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Our Story

Finding common ground in the ground itself.

North Coast Land Conservancy has been working since 1986 to conserve and connect the landscape of the Oregon Coast, from the Columbia River to northern Lincoln County, by acquiring or otherwise managing lands for their habitat value. With a portfolio of more than 61 fee-title properties, in addition to 15 conservation easements, NCLC has completed more fee acquisitions in Oregon than any other local land trust, ranking it alongside The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Lands for statewide conservation impact.

This nationally accredited private, nonprofit land trust works to ensure that this extraordinary region is a place where healthy communities of people, plants and wildlife can all thrive.

Where it All Began

In 1985, a group of people from communities throughout Oregon’s North Coast assembled to consider a new way to approach conservation.

They wanted to approach conservation cooperatively rather than confrontationally, to engage the whole community to do what was best for people, plants, and wildlife. By 1986, North Coast Land Conservancy had a name, an eight-member board of directors, and perky logo featuring a favorite wetland bird, the marsh wren.

Founding executive director Neal Maine and current executive director Katie Voelke at Circle Creek Conservation Center.

One Win-Win, Then Another

NCLC’s first opportunity to take action arose in 1991, when we successfully facilitated a land swap that conserved a 15-acre parcel of private timberland adjacent to Saddle Mountain State Park—a park known for its rare plant species. It was the first biodiversity-based conservation proposal that state and federal agencies involved in the negotiations had ever seen. That same year NCLC made its first acquisition of land in what would become a pattern of win-win transactions. The purchase of Wahanna Marsh in Seaside both conserved a saltmarsh and helped create a place for the children of Seaside to play baseball.

Since then, NCLC has conserved thousands of acres of land in Clatsop, Tillamook, and Lincoln counties, mainly by acquiring land outright or by acquiring conservation easements on private land. We have also helped transfer hundreds of acres of land to public ownership.

How do you sit down at the table with a timber company and carry on dialogue that doesn’t include threats of lawsuits but is instead a facilitation? We figured it out.

— Neal Maine, NCLC founding executive director

About North Coast Land Conservancy

Our Mission

Helping to conserve Oregon’s coastal lands and waters, forever.

Our Vision

A fully functioning coastal landscape where healthy communities of people, plants and wildlife all thrive.

Our Core Values