September 6, 2013
Partnership Permanently Protects Iconic Oregon Coast Headland for People & Nature
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Megan Nagel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-231-6123, or The Nature Conservancy - Tracey Stone, email@example.com, 620-738-1586
The Nature Conservancy in Oregon and the Pacific Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that an agreement has been reached with the Jesuit Novitiate in Sheridan, Ore., to conserve the 102.53-acre Jesuit property located on Cannery Hill overlooking Nestucca Bay. Ownership of the property has been transferred to the Service from the Jesuits.
The property will be protected as a part of the 1,202-acre Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge and combined with the 90-acre Harder property acquired in May 2013, now fully protects the entire Cannery Hill North Peninsula for wildlife and outdoor recreation.
“I’m nearly speechless that this stunning piece of coastal landscape will be protected in perpetuity for the public as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “The success of this acquisition was only possible due to the herculean efforts of our valued partners at The Nature Conservancy, Federal Highway Administration, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and the Oregon congressional delegation,” added Lowe.
The property, located at the confluence of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca rivers contains upland forest, shoreline, and tideland habitats at the northern tip of Cannery Hill. Wildlife using this area includes migratory songbirds, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, bobcat, black-tailed deer, and many other species. Shoreline and tideland habitats are used by a variety of estuarine fish including coho and Chinook salmon.
“The Nature Conservancy is thrilled to be part of the effort to conserve such an iconic part of Tillamook County for people to enjoy for years to come. This headland is a treasure,” said Russ Hoeflich, Oregon state director for The Nature Conservancy.
Funding for the permanent protection of this site was made possible by a National Scenic Byways grant to The Nature Conservancy through the Federal Highway Administration and Oregon Department of Transportation. National Scenic Byways grants are based on one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. Funding for the adjoining Harder Property came from this same grant as well as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a fifty year old program that uses revenues from offshore oil and gas development to conserve parks, open spaces and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.
“My wife and I were very excited to learn that a beautiful piece of the Oregon coast is now going to be preserved for improved wildlife protection and public enjoyment” said local resident Pete Owston. “We think it’s great for wildlife conservation that the entire peninsula that juts into the mouth of Nestucca Bay from the south will now be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
In addition to providing future hiking, birding, and wildlife viewing opportunities for the public, the inclusion of this forested headland within the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge will protect the dramatic view from U.S. Highway 101, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, as well as the view at the south entrance to the community of Pacific City.
“It was important that we all work together to help preserve such an important piece of the coast for future Oregonians to enjoy,” said Pat Moran, ODOT Scenic Byways Program Manager. “The Jesuit Novitiate’s property will now be protected from development, ensuring that the Oregon Coast Scenic Byway’s scenic quality will be preserved for generations to come.”
The Nestucca property was owned by the Jesuits and used as a retreat for over 50 years.
“The sale of the Nestucca Sanctuary is the culmination of several years of hard work,” said the Very Reverend Patrick J. Lee, SJ, Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. “The Nestucca Sanctuary is beautiful and will be a wonderful place for the public to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the peninsula. Its value will live on in the Province through the financial support the sale provides to the Formation of future generations of Jesuits.”
Importantly, Realty Marketing Northwest brokered the deal between the Jesuits, TNC, and the Service.
“The Nestucca Sanctuary, owned by the Jesuits and used as a retreat for over 50 years, generated a lot of interest from the auction-marketing program. The sale, facilitated by The Nature Conservancy, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be good news to many of these parties who were interested in the preservation of the 103-acre Headland Peninsula. It is clearly one of the most spectacular Oregon coastal properties we have sold,” said John Rosenthal, president of Realty Marketing/Northwest.
The inclusion of this property into the Refuge will provide increased opportunities for the public to enjoy both the views and wildlife along the Oregon Coast.
“The Council and the Service have a history of working together on restoration and education projects that benefit people and wildlife at the Refuge. Acquisition of these forested lands will result in additional recreational and educational opportunities for the public to fully appreciate the Nestucca watershed and its benefits to fish, wildlife and people,” said Alex Sifford, Coordinator for the Nestucca, Neskowin & Sand Lake Watersheds Council.
For more information on Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/nestuccabay/
For downloadable, hi-resolution images for this story, please visit: http://bit.ly/17VWQnd
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have helped protect 130 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web atwww.nature.org.