Zane Grey’s Rogue River Cabin Preserved (OR)

Portland, Oregon, 5/7/2008: The Rogue River cabin where western author Zane Grey fished and wrote will be permanently preserved, The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, and the Bureau of Land Management announced today.

The one-room cabin sits on 32 acres of land at Winkle Bar on the Rogue and is a regular stopping point for rafters and fisherman. It is surrounded by BLM land and now will be protected.

“This place meant a lot to Zane Grey and it is part of the lore of the West, and we’re happy to help save it,” said Nelson Mathews, who managed the project for TPL, which bought the site from a private owner and sold it to the BLM.

Eric Grey, the author’s great-grandson, said, “Zane Grey was very concerned about the vanishing wilderness in America, particularly about the destructive force of road building. He wrote that ‘lovers of the forest hate automobile roads, and know they are one great cause, probably the greatest, of our vanishing America.’ “

“On one of his trips to the Rogue with his family, Grey noted he was glad his son could ‘still see something of wild America’ but he feared that his grandson never will. Three generations later, I am glad to say that the Rogue is still a beautiful wilderness. Thanks to the work of The Trust for Public Land, Zane Grey’s cabin at Winkle Bar will be preserved for future generations of Americans,” said Eric Grey.

Grey was born in 1872 and later moved west and became a writer. He bought the Winkle Bar property in 1926 and set up camp to write and fish for salmon and steelhead trout. His book, “Rogue River Feud,” focused on the river.

Todd Newport, president of the Zane Grey’s West Society, a private organization devoted to promoting Grey’s writing and protecting the sites of those works, praised the TPL action.

“We strongly support preserving the places important to Zane Grey and this is one of the big ones for us,” said Newport. “Grey loved going to Oregon in his later life and spending time each year fishing and running the Rogue and North Umpqua.”

The property was acquired using federal funds from the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore. strongly supported it, as did Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

Wyden said, “Millions of people around the world have enjoyed Zane Grey’s exciting novels depicting America’s Wild West. As a senator from Oregon, I take great pride in helping to preserve the wild Rogue River that he traveled, as well as an irreplaceable part of our natural and cultural heritage so that future generations can better understand the man and the stories he wrote. Today’s announcement means that a piece of Oregon’s history will be permanently preserved for generations to come.”

Smith said, “Preservation of this property is not only about protection of precious land along the Rogue River; it is about the heritage and lore of Oregon’s history associated with Winkle Bar and Zane Grey’s cabin.”

DeFazio said, “Zane Grey’s cabin stands out as a historic way-station along the famed Rogue River. Like Zane Grey, I too believe that we must take steps to preserve this unique landscape for current and future generations to enjoy. That’s why I have proposed legislation that would designate many of the tributaries to the Rogue River that flow around Winkle Bar — such as Slide, Hewitt, and Quail Creeks — as Wild and Scenic Rivers.”

R.P. Van Gytenbeek, President of the Federation of Fly Fishers, said, “One of my fondest angling memories is of a float down the Rogue River to Winkle Bar and the ensuing two days. Shafts of filtered fall sunlight, the bear that swam in front of our drift boat, the half pounders that came to our flies and the opportunity to sit in Zane Grey’s lean-to and contemplate that wonderful wild river. Thanks to all those who contributed to keeping this national treasure in the public domain.”

“This is a very significant acquisition on the Wild Rogue River. Combined with the Zane Grey cabin, it really complements our management of a major Wild and Scenic River,” said Ed Roberson, the Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning for the Bureau of Land Management.

Designated as a federal Wild and Scenic River in 1978, the Rogue attracts thousands of river runners every year. Surrounding the river itself, the rugged and complex canyon landscape of the Wild Rogue Wilderness provides watershed protection for the wild portion of the river. The Rogue River is nationally known for its salmon and steelhead fishing, as well as whitewater rafting opportunities.

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations. TPL has helped to protect more than 2.2 million acres across the country.