Make the McKenzie Connection!

McKenzie Green

The Holiday Farm Fire 2020 drastically changed the environment throughout the McKenzie corridor, clear to all who live and travel through the watershed. The blackened and burnt landscape, still in early phases of cleanup and restoration, is remarkable to say the least and too many, heartbreaking. But restoration is being accomplished, both naturally and with community efforts. The McKenzie is greening up!! Pioneer understory plants have emerged to the surprise and joy of all, native flowers are blooming and many canopy species are proving resilient and hardy, leafing out and showing new growth. Smiles are also starting to re-emerge. The iconic McKenzie Valley will certainly look different for many, many years, indeed generations, but the healing is beginning. Some local organizations and individuals are actively helping the restoration process. The McKenzie Watershed Council, a member of Pure Water Partnership (also McKenzie River Trust and EWEB) have been restoring and stabilizing the McKenzie Riparian properties by planting native species. Northwest Youth Corp. crews have been working with Pure Water Partnership in those activities, most accomplished at no cost to landowners. Individuals and organizations such as Steve Nastasiuk, Cricket Clarke and Associates, and Friends of Buford Park, have donated many potted conifer and garden plants to the Blue River community. Weyerhauser Timber Company has graciously donated thousands of conifer seedlings to the McKenzie corridor, despite seedlings being in high demand and short supply due to the scope of the burn area. Recently, Weyerhauser in cooperation with Valor Family Farm, donated over a thousand Douglas Fir, Incense Cedar, Western Hemlock and Birch seedlings to the upper McKenzie community. McKenzie River Locals Helping Locals collaborated with the McKenzie River Ranger District to utilize the District’s tree cooler to store the seedlings until the trees could be distributed and planted. Valor Family Farm, owned by Wes and Jenny Ross is located on Kickbusch Lane off of Camp Creek and has sponsored free tree give-aways (conifer and fruit tree) to affected burn property owners on several weekends, including another this coming weekend, May 7-9, at the Serendipity Coffee Cart located near Nimrod. Thanks to all who are helping our community once again become McKenzie Green

Cliff Richardson


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