Help Us Conserve The Heart of the Rogue!

Photo credit: Annette TrujilloPhoto credit: Annette Trujillo

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Help Preserve the Heart of the Rogue

The Southern Oregon Land Conservancy is undertaking a very big and important campaign known as the Heart of the Rogue. Simply put, it is an effort to purchase and conserve a 352-acre parcel of land along the Rogue River. This is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for SOLC as well as all of us who live in and love this region.

The land is, as it has always been; undisturbed, diverse, and rich in natural resources. Its riparian forest feels like walking into a shaded, green cathedral. There are vernal pools, meadows and oak woodlands all teeming with plant and animal species, many of which are reported as being rare.  The property provides habitat for spawning steelhead, Chinook and coho salmon as well as refuge from winter storms for juvenile coho and other fish species.

Currently owned by the MacArthur Family, descendants of Robert Ruhl, once editor and publisher of the Medford Mail Tribune. Ruhl purchased the property in 1943 as a weekend getaway and aside from two small structures, the land remains raw and intact.

The SOLC was founded in 1978 to ensure the natural wealth of the wild and working lands of the Rogue River region endure forever. As the state’s first regional, nonprofit land trust, they began working with local landowners to safeguard their lands in perpetuity. What began as an idea has expanded and now protects 10,000 acres across the Rogue River region.

Once the Preserve is acquired SOLC plans to conserve the land, protect its habitat, enhance its vital water resources, conduct scientific research, and hold educational events. Guided hikes will be offered and provide opportunities for the public to experience the land and its wild and diverse habitats. Educational programs will give students a chance to explore and be inspired by the wonders of this once common, but now rare, ecological system.

The deadline for SOLC to exercise the purchase option is December 31, 2016. There are several grant proposals pending that, if awarded, will get the Conservancy much closer to their goal. But to reach the finish line, it will take the effort of the greater Rogue Valley community.  And there are many opportunities to be a part of this effort; volunteer, donate, help spread the word, share this article.  For starters, you can visit www.landconserve.org and learn more about the Heart of the Rogue campaign and the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. If you want to experience the land firsthand, please call the SOLC office at 541-482-3069 or email diane@landconserve.org.

 

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