Our conservation staff was extremely busy in 2015, pulling together partners and funding and otherwise seizing opportunities to conserve essential habitat on the Oregon Coast. The result of all that work won’t be visible until 2016 or later, when we hope to close on some significant acquisitions. More visible in 2015 were our accomplishments in the stewardship and outreach realms.
A record number of volunteers helped us with a wide variety of tasks: planting, weeding, mowing, monitoring properties, leading walks, catering house parties, attending meetings, managing databases, you name it—thank you all!
In 2015 we also planted, on various habitat reserves, 1,000 big leaf maple, 3,000 twinberry, 2,000 elderberry, 3,250 ninebark, 1,500 cascara, 1,000 goatsbeard, 250 crabapple, 325 spruce, 2,500 Pacific willow, and 4,500 Hooker’s willow.
Students from area high schools contributed 366 hours pulling weeds and planting violets across our habitat reserves.
Land Steward Eric Owen and three interns weeded native habitat on the Oregon Coast equivalent to 195 football fields. They were guided by extensive weed mapping done by the 2014 lands crew. (This summer’s crew mapped an additional 39 acres, helping to guide future summer weeding.)
We don’t know exactly how many beavers worked on our properties in 2015, expanding and maintaining wetlands. But we thought you might like to see one of them, photographed at Wild Ace Lake by summer intern Jason Spears.
Our staff and volunteers joined the 9th Biennial Nehalem Bay Estuary Clean-Up, which resulted in 2.37 tons of trash, 915 pounds of recyclables, and 105 flip flops being hauled off the mudflats.
Some of those weeds were left on site to compost (such as this pile of loosestrife at Wolf Bay, on the Columbia River), but more than a half-ton of weeds were hauled to the Recology transfer station in Astoria to keep them from seeding or sprouting.
Our summer On the Land outings expanded into new territory, ranging as far as Whale Cove south of Depoe Bay. Our decade-long effort to conserve the uplands around Whale Cove resulted in their being added to Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge two weeks before the start of 2015.
Our staff grew by 0.5 FTE when Lorraine Ortiz (far left) joined us as development director.
The Outreach Committee was glad to have Lorraine on board when they planned and catered a record six house parties, spreading word of our accomplishments and plans for conservation on the Oregon Coast. Board member and Outreach Committee member Betsy Ayres estimates she made 250 deviled eggs for the parties. It’s not known how many apriocot-blue cheese appetizers committee member Nancy Holmes contributed, but here is her coveted recipe.
Dried apricots topped with
blue cheese and crushed pistachios
24 dried apricot halves, slightly flattened
6 oz. crumbled blue cheese
¾ to 1 cup (or more) chopped or crushed pistachios
Italian salad dressing
Moisten blue cheese with salad dressing. Roll scant teaspoon into a ball, then roll in nuts and gently press onto flattened dried apricot half.