The Lower Nehalem Community Trust (LNCT) is very pleased to announce that the Community has acquired 111 acres of forest land on the South slope of Neahkahnie Mountain. Connected to Oswald West State Park along the property’s Northern border and running nearly a mile South to the clear cut just east across HWY 101 from Nehalem Road. This acreage drains directly into the West Fork of Neahkahnie Creek and holds multiple seasonal creeks that find their way into Neahkahnie Lake and Creek near the entry to Manzanita where ODOT recently completed a 20 year project – a culvert designed to meet fish passage guidelines and improve the watershed. Additional work in the drainage includes that completed by the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council, in partnership with the Rinehart family, on a large comprehensive marsh restoration project above Neahkahnie Lake.
This 111 acre parcel of forestland, now known as The Headwaters by the Board and Staff of Lower Nehalem Community Trust, was acquired by the LNCT on September 19th, 2018. The acquisition was made possible by donation from Seventeen Enterprises LLC and Pacific Land Conservation LLC, both of California. The donors also included sufficient funds to cover the costs of reforestation of the approximately 30 acres that was logged in summer of 2017 and a generous contribution toward some of the future stewardships costs.
This all started with the dedicated advocacy of LNCT Board Member Doug Firstbrook who, upon hearing that purchasers of 181 acres of land along 101 were planning on logging some of it, felt compelled to seek out the participants and lobby on behalf of the ecosystem downstream. The restoration work and LNCTs holdings on Neahkahnie and Alder Creeks have benefitted from substantial public and private investments and countless hours of volunteer work. He was invited to provide a list of his concerns and he did.
Doug was invited up to the forestland and discovered, to his surprise and delight, that they had only logged about 30 acres of it, with cover left on all the drainages. He also noted very large older Sitka Spruce remaining within those 30 acres. Acting on behalf of the owners, their local representative Peter Adamson mentioned they had inquired if he knew of any organization that would be interested in placing a conservation easement on the forestland. The rest is history.
Initiated by Firstbrook’s advocacy, the LNCT accepted a conservation easement at the close of 2017 with the implicit promise of donation as soon as legal partition of the forestland from the adjacent residentially zoned land could be completed. Now, less than a year later, the community owns a beautiful protected parcel of forest and the Lower Nehalem Community Trust has made its largest land acquisition to date.
Find more information and updates about The Headwaters at www.nehalemtrust.org/headwaters.