Proposal to help fund Arch Cape Community Forest advances

Arch Cape Water and Sanitary Districts Manager Phil Chick (at right) speaks to North Coast Land Conservancy Executive Director Katie Voelke and staff from NCLC and current property owner EFM during a tour of the proposed Arch Cape Community Forest in May.

North Coast Land Conservancy and the Arch Cape Water and Sanitary Districts moved one big step closer to protecting the source of Arch Cape’s drinking water. On Saturday, Sept. 2, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee announced that it had recommended that the U.S. Forest Service consider the two organizations’ request for $4.5 million to help acquire the watershed that provides Arch Cape’s water. A recommendation from the committee was necessary in order for the grant request to move forward. The funding, if approved, would be granted in fiscal year 2019.

That land, once acquired, would become a community forest, managed by the district for the benefit of residents, visitors and the broader public. Currently the land is privately owned and has been managed for many years as industrial timberland.

The Arch Cape Community Forest concept grew out of North Coast Land Conservancy’s Rainforest Reserve proposal, which seeks to conserve 3,500 acres of timberland above Arch Cape and adjacent to Oswald West State Park. The 2,100-acre Arch Cape Community Forest would include land within those 3,500 acres as well as additional low-elevation forestland.

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