Corvallis Wildlife Habitat Preserved (OR)

CORVALLIS, OREGON, 7/30/02 – Prior to the November 2000 passage of Corvallis’ $7.9 million open space bond measure, the city had identified five priority acquisition sites for public open space, including a 221-acre parcel containing the confluence of Mary’s River and Muddy Creek and resting along a mile of each. Since then, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) has worked with landowners Loren and Irene Herbert, their children and the city to permanently conserve this section of their 408-acre property.

Last month, those efforts proved successful with the acquisition of the 221 acres located on Herbert Avenue, named after the family who was dedicated to protecting the natural landscape of their land in perpetuity.

“The Trust for Public Land played a key role in the Corvallis open space acquisition initiative,” said Corvallis City Manager Jon Nelson. “TPL was especially key to the success of the Herbert open space purchase and Corvallis looks forward to working with TPL in the future.”

In addition to important open space, preservation of this property protects important habitat types, including riparian areas, wetlands, and oak woodlands. The site is home to the western pond turtle, a species whose population in Oregon is estimated to have plummeted to less than 10% of its historical count. The most dramatic decline has been in the Willamette Valley.

The city of Corvallis plans to use the site for public open space and habitat protection. In addition, the city and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will develop a management and restoration plan for the property. The Herberts will continue living on the remaining 187 acres and will keep their grass seed farm as a family partnership.

“This project represents the essence of what we do at TPL. The city of Corvallis had a vision of protecting important open spaces for their rapidly growing community. With this vision in hand and working with landowners who were dedicated to preserving their family land forever, we were able to conserve this special property along Mary’s River for generations to come,” commented Geoff Roach, TPL Oregon Field Office director.

Funding for the acquisition came from the Corvallis Open Space measure and Bonneville Power Administration mitigation funds, administered by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Conserving Land for People

The Trust for Public Land is a private, nonprofit land conservation organization that works across the nation to conserve land for people. Founded in 1972, TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance and law to protect land for public use. Working with private landowners, communities and government agencies, TPL has helped protect more than 50,000 acres in Oregon for people to enjoy as parks, playgrounds, community gardens, historic landmarks and wilderness lands.