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Remembering another grand year on the land

It turns out that choosing just one image per month for an NCLC year-in-review blog post is a tougher proposition than NCLC’s communications coordinator anticipated. So many memorable moments, only a few of which are represented here. This selection hints at the richness of the connections that were made in 2018: among people new and not-new to NCLC, between people and the land, and within the landscape. May it stir your own memories of connectivity with NCLC, even if they are as simple as gazing at Tillamook Head or the profile of the proposed Rainforest Reserve and knowing that your support is helping to keep those trees growing. Please use the Comment box (at the bottom of this post) to share your own favorite NCLC moments from 2018 with the rest of our community.

JANUARY: Gearhart photographer (and founding NCLC executive director) Neal Maine captured images of two bald eagles, one of them tearing into its prey (a bird), on the lower Columbia River. Neal later shared some of his best bald eagle photography in our March 2018 People+Plants+Wildlife blog post.


FEBRUARY: Les Neitzel was among the volunteers who showed up for our Valentines Day “We Love Our Tools” winter stewardship event. While some sorted and sharpened, others repaired and refueled. Holiday stewardship days turned out to be a theme in 2018; see OCTOBER, below.


MARCH: Before volunteers could plant willow wands along Thompson Creek in Seaside, they cut and gathered them at a dense grove of willows alongside Stanley Lake. Our March 2019 willow-planting stewardship day will be at Clear Lake in Warrenton.


APRIL: The Forest Remembers tends to be a solemn occasion, but more than anything it’s a celebration of life—as reflected in the faces of two generations of Al and Carol Vernon’s family, mugging for the camera on their walk back to the barn from the memorial grove at Circle Creek.


MAY: During a spruce-planting stewardship day with her parents at Reed Ranch, Ruby took a moment to admire the chocolate lilies blooming on the coastal prairie.


JUNE: Neal Maine led a contemplative On the Land outing at Spirit Lake Habitat Reserve in Warrenton, which we acquired in 2018. Photo is by Ethan Whitecotton, our summer photography/photo archive intern.


JUNE: A group of folks from Nehalem and Manzanita visited the proposed Rainforest Reserve with Executive Director Katie Voelke (left) and board member Tom Horning (right)–one of several groups to take a tour during year two of our five-year campaign to complete this landmark conservation project.


JULY: A robust crew of summer stewardship interns—including an enthusiastic Jonathan Vellanoweth—spent two months pulling, piling, and stomping invasive policeman’s helmet along Circle Creek and elsewhere in the Necanicum River basin. Photo by Ethan Whitecotton.


AUGUST: Helping to wrap up the 2018 season of On the Land outings, Development Director Lorraine Ortiz led our inaugural Yoga at Circle Creek in the big barn. Please, Lorraine, may we do it again?


AUGUST: We couldn’t omit the spectacular Swampathon from this year-end review. This long weekend of weeding and planting—on foot and by canoe—on the lower Columbia River was a collaboration with our friends at The Nature Conservancy in Oregon. Here Pat Dunn of Lincoln City hauls an armload of invasive purple loosestrife out of our Wolf Bay Habitat Reserve.


SEPTEMBER: Every day of CoastWalk Oregon 2018—our third annual—had its moments of magic. This moment—at the start of Day 3, as participants began walking the beach walk north toward Cape Lookout—was one of them. Photo by Carolyn Propst.


OCTOBER: If you plan a volunteer stewardship day on Halloween, naturally costumes need to be part of the picture. Here three NCLC staffers—Lorraine Ortiz, Melissa Reich, and Amy Hutmacher—show off their outfits before digging into a day of seed sorting, planting, and other tasks at Northwest Oregon Restoration Parthership in Tillamook.


NOVEMBER: These are some of the roughly 12,000 seed bombs that Land Steward Eric Owen and his crew of volunteers crafted and scattered on our test plot at Reed Ranch. It’s part of our ongoing effort to reinvigorate the native flora of the coastal prairie.


DECEMBER: With clear skies forecast, Executive Director Katie Voelke and Board President John Mersereau met near Nehalem for a photo session for the 2018 annual report (watch for it in May). In the background: Onion Peak, the highest point in the proposed Rainforest Reserve. Conservation of the 3,500-acre Rainforest Reserve adjacent to Oswald West State Park will continue to be a major focus at NCLC in 2019. Photo by Trav Williams, Broken Banjo Photography.


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