WRC Blog

Group buys John Day River ranch

Jan 13th, 2015  |  Written by The Associated Press

Group buys John Day River ranch
Photo by Dave Jensen

The Associated Press picked up the recent story about our work on the John Day River at Thirtymile Creek. This is an exciting project on what is truly one of the great rivers of the West.

"A conservation group has bought a second large ranch along the John Day River in Central Oregon that could eventually provide public access to a remote, scenic part of the state.

The Western Rivers Conservancy bought the Murtha Ranch at Cottonwood Canyon in 2008 and then sold it to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for what’s now the second-largest state park, at 8,000 acres.

The organization recently bought a ranch 40 miles upstream, at Thirtymile Creek in Gilliam County, near Condon.

The ranch has all-weather private road access to the John Day River at a point where it runs in a 1,000-foot-deep canyon, but access is now available only by paying a fee. It’s on a 70-mile stretch of the river with a federal designation as wild and scenic.

The Rattray Ranch had been owned for three generations by the family that homesteaded in the 1880s, passing it down to six sisters who sold it.

The purchase price was not disclosed, but an Eastern Oregon real estate company had listed it at $7 million."

Read full article here >
This story appeared in the January 13, 2015 edition of The Bend Bulletin