McKenzie River Trust Celebrates 30 Years

This month marks 30 years of land and river conservation in Western Oregon at McKenzie River Trust. we wanted to mark the occasion with a graphic showcasing some of our accomplishments over the last 30 years. Do you have a memory you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments!

Our 30 Year Milestones

1989 Tom Bowerman and Bob Doppelt bring together concerned citizens interested in protecting and preserving the McKenzie River’s pristine quality for future generations.

1999 MRT expands its service area to include all of Lane County and parts of Douglas County with community support. Kurt Hupé joins MRT as the first executive director.

2002 ODFW biologists find Oregon chub at the Big Island property. It’s the first time in over 100 years the chub is seen in the McKenzie River watershed.

2014 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to remove the Oregon chub from the Endangered Species List — the first fish ever to be delisted due to recovery.

2007-08 The Trust protects more than 400 acres with five landowners in the Tenmile Creek watershed north of Florence.

1991 EWEB collaborates with Tom Bowerman to mitigate the impact of Leaburg Dam. MRT protects its first land, buying the Smith Forest in fee title. George Grier and Cynthia Pappas donate MRT’s first conservation easement on Big Island near Springfield.

2003 The Green family sells the Trust 865 acres where the McKenzie and Willamette rivers meet. Karen Green shares: “Before it is too late, we want this land to be protected for all the special things it has and can offer future generations.” The Green Island purchase ensures 1,300 contiguous acres of land will be protected in one of the most diverse habitats in western Oregon.

2000-01 EWEB kicks off the McKenzie Conservancy Campaign with a $500k grant for McKenzie watershed protection. The Trust raises another $500k from the community to unlock the final $500k, a challenge grant from the EWEB water protection fund first discussed in 1991.

2010 MRT secures protection for 217 acres near Mapleton on the Siuslaw River, 92 acres on Camp Creek Road on the lower McKenzie, and a 56-acre former gravel mine next to Green Island.

2015 MRT works with the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians to conserve 125 acres along Fivemile Creek.

2018 Over 400 people contribute to the McKenzie Homewaters Campaign, raising $4.6 million to repay the bridge loan used to acquire Finn Rock Reach, restore and care for the land, and create a fund for future conservation projects.

1997 MRT secures a 20-acres tract east of Blue River in response to local leaders’ effort to permanently protect hillside. It is the Trust’s first conservation property beyond riparian floodplain habitat.

2015-16 MRT seizes an opportunity to conserve Finn Rock Reach. The McKenzie riverfront property is vital for more than 200,000 people who rely on the McKenzie for their drinking water. The spectacular property includes spawning ground for native Chinook salmon, the popular Finn Rock Boat Landing, and the historic Finn Rock Logging camp.

2013 1,000+ people attend the Living River Celebration on Green Island to commemorate ten years of conservation work.

2005 75 volunteers turn out to plant 3,400 native trees on Green Island.

2001 Forest Care becomes MRT’s first conservation easement outside the McKenzie watershed.