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Conservation Land and Public Access

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North Coast Land Conservancy is working on its biggest project ever: conservation of 3,500 acres of forestland above Oswald West State Park to benefit people, plants, and wildlife. Which brings into high relief an issue that all private land conservancies have to grapple with every time they complete an acquisition: what is the right amount of public access for this property, if any?

Hikers, mountain bikers, hunters, anglers, dog-lovers: recreationists of all kinds are always interested in exploring new territory. But what are the risks and benefits, the pros and cons, of opening up conserved lands to various kinds of recreation? Every human activity, benign as it may seem, has the potential to cause harm. Off-trail and even on-trail travel can lead to erosion. Water sources can be polluted. Seeds embedded in boot soles can spread invasive plant species. Yet typically it is our personal experiences with wild lands that makes us care about them in the first place, and that lead us to work to conserve them.

Join NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke in an open-ended discussion about how to balance the needs of people, plants, and wildlife in conserved lands on the Oregon Coast in four free public presentations this winter and spring. Download poster

ASTORIA: Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 pm, Lovell Showroom (14th and Duane streets)
Part of the Nature Matters series, hosted by Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in partnership with the North Coast Watershed Association

SEASIDE: Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 6 pm, Seaside Public Library (1131 Broadway)
Part of the Listening to the Land series, hosted by Necanicum Watershed Council

MANZANITA: Thursday, March 14, at 7 pm, Pine Grove Community House (225 Laneda Ave.)
Part of the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council speaker series

CANNON BEACH: Wednesday, May 8, at 7 pm, Cannon Beach Library (131 N. Hemlock St.)
Part of The World of Haystack Rock series, hosted by Friends of Haystack Rock

Katie-Voelke-Portrait-005-BrokenBanjo_THUMBKatie Voelke was raised in a home under oak trees, where she spent many hours collecting bugs, making mud pies with her sister, and camping and hiking with her parents in the summers. She is sure that this lifelong exposure to the natural world is what led her on a path to study biology in school. Katie settled on Oregon’s north coast with her husband, Scott, in 2003 and spent time doing field work with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife before she finally found her calling: working in land conservation with NCLC. In 2005 Katie started as NCLC’s first stewardship director, working under founding executive director Neal Maine. After three years of learning the ropes alongside Neal, she took the helm in 2008 as executive director. Although her job at NCLC keeps her inside more than she would like, she manages to get her fix of the outdoors following in her parents’ footsteps: bug collecting with her three sons and spending the summers hiking and camping with family.


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