Wild Rivers Land Trust Acquires Critical Elk River Property to Advance Restoration & Protection of Key Habitat
August 31, 2023
PORT ORFORD, Oregon – The Wild Rivers Land Trust recently acquired over 270 acres of property along the banks of the lower Elk River in order to preserve and protect low elevation forests, riparian and aquatic ecosystems, and agricultural practices. The lower Elk River property harbors more than two miles of cold-water habitats that are critical for Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout, Pacific lamprey, numerous amphibians, birds, and other wildlife. Approximately 190 acres of the property consists of mature and diverse forests with hardwoods and conifers, including Port Orford Cedar groves and as identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy, Oregon’s statewide conservation plan. (Elk River / Sixes River Conservation Opportunity Area, Oregon Conservation Strategy) The Land Trust will work to protect and enhance the upland and riparian forests, continue to lease high quality pasture lands for agricultural use, protect and restore wetland and streamside areas, and eliminate invasive species.
“We are eternally grateful to an Elk River multi-generational family for managing this land to protect Oregon’s natural heritage and for their generous work conveying it the Land Trust so that future generations may enjoy it,” said Scott Fogarty, executive director of Wild Rivers Land Trust. “In addition, this is the largest single acquisition in the history of our small and growing organization and will complement our ongoing work on adjacent lands where we have taken a leadership role in watershed restoration efforts, obtaining millions of dollars in EPA funding to clean up an old mill site along Bagley Creek just across the river.”
$1.9M EPA Grant to Fund Wild Rivers Land Trust Brownfield Cleanup on Elk River
EPA Selects 7 Oregon Projects for Brownfields Funding
June 6, 2023
Port Orford, Oregon
EPA announces the largest investment ever in brownfields communities made by President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda
Wild Rivers Land Trust received $1,940,000 – Bagley Creek to clean up the former Western States Plywood Mill in the Town of Port Orford
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $8,240,000 from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of seven brownfield sites in Oregon while advancing environmental justice.
Oregon’s communities will receive EPA funds through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant programs, as well as the Technical Assistance to Brownfields Communities Program.
“Wild Rivers Land Trust is appreciative of the U.S.EPA Brownfield Grant to remediate the Western Plywood Mill that has been out of production for over 50 years. This project will restore Bagley Creek, a tributary of the Elk River, which is critical habitat necessary for Coho Salmon and other species to thrive,” said Scott Fogarty, Executive Director of Wild Rivers. “We are excited to engage the local community, local tribes and the state of Oregon in restoration and community conservation in the heart of the dark coast. Ultimately, the site will be used as an educational center to highlight the history of the area and the need for conservation.”
Read the article posted by the EPA here:
EPA News Release
Scott Fogarty - New Executive Director for Wild Rivers Land Trust
Scott Fogarty Joins Wild Rivers Land Trust as New Executive Director
Wild Rivers Land Trust (WRLT) is excited to share the news that Scott Fogarty has been selected as the Executive Director of the Land Trust. He will replace Ann Schmierer who is retiring in May. Scott has extensive experience with environmental non-profits and the Land Trust is thrilled to have him lead the organization in both ongoing and new projects. “WRLT is delighted to have Scott Fogarty lead us forward”, stated Jan Hodder, WRLT Board President. “We know with Scott’s experience and passion for the environment, our organization will be in good hands for the future.” Ann Schmierer said, “I’m excited for the Land Trust to have such a capable leader coming on board. Scott is the right person to take the organization to the next level.”
Fogarty received his bachelors in public policy and history at Santa Clara University, followed by a masters and law degree from West Virginia University. His accomplishments in the role as executive director include leading the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, OR, Friends of Trees in Portland, OR, and Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Fairbanks, AK. Scott’s dedication to environmental protection and enhancement supports the goals of WRLT and our vision of a future with clean drinking water, abundant salmon runs, sustainable working lands and prospering communities along the southern coast of Oregon.
To learn more about Wild Rivers Land Trust, visit the website: WildRiversLandTrust.org, Facebook page at facebook.com/WildRiversLandTrust/ or call the office at 541-366-2130.
Wild Rivers Land Trust is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2019, working to secure Oregon’s legacy of clean waters, healthy habitats and working lands for future generations.