understanding of how areas such as the Siuslaw estuary functioned before European settlers moved west.

Leaving a Legacy for Land and Water

Local couple Judy and David Berg have always had a passion for the natural world. To help preserve the lands they love, they’ve made the decision to dedicate a portion of their estate to advance the mission of McKenzie River Trust.

On This Land 2023

Our Winter Writers Series (2022-23) weaves stories of connection between people and place. From old log ponds and logging camps to kitchen windows that reveal a nation’s painful past, we are met with loss, connection, hope, and humor.

Nurturing an Ecological Crossroad at the Willamette Confluence Preserve

After a decade of habitat restoration and successful reconnection of the river to its historic floodplain, The Nature Conservancy has completed the transfer of the Willamette Confluence Preserve, a 1,305-acre natural area, to a local conservation organization, McKenzie River Trust.

Letting the River Roam

From frogs to fish, beavers, and otters, our rivers are home to an incredible abundance of animals. Reconnecting our rivers to allow for water to slow and spread not only improves water quality and retention on the landscape but also provides important habitat for the beloved animals around us.