One of Rosboro's Finn Rock parcels sold
December 31, 2015
The McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has purchased 154 acres of riverfront land along the McKenzie River near the town of Blue River in a closed-bid auction. The property includes approximately two miles of riverfront, numerous side channels, ponds, wetlands, and an old floodplain forest in the scenic McKenzie River corridor.
“We are grateful to the folks at Rosboro for working with us on this legacy project,” said Joe Moll, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust. “When you think of the McKenzie River, you imagine clean blue water, incredible salmon spawning habitat, and healthy floodplain forests. This property has all of that.”
MRT and Rosboro hope to reach agreement in the coming weeks on the sale of additional acreage across the river and nearby, including the Finn Rock Boat launch and a former logging camp used by Rosboro employees until the 1980s. After purchasing these additional parcels, MRT will work with local partners to manage the land, including possible restoration of areas impacted by gravel extraction and timber harvest. Details of the transactions are still being worked out.
In November, the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) authorized a grant to MRT of $250,000 for conservation planning and restoration of the “McKenzie Camp” parcel, as well as up to $500,000 as a matching challenge grant toward long-term stewardship of the site.
“The acquisition and long-term conservation of this property represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the 200,000 people in the greater Eugene area who rely on the McKenzie as their sole source of drinking water,” said Karl Morgenstern, EWEB water source protection manager. “The Trust’s planned activities to enhance the floodplain forest and wetlands in this part of the watershed will contribute in significant ways to EWEB’s source protection efforts.”
MRT used private donations and a low-interest loan from Craft3’s Conservation Bridge Fund program to pay for the purchase. The Conservation Bridge Fund provides loans to conservation organizations like MRT to acquire sensitive lands, restore habitat and protect water quality. The loan program was created through a program related investment and grants from the Meyer Memorial Trust.
MRT will be seeking additional donations and grants to pay back the loan, fund the subsequent purchase and stewardship of the additional parcels, and meet the EWEB challenge grant.
Image above: Photo by Tim Giraudier/McKenzie River Trust.
McKenzie River Reflections