Recently, the Oregon Legislature awarded the Arch Cape Forest project $2 million through the American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund (“ARPA fund”). House Bill 5006 awarded over $272 million to forty-eight water, wastewater and other critical infrastructure projects across the state. Business Oregon will manage the award and work closely with the Arch Cape Domestic Water Supply District manager and board. This news follows on the heels of an announcement earlier this year that the US Forest Service would be investing $3.5 million in the project through the Forest Legacy Program in partnership with the Oregon Department of Forestry.
“The board wishes to thank our legislators and especially recognize the relentless support of our Senator Betsy Johnson and Representative Suzanne Weber in advocating for our community and in advancing such a unique and innovative project. The purchase of this property is a critical milestone in our effort to secure the source of our drinking water.” – Dan Seifer, Arch Cape Water District Board President
Our plan for stewardship includes sustainable forestry to offset ongoing maintenance costs, while the level of public investment allows us to significantly scale back the amount of log sales that would otherwise be needed to maintain roads and repair stream crossings on the property. Over the next few months, we will conclude the meetings of the Forest Advisory Committee and publish a draft Multi-Resource Management Plan. By October, we should also have the results of a professional third-party appraisal and be able to share our long-range financial plan with the community. We expect more details on this ARPA grant to be forthcoming in the next few months. The funds are from a federal source, which means that there will be restrictions on how the money can be spent. The community’s ongoing support for the project is still needed to ensure stewardship of the property even after the initial purchase. We are very grateful for the assistance and support of the North Coast Land Conservancy, whose “Rainforest Reserve” project shares our vision.
Please visit the Facebook page and z website at www.archcapeforest.org for updates.