Conservation Strategies

NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke and landowner Paul McCracken discuss the acquisition of Coal Creek Swamp near Nehalem

There are many different strategies that we use to help conserve land on Oregon’s North Coast. Whether NCLC is the eventual owner of a property or not, we see our role in helping to conserve and protect land on the Oregon Coast forever as being key to achieving our mission.

Fee title ownership: Land is either donated to NCLC by the landowner, or purchased outright by NCLC with funding coming from both private and public sources through individual donations and acquisition grants.

Easement: A property owner retains ownership of the land, but either donates or sells the development rights for the land to NCLC. A conservation easement is attached to the deed of the property so that even if ownership is transfered, the easement on the property remains in place.

When land is owned outright by a land trust such as NCLC, an easement is not necessary to protect the land in perpetuity. However, sometimes easements are still placed on lands we purchase as conditions of the acquisition. Easements on NCLC owned land are not held by NCLC, but by other organizations.

Fee Title Transfer: Sometimes it is determined that the best outcome for a property is for it to be in public ownership.  Yet it is not always possible for a public entity-such as a city or State or National Park-to facilitate the land acquisition themselves. In such cases, NCLC can step in to take care of the acquisition.  We then transfer ownership to the public entity when they are ready to receive it-sometimes this has taken up to a year, and sometimes we have owned a property for less than a minute!

Facilitation: NCLC provides facilitation services to partners working towards the conservation of a piece of land that will eventually end up in public ownership.  This can include helping to facilitate negotiations between partners, raising public awareness about the importance of conserving a piece of land, assisting with grant writing and acting in an advisory capacity for the partners involved.

For each property NCLC owns, our Stewardship Director conducts a baseline assessment of the land that includes descriptions of habitat and wildlife, maps and photo points. She then develops a stewardship plan for the property, and with the assistance of staff and stewardship committee volunteers with annual site visits and monitoring reports. For properties where more active ecological restoration is needed to control invasive plants and establish native habitat, we use a combination of grant funding and volunteer help to get the work done.

Easement properties are monitored annually to ensure that the conditions of the easement are being met.

Americorps volunteer Melissa Reich completes a monitoring report in the Little Gearhart Fen