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Apr 11, 2016 by Sarah Mowry
Ranch northeast of Sisters to be acquired for fish and wildlife habitat

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The Deschutes Land Trust announced today that it has finalized an agreement to purchase 1,123 acres of land along Whychus Creek northeast of Sisters, Oregon. The agreement allows the Land Trust to raise the funds necessary to purchase Rimrock Ranch. This iconic property includes rugged canyons, pine forests, and almost two miles of Whychus Creek. Rimrock is home to a variety of wildlife species including salmon and steelhead, mule deer, rocky mountain elk, golden eagles, and numerous bats, raptors, and songbirds. The ranch is a cornerstone feature of the Land Trust’s Campaign for Whychus Creek.

“This agreement to purchase Rimrock Ranch is a great example of how The Campaign for Whychus Creek can help conserve the best of Whychus Creek. The owners of Rimrock Ranch began working with the Land Trust in 2003 to conserve this unique property. Our shared long-term vision for Rimrock Ranch was that the Land Trust would one day own and manage the property for its highest ecological and educational benefit. This agreement provides a clear path forward toward that goal. Now we just need to raise the necessary funds via the Campaign for Whychus Creek to ensure we’re in position to realize that initial vision,” said executive director Brad Chalfant.

Rimrock Ranch is an integral part of the Land Trust’s larger conservation efforts on Whychus Creek. The Land Trust has protected eight miles of Whychus Creek and more than 2,200 acres of adjacent floodplains, wetlands, and forests. The Campaign for Whychus Creek will help the Land Trust purchase, protect, and care for important wildlife habitat on Whychus Creek, including those found at Rimrock Ranch. The Land Trust hopes to raise the remaining $1.9 million in private fundraising by the end of the Campaign in June 2017.

Launched in the fall of 2014, the Land Trust’s goal for The Campaign for Whychus Creek is to finish protecting the highest quality wildlife habitat along Whychus Creek, ensure the permanent stewardship of those lands for generations to come, and engage the community along the way. In the fist year and a half of the Campaign, the Land Trust protected two new parcels of land along Whychus Creek. They acquired the 480-acre addition to Whychus Canyon Preserve in October 2014 and the 58-acre Aspen Hollow Preserve in April of 2015.

Learn more about the vision for Rimrock Ranch and the goals set by Gayle and Bob Baker for their land.