In 1999, Western Rivers Conservancy conveyed Munson Creek Falls in the Coast Range near Tillamook to the State of Oregon, creating a new State Park for Oregonians. Protection of Munson Creek Falls and the surrounding old-growth forest was an extraordinary opportunity to preserve an island of coastal rainforest that is prime habitat for endangered coastal salmon and an outstanding recreational resource. Munson Creek is an important refuge and spawning reach for endangered salmon in the critical Tillamook River system.
The Tillamook system supports the last viable population of chum salmon on the Oregon coast, as well as one of the healthiest runs of fall chinook. The property consists of ninety-four acres of relic rainforest. The core area of the forest is composed of western red cedar and sitka spruce, which are several hundred years old. Included here is the second tallest sitka spruce in the world, measuring 260 feet in height and eight feet in diameter. In addition, the property includes Munson Falls, the highest waterfall in the Oregon Coast Range at 319 feet tall.
Western Rivers Conservancy purchased the property from Simpson Timber Company, which agreed to sell the land at half its appraised value. The purchase price was donated by the Paul G. Allen Forest Protection Foundation. The area is now owned and managed by the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation.
Photo credits: Nick Botner (1,2) and Brian Winter (3)