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New Rainforest Reserve on N. Oregon Coast Celebrated Nov. 12

Published 11/04/21 at 11:01 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

New Rainforest Reserve on N. Oregon Coast Celebrated Nov. 12

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – There's a new nature preserve on the Oregon coast, some 32 square miles of protected and very unique land-to-sea corridor that's just north of Manzanita. The acquisition of what is called the Rainforest Reserve was just recently firmed up by the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC), and the group will be celebrating this win for ecology with a live, virtual performance by Pink Martini on Friday, November 12 at 7 p.m. (see the NCLC Facebook page)

Local music stars aside, the big news really is the big reserve itself: a massive stretch of coastal forestland that surrounds Oswald West State Park and is bordered by the summits of 3,000-foot peaks of the Oregon Coast Range. Its headwaters include five watersheds, and the area provides the drinking water for Cannon Beach and Arch Cape.

NCLC formalized the acquisition last week after a five-year campaign, over 1,000 donors and millions of dollars to purchase the land.

Katie Voelke, Executive Director of NCLC, said the place is a living laboratory on the north Oregon coast, a living museum that is rare in many ways. Some of those peaks have species that don't exist anywhere else in the world.

Conserving this land gives us all a chance to be in the right relationship with the land and the people it sustains,” she said.

The Rainforest Reserve permanently conserves an area that's brimming with critical habitat for a stunning array of plant species and wildlife, while also providing support to the communities that surround it, such as Manzanita.

The reserve's two most recognizable features are Onion and Angora peaks, which were millions of years ago rapidly-chilled lava dikes and sills deep in the ocean, at a time when beaches were tens of miles from where they are now. Over time, they rose out of the ocean and became isolated nearshore islands. The result is a wild mix of plants and animals that evolved separately, and are still different than anywhere else on Earth.

Parts of will be accessible to the public and parts of it not – after all, it is a nature preserve. Those sections open already provide some prime, wondrous hiking possibilities.

One aspect of this reserve is to provide access to native people the Clatsop and Tillamook, ensuring them the means to continue utilizing it for a variety of cultural uses – which they lost 150 years ago after the government stole the land by not honoring land treaties.

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