EFM successfully transitions 3,500 acres to land conservancy, creating unmatched land-to-sea conservation corridor in the North Coast of Oregon
EFM is pleased to announce the sale of over 3,500 acres of coastal forestland to the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC) creating, the “Rainforest Reserve”, a unique 32-square mile land-to-sea corridor that will permanently conserve critical habitat for a wide array of wildlife and plant species, to help them adapt to a changing world, while also supporting the surrounding communities.
“The creation of the Rainforest Reserve is an enormous contribution to the people of Oregon, who will benefit from this scenic backdrop to some of Oregon’s most loved beaches and will have the opportunity to hike and enjoy this spectacular and unique landscape, and to the many plants and animals, including endemic species, that make the Rainforest Reserve home” said EFM’s CEO Bettina von Hagen. “We applaud NCLC for their vision, perseverance and tenacity in making this 50-year vision a reality.”
In November 2016, EFM acquired approximately 5,000 acres of coastal Oregon forestland, on behalf of its investors, from a privately owned forest products company. The property, now known as Onion Peak Holdings, is located between Tillamook Head and Nehalem Bay and shares a boundary with the beloved Oswald West State Park. This area was identified by NCLC as outstanding habitat characterized by rocky peaks rising from the ocean abruptly to over 3000 feet, creating dramatic views and supporting a unique compressed ecosystem unlike anywhere else in Oregon.
In recognition of the property’s unique habitat, adjacency with a State Park, and importance for local drinking water, EFM entered into an agreement in 2016 to sell approximately 3,500 acres of the property to NCLC in five years to allow them the time needed to raise the money to buy the property. The North Coast Land Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust, has been working since 1986 to conserve and connect the landscape of the Oregon Coast and has developed a vision for the Coastal Edge as a corridor of coastal watersheds, between two state parks, conserved to both benefit wildlife and protect clean drinking water.
“Bringing this land into conservation allows us to unlock its future,” said Katie Voelke, Executive Director of NCLC. “It is a living, breathing, flowing and evolving place. Conservation allows it to live its most dynamic and abundant life. This is a living museum, a living laboratory, a globally rare and precious place, and it’s our community backdrop. Conserving this land gives us all a chance to be in the right relationship with the land and the people it sustains.”
This property sale is a most recent example of what success looks like for EFM. EFM’s objective is to identify high-priority acquisition targets with unique landscape attributes, transition the forests to Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC®) management, complete restoration projects to improve and protect the landscapes, and exit to permanent conservation-oriented owners. EFM has transitioned over 57,000 acres to tribes, state agencies, and other conservation-oriented owners or protected these acres by permanent easements, has sequestered 6.6 million tons of carbon, and has entered into agreements with General Motors and Nike to offset their emissions.
During our ownership, EFM has managed this property as a working forest in accordance with FSC® principles and standards. EFM’s forest management approach values the full array of forest products and services and aims to integrate the production of timber, and the enhancement of valuable ecosystem services such as clean water, wildlife habitat, and carbon storage.
The remaining 1,500 acres are on course to be acquired by the Arch Cape Domestic Water Supply District, who has been working closely with the NCLC to purchase the timber land for the creation of a community forest and protected watershed. This Arch Cape Forest watershed project has been allocated funding by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy program to achieve its goal of providing clean, safe, and affordable drinking water to Arch Cape residents and visitors and to create a working community-owned forest.
EFM invests in natural climate solutions across the Americas to create long-term financial value and enduring environmental and social impact. Our award-winning investment funds enable the transition of landscapes to climate-smart forestry and to more equitable, permanent forms of land ownership. EFM stewards ~125,000 acres under FSC certified management in the western United States and has ~$215M in private capital under management and advisement. Learn more at www.efmi.com