Our campaign to purchase the Rogue River Preserve is moving ahead! In April, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) awarded a $1.4 million grant to Southern Oregon Land Conservancy for acquisition of the 352-acre MacArthur Family Ranch, located 15 miles north of Medford on the Rogue River. So far SOLC has raised $1.7 million of the $3.5 million needed to acquire and manage the property (49%). Much of the funding will come from state, federal and private grantors. Our goal is to raise $1 million from corporate and individual donation. We still need to raise $750,000 from community members by the end of December of this year.
Meanwhile, there is a lot of activity at the Preserve:
- We recently learned that the Bald Eagle pair nesting on the site have two baby eagles in the nest, and they are expected to fledge around July 4th!
- Volunteers found a juvenile Common Kingsnake on the property. Despite its name, the Common Kingsnake is very rare in Oregon, and finding a juvenile means that the species is breeding on the site.
- Over 70 volunteers have donated more than 400 hours of time in the last 18 months.
- We’ve hosted 5 public hikes so far this year and many smaller tours.
- More than 20 organizations are working with SOLC or have offered support for the project.
- The neighbors are with us! Patrick Duffy, star of the 1980s TV show Dallas, and his wife Carlyn, who are neighbors from across the river, are serving as the Co-Chairs of our Heart of the Rogue Campaign Council. And several other neighbors are involved and support our efforts.
- This project has been featured regularly in local newspapers, and on radio and TV shows.
This project is a tremendous opportunity for us and the community – to conserve a magnificent landscape in the Heart of the Rogue, to enhance its outstanding features, and to allow people to visit the site and work with us to protect it for generations to come. If you are interested in visiting the Preserve, stay connected on Facebook and our website, or sign up to receive our monthly eNews to learn about future hikes and tours, or just give us a call. We'll try to arrange a time to get you out there!