Celebrating the Two-Year Anniversary of the Rainforest Reserve

November 02, 2023


Oct. 26 marked the two-year anniversary of North Coast Land Conservancy’s acquisition of the Rainforest Reserve, a roughly 3,500-acre stretch of the Coast Range between Cannon Beach and Manzanita. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on this achievement, which was supported by more than 1,000 donors over our five-year capital campaign that led to the acquisition in 2021.

The Rainforest Reserve is part of an uninterrupted 32-square-mile conservation corridor that stretches from the summits of 3,000-foot peaks within the Oregon Coast Range to Short Sand Beach and the sandy seabed and rocky reefs of the nearshore ocean. Onion Peak and parts of the Angora Peak Complex are the main fixtures in the Rainforest Reserve ridgeline.

Additionally, the Rainforest Reserve is a place that’s brimming with critical habitat for a wide array of wildlife and plant species, to help them adapt to a changing world, while also supporting the surrounding communities.

As part of our stewardship of this magical place over the past two years, we’ve been mapping the locations of rare and endangered species in order to protect their surrounding habitat.


The Rainforest Reserve is part of a larger land-to-sea conservation corridor on the northern Oregon Coast. 


The reserve—located adjacent to Oswald West State Park and the Arch Cape Community Forest and above Cape Falcon Marine Reserve—includes the headwaters of five watersheds and provides drinking water to Cannon Beach and Arch Cape. In the past two years, we have begun forest restoration in partnership with the Arch Cape Water District, which manages the Arch Cape Community Forest.

We’ve also had a summer intern help map invasive plant species, and the reserve provided an important research site for an evolutionary ecologist who is studying petaltail (Petaluridae)—a rare family of dragonflies. This past spring, we got up to the reserve for several Broom Busting work parties, to remove invasive Scotch broom where it grows in disturbed areas.

As NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke reflected at the time of the acquisition, “Bringing this land into conservation allows us to unlock its future. It is a living, breathing, flowing and evolving place. Conservation allows it to live its most dynamic and abundant life. This is a living museum, a living laboratory, a globally rare and precious place, and it’s our community backdrop. Conserving this land gives us all a chance to be in the right relationship with the land and the people it sustains.”

We look forward to many more years of getting to know this conserved place, growing in our relationship with it, and honoring our commitment of conservation and stewardship in perpetuity.

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