In 2021, with the support of members like you, McKenzie River Trust deepened our investments to protect and care for land and water on Oregon’s central coast. Soon after opening our coast office in the summer of 2021, we learned of an immediate need from partners at the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and Lincoln County. A 27- acre property located off of highway 101 was on the open market and at risk of development.
Working in collaboration with our partners, McKenzie River Trust was able to secure a bridge loan to purchase the property as an interim landowner in August of this year. We’ll hold the property until it can be transferred to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in the coming years. The property, known as Cape Foulweather, is at the heart of Siletz territory, and adjoins Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint just north of Newport, OR. Nearby Marine Gardens, State Parks and Marine Reserves highlight the abundance of this area for a variety of plants and animals.
In the intertidal zone of the Pacific Ocean, harbor seals congregate to rear their pups on the water’s edge. Nearby kelp forests provide important food and shelter for an abundance of marine life which flourishes in the ever changing tidescape. Jutting abruptly from the ocean, the property rises across steep and rare salt-spray meadows. These meadows provide critical habitat for threatened Oregon Silverspot Butterflies who rely on this niche habitat for food and breeding. In the upper reaches, meadows transition into dense stands of Spruce trees and native understory. These coastal habitats are at the heart of important cultural practices for the Siletz people.
To purchase the property, McKenzie River Trust used private donations, support from the Lincoln Land Legacy Program of Lincoln County and a low-interest loan from Craft3’s Conservation Bridge Fund. Over the coming year, we’ll work with good people like you to pay off that loan and seed funding for the long-term stewardship of this special place. The conservation of Cape Foulweather ensures ecological and cultural connections from land to sea, and weaves a tapestry of abundance across generations.
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.
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.
Working in collaboration with our partners, McKenzie River Trust protected Cape Foulweather in August 2022 as an interim landowner. We’ll hold the property until it can be transferred to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in the coming years.
McKenzie River Trust is collecting love letters to the lands and rivers of Oregon. We invite you to join us in reflection and appreciation of all our natural world provides. From the mountains and coastlines, rivers and swamps, lands far away, and birds in the backyard, join us in honoring all that our natural world provides.