Today, the Deschutes Land Trust announced that it has raised more than 90% of the $2.9 million dollars needed to protect two miles of Whychus Creek and create a new 450 acre wildlife preserve. This milestone demonstrates the commitment Central Oregon has made to protecting land for wildlife and local communities. As the December 31st purchase deadline nears, the Land Trust is asking for a final push to raise the remaining $160,000.
The quest to purchase Whychus Canyon Preserve is part of the Deschutes Land Trust’s 15th Anniversary Campaign. Supporters of the campaign are helping the Land Trust seize the once-in-a-generation conservation opportunities—like Whychus Canyon Preserve—that are currently at hand.
Whychus Canyon Preserve is a key step in creating a stronghold on Whychus Creek for the historic return of steelhead to Central Oregon. The proposed Preserve would also protect a key migration corridor for big game moving between summer range in the Cascades and winter range on the Crooked River Grasslands, as well as create a regional hiking trail along Whychus Creek.
“Special campaigns often compete with an organization’s annual operating funds. With the current economic situation, we can’t afford for that to happen. That’s why we’re asking supporters to give their annual gift first and then make an additional gift to Whychus Canyon. The good news is that we’re well on our way with Whychus Canyon and, as long as the community keeps stepping up, we should meet our goals,” said Brad Chalfant, the Land Trust’s executive director.