Success! Western Rivers Conservancy just added 117 acres to Cottonwood Canyon State Park in Oregon! On March 22nd, we transferred the former Kirkpatrick Homestead to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, significantly improving the park’s ability to manage a remote boating access site, roughly 10 miles downstream of the park’s main entrance.
This spring, we’re bringing together two of our favorite things: craft beer and river conservation! Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is brewing a specialty IPA with climate-friendly barley grown by WRC on Rattray Ranch at Thirtymile Creek, in eastern Oregon. WRC bought the ranch in 2014 to deliver public access to the John Day River, at the heart of one of the most spectacular Wild and Scenic River corridors in the West. The session-style IPA will be called River Ride, named for the ranch’s premier location midway along the remote, 70-mile float down the lower John Day River canyon.
One of my responsibilities as Western Rivers Conservancy’s Stewardship Director is to visit past projects to assess how they’re holding up as a conservation project. This October, I had the opportunity to visit Fivemile and Bell Creeks, where one of WRC’s accomplishments has come full circle.
On Oregon’s lower John Day River, between two spectacular BLM wilderness study areas, Western Rivers Conservancy purchased a second ranch on Thirtymile Creek. The purchase complements our ongoing effort to conserve Thirtymile Creek and ten miles of the lower John Day, while creating new recreational access to over 75,000 acres of public BLM lands surrounding the ranches.
Ten years ago, Oregon’s Sandy River became wild and free once again!
In 2007, Portland General Electric blew Marmot Dam into a cloud of dust and rubble, dramatically initiating the decommissioning process that would allow the Sandy River to again flow unimpeded, from the glaciers of Mount Hood to the Columbia River.