Conserving Cherished Places on Oregon’s Coast

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.

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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.

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Land Protection

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.

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Easement

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.

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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.

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Community

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.

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Community

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.

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