The McKenzie River Trust purchased a conservation easement on the property. Funding was provided by the Bonneville Power Administration and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program.
The Coyote Oaks Conservation Easement protects 152 acres of forested wetlands and marsh just north of Fern Ridge Reservoir. The property is located in the heart of an area where the McKenzie River Trust has invested in hundreds of acres of conservation lands, and it is part of a 1,200-acre surrounding natural area.
The high-quality wetland and oak habitat on the property makes for exceptional ecological diversity. Bradshaw’s lomatium, red-legged frog, cutthroat trout, slender-billed nuthatch, yellow-breasted chat, and western bluebird have all been spotted here. It’s not unusual to see signs of elk, bobcat, black bear, and river otter.
Meaningful partnerships play a role in the project. The Long Tom Watershed Council, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Army Corps of Engineers all have a presence in the neighborhood, working towards a vision for a 1,200-acre natural area surrounding the property. When you get to that scale, you can amplify the benefits of conserving a single parcel. Partners helped identify the Coyote Oaks property as a conservation priority due to its extremely high-quality wetland and oak habitat.
Ownership in the area is a mix of public and private land, with federal agencies managing over 700 acres and private landowners committing to permanent land protection on 260 acres through easements held by MRT. The Coyote Oaks Conservation Easement landowners now join them.