“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
—John Muir, from Our National Parks (1901)
Van Eck Forest - Oregon
The Van Eck Forest in Oregon is 7,200 acres of permanently conserved, highly productive forestland extending across nine parcels in coastal Lincoln County, Oregon, west of Corvallis. Like its California counterpart, this forest is managed under a working forest conservation easement designed to restore biodiversity and old growth conditions while producing sustainably harvested wood, enhancing habitat for fish and wildlife, protecting water supplies and increasing the forests’ capacity to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The terms of this easement ensure the land will never be lost to development, converted to other uses or logged in an unsustainable manner. When Fred M. van Eck purchased the property in the mid-1980s, it consisted primarily of young, even-aged homogeneous forest stands lacking many components of native hemlock Douglas-fir forests such as large, older trees, a mix of species and ages and downed and standing dead wood (snags). PFT is employing stewardship forestry techniques to restore the structurally complex, mature forest that is native to the site.
The Van Eck Oregon Forest is located along the coast in the Alsea, Yaquina and Mary’s River watersheds. Its 20 miles of fish bearing streams include spawning beds for threatened salmon. With the support of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, PFT has been improving roads and culverts to reduce sedimentation, improve water quality and fish habitat, and allow for free passage of salmon upstream through the property.