To create Oregon’s first preserve in 1963, Camassia Natural Area in West Linn, volunteers scraped together $9,000 to acquire 22.5 acres. To meet the deadline, one board member took out a personal bank loan, putting up his own bonds as collateral.
The group of volunteers who started the Oregon chapter of the Conservancy decided to inventory Oregon’s important natural areas — something never before done. The treasurer reported $74.50 available to support that effort.
Cascade Head is a spectacular coastal headland. In the 1960s, it was part of a cattle ranch slated for housing development. Today, thanks to help from partners, it’s a grassland sanctuary for silverspot butterflies and one of the most widely visited preserves in the state.
Originating in the snowfields of Mt. Hood, and fed by rivers like the Salmon, pictured above, the Sandy is the last undeveloped western Oregon river near a metropolitan area and we began work there in the late 1960s.
When the Diack family gave the Conservancy a 156-acre gem along the Sandy River in 1970, they triggered a chain of events and, eventually, legislation that protects a 40-mile corridor as a wild and scenic river.