On Monday North Coast Land Conservancy and Greenwood Resources signed a purchase and sales agreement for a key expanse of forest land on Tillamook Head, and NCLC entered the final stages of fund-raising to complete the acquisition.
The Seaside-based nonprofit land trust has been in negotiations to purchase 360-acre Boneyard Ridge for several years. Once acquired, Boneyard Ridge will serve as a link between Ecola State Park, which stretches along the Tillamook Head shoreline, and NCLC’s own 360-acre Circle Creek Habitat Reserve, in the Necanicum River floodplain west of US 101 at the south end of Seaside. Acquisition of the Boneyard Ridge property will create a contiguous 3500-acre conservation corridor on Tillamook Head, including 2 miles of salmon-bearing streams and forest serving as home or migration stopover to a wide variety of wildlife, from elk and red-legged frogs to eagles and songbirds.
“Ever since we started work on this project, I’ve realized I see Boneyard Ridge from everywhere: from US 101, from the Prom, even from the Astoria Column,” said NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke. “When we’re looking at Tillamook Head, it’s Boneyard Ridge that we see. Now we have the opportunity to conserve it forever for the community. We’re almost there. Help us reach the finish line!”
In February, NCLC reached agreement with the seller on a purchase price of $1.3 million for the property. To date NCLC has raised $1.1 million for the purchase, including a commitment of $524,000 from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and more than $500,000 in private contributions. Those contributions include funds raised in February 2015 in honor of the 75th birthday of Neal Maine, former Seaside High School biology teacher and NCLC’s first executive director.
North Coast Land Conservancy hopes to complete acquisition of Boneyard Ridge by the end of June. Anyone interested in helping to complete the acquisition by contributing to the Boneyard Ridge campaign is encouraged to call NCLC at 503-738-9126 or go to NCLCtrust.org and click DONATE.