In July of 2015, an opportunity was presented to Lower Nehalem Community Trust (LNCT) to place into conservation 7.27 acres with over 2,100 linear feet of Neahkahnie Creek, a high priority salmon habitat that runs along Highway 101 between Manzanita and Nehalem. The Neahkahnie Creek Initiative was created to raise the funds needed to transfer and protect this land.
We are thrilled to announce that, thanks to the generous support of LNCT donors, all necessary funds have been raised and the lands along Neahkahnie Creek will be placed into conservation. This success represents a victory for the land, for the salmon, and for all those Trust supporters who pitched in and made it happen. The stretch of Neahkahnie Creek and 7.27 acres of buffer zone, pictured in the map below, will be protected from development in perpetuity and its quality as a waterway habitat will be ensured.
In 2013 LNCT sister organization Lower Nehalem Watershed Council began a restoration project upstream in Neahkahnie Lake. And underway now is Oregon Department of Transportation’s replacement of the culvert under Highway 101 at the conservation site to improve fish passage. Working in concert with these efforts, LNCT’s preservation of the Creek will help secure access to quality spawning and rearing habitat, enhance in-stream habitat, remove invasive species and establish native vegetation.
Species that benefit from these coordinated efforts include Coho, winter steelhead, cutthroat trout, western brook lamprey, northern red-legged frogs, and northwest salamanders. Securing fish passage, protecting water quality and temperatures, and helping promote the return of a healthy stream connected to the Alder Creek watershed will also be achieved.
Landowners Tom Nash and Maureen McMahon generously offered the acreage to LNCT to preserve, and were also among the first trust supporters to contribute to the fundraiser online through nehalemtrust.org. They join the proud family of land donors in the Nehalem Valley region who have helped shape our ecosystem through placing their lands into conservation. Additional support came from project partners, including Longfellow Construction, Bayside Surveying, and Gary Hahn & Associates, Inc. Environmental Consultants.
Lower Nehalem Community Trust is a member supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of land and the nurturing of conservation values in partnership with an engaged community in the Nehalem region of the Oregon coast.
Founded in 2002, LNCT is a land trust with well over 100 acres in conservation; the Neahkahnie Creek initiative is the fourth land conservation project to be undertaken over the last twelve months. It’s largest natural area, Alder Creek Farm in Nehalem, is home to Forest to Sea Day Camp, the ethnobotanical resource called Nehalem Teaching Trail, as well as a greenhouse and native plant nursery. More than 40 volunteers work in the Farm’s community garden, which provides organic fruits and vegetables to families served by the North County Food Bank.
For more information about the Neahkahnie Creek Initiative, or Lower Nehalem Community Trust’s conservation plan, visit: nehalemtrust.org.