Western Rivers Conservancy has acquired another property in our ongoing effort to assemble a 5,000-acre natural area along the Sandy River. In August, we purchased 52 acres that will fill in a piece of the puzzle in the heart of our project area.
The property includes nearly a half mile of river frontage that is lined with a healthy riparian forest of cottonwood. It lies directly upstream of the former site of Marmot Dam, which was removed in 2007. Until then, this property’s river frontage was plugged with sediment backed up behind the dam. Since the river became free-flowing, a natural channel has restored itself and the river has dramatically changed to the benefit of Sandy River salmon and steelhead.
This half mile of Sandy River frontage adds to a 13-plus-mile corridor that we are conserving for habitat and public recreational access to one of Oregon’s finest rivers. To date, Western Rivers Conservancy has acquired more than 3,000 acres in the basin, including four miles of the Little Sandy River, several miles of the Salmon River and other tributaries, as well as sheer basalt gorges, wetlands, flood-absorbing side channels and vital salmon and steelhead habitat. WRC is partnering with Portland General Electric, which removed the dams and donated land to the project, as well as the Bureau of Land Management, which will manage this corridor as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern.