Cape Foulweather

Owned Property

Size: 27 acres
Acquired: August, 2022
Location: Central Coast
How it was Protected:

Cape Foulweather was protected in 2022 in collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (CTSI) and Lincoln County. McKenzie River Trust purchased the property in fee title using a bridge loan and is working with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians to transfer the property back into tribal ownership.

“Each place on Earth goes deep. Some vestige of the old, now seemingly eclipsed place is always there to be had. The immensity of the mutable sea before me at Cape Foulweather, the faint barking of sea lions in the air, the nearly impenetrable (surviving) groves of stout Sitka spruce behind me, the moss-bound creeks, the flocks of mew gulls circling schools of anchovies just offshore, the pummeling winds and crashing surf of late-winter storms–it’s all still there.”

– Barry Lopez, Horizon

An Otherworldly Gem on Oregon's Central Coast

Towering above the Pacific Ocean, Cape Foulweather rises abruptly from intertidal sea beds into lush coastal bluffs and forest. Nestled in a stretch of Marine Garden, this area supports Harbor Seals and other diverse marine life who find sanctuary in its rocky intertidal zone. Reaching inland, the property opens uphill, covering the cliffs in rare salt spray meadows that flow into dense inland spruce forests. 

About the Property

The conservation area includes 27 acres of ecologically and culturally significant habitat on the central Oregon coast. The property is at the headland of Cape Foulweather, adjacent to Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint just north of Newport, OR. Cape Foulweather is home to a range of important habitats that support threatened and endangered species including kelp forests, Oregon Silverspot Butterflies, and Marbled Murrelets. McKenzie River Trust purchased the property in collaboration with The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and Lincoln County, both of whom identified the area as a priority for conservation. McKenzie River Trust and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will steward the property collaboratively while working toward a transfer in ownership to the tribe.

The conservation property begins in the intertidal zone of the Pacific Ocean and rises up coastal bluffs into spruce forests that break the winds above Cape Foulweather. The property includes salt-spray meadows, a rare and important habitat for the federally threatened Oregon Silverspot Butterfly. Adjacent to Highway 101, the site is visible from miles away, and its conservation contributes to the scenic quality of the area just south of Otter Rock.

Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A Safe Place to Land

Intact, undisturbed salt spray meadow is a rare and important nursery habitat for many species including the Federally threatened Oregon Silverspot butterfly. The incredible diversity of habitats provide a much needed home for an abundance of species in Oregon’s central coast. Protection of this special place and providing for it’s ongoing care touches all of us from land to sea.

Uphill, spruce dominant forests contribute important habitat for birds such as the Marbled Murrelet, an endangered seabird that has been observed in nearby areas. These slightly strange and mysterious little seabirds live along the northern Pacific coast and rely on old-growth forests for nesting habitat. Keeping connections between shore and stand is critical to help protect this special species. 

How it was Protected

McKenzie River Trust used private donations and a low-interest loan from Craft3’s Conservation Bridge Fund program to pay for the purchase of the property. The Conservation Bridge Fund provides loans to conservation organizations like McKenzie River Trust to acquire sensitive lands, restore habitats and protect water quality. The loan program was created through a program-related investment and grants from the Meyer Memorial Trust.

If you are interested in contributing to this protection project, please contact us today to learn about the different ways to give.