Paulina Creek Preserve

A 1,099 acre forest and meadow Preserve near La Pine, Oregon.
  • Private property; not open to the public at this time.
  • Guided tours.
  • Wet and dry meadows, pine forest, and Paulina Creek.
  • Outstanding scenic views of Newberry Caldera, Paulina Creek meadows.


The Land Trust protected the 1,099 acre Paulina Creek Preserve in 2022. With ponderosa and lodgepole pine forests, wet and dry meadows, and 3.7 miles of Paulina Creek, the Preserve helps mitigate the impacts of climate change, provides habitat for a wide range of wildlife (from frogs and fish to songbirds and bats), and will soon help connect the local community to the outdoors. The Preserve is located near La Pine, Oregon (see map below) and Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Take our virtual tour or read below to learn more about the property.


  • Highlights

    Paulina Creek Preserve is currently not open to the public, but can be visited on guided Land Trust tours or via hosted educational offerings. Preserve highlights include:

    • More than three miles of Paulina Creek runs through Paulina Creek Preserve. Photo: Land Trust.
      More than three miles of Paulina Creek runs through Paulina Creek Preserve. Photo: Land Trust.
      Paulina Creek and its wet meadows: The Preserve protects more than three miles of Paulina Creek, a ribbon of lush green in our high desert. Paulina Creek flows from Paulina Lake in Newberry Caldera rushing downhill through the National Volcanic Monument before spreading out in the meadows at Paulina Creek Preserve. The creek and its surrounding wetlands and meadows provide habitat for a wide range of fish and wildlife including rainbow and brown trout, eagles (bald and golden), migratory songbirds, deer and elk, Western monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

    • Climate resilience: Paulina Creek Preserve is an important refuge for a warming climate. Strong connections to surrounding undeveloped lands and a barrier-free landscape mean the Preserve will continue to provide wildlife habitat into the future as the climate changes. In addition, the wet meadow at the Preserve plays an important role in helping mitigate the impacts of climate change: it acts as a carbon sink, removing carbon from the atmosphere helping buffer local impacts from a warming climate

    • Community connections: Paulina Creek Preserve also protects important cultural connections for the local community. The Land Trust is developing management plans for Paulina Creek Preserve to guide the future stewardship of the land. As part of the planning process, we will hold a series of community conversations to discuss community values around the Preserve. Community members can sign up to get involved here.

     

  • Conservation and Community Values

    The Land Trust is working to develop trails and access points for Paulina Creek Preserve. Photo: Land Trust.
    The Land Trust is working to develop trails and access points for Paulina Creek Preserve. Photo: Land Trust.
    Paulina Creek Preserve protects three miles of Paulina Creek, wet and dry meadows, and ponderosa and lodgepole pine forest that provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife from frogs and fish to native bees and monarch butterflies, songbirds and bats. The Preserve also conserves winter range for deer and elk and enhances migration corridors with the nearby Deschutes National Forest and 54,000-acre Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

    Paulina Creek Preserve also protects important cultural connections for the local community. This iconic former ranch is highly visible from Highway 97 and features breathtaking views of Paulina Peak and the Cascade Range. Conserving it helps protect the scenic character of the region, while also offering accessible recreation for the communities of La Pine and southern Deschutes County. Once the Land Trust can establish trails and access points, we hope to connect these trails with Newberry National Volcanic Monument trails and other local trailheads.



     

  • Restoration Activities

    The Land Trust manages Paulina Creek Preserve to protect and, where necessary, restore fish and wildlife habitat. We are currently working to draft the management plans that will guide restoration activities at the property. Initial efforts are focused on:

    • Land Trust staff discuss restoration options at Paulina Creek Preserve. Photo: Land Trust.
      Land Trust staff discuss restoration options at Paulina Creek Preserve. Photo: Land Trust.
      Restoring forests. The Land Trust is assessing forest conditions and will prioritize management actions that improve forest health and lower the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
    • Biological inventories. The Land Trust is working to establish initial biological inventories that document the baseline conditions at the Preserve.
    • Managing weeds. Noxious weeds are a reality at all Land Trust protected lands. We will actively manage weed populations and work to restore native plant communities.
    • Habitat restoration and community connections. The Preserve has significant potential for restoring habitat for fish and wildlife and connecting the community to the Preserve. The Land Trust is working on management plans that will guide the implementation of these activities.

     

     


     

  • Maps

    The map below shows the location of Paulina Creek Preserve. Paulina Creek Preserve is currently not open to the public, but can be visited on guided Land Trust tours or via hosted educational offerings.

  • Cultural History

    Newberry Caldera has been an important place for Native Americans since time immemorial. Photo: Land Trust.
    Newberry Caldera has been an important place for Native Americans since time immemorial. Photo: Land Trust.
    From time immemorial, Native Americans, including the Klamath, Tenino, Northern Molala, and Paiute tribes, lived in this region or visited it to hunt, fish, gather foods, and trade. Paulina Creek Preserve is within the lands ceded to the United States by the Klamath Tribes and the land has cultural significance to many tribes across the state. The Land Trust is working with the Klamath Tribes, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and others to develop strategies for managing and restoring the property and sharing the history of the people who have cared for this land since time immemorial.

    The first Euro-Americans began to arrive in Central Oregon in the 1800s as trappers, explorers, and survey crews began mapping the region. In 1843 westward migration began along the Oregon Trail as the federal government forcibly re-settled Native Americans and offered western lands to Euro-Americans.

    The land that is now known as Paulina Creek Preserve was likely first homesteaded by the Caldwell Family. Between 1904-1911 an extended family of Caldwells, a father and four sons, left California to try their hands on the land establishing homesteads. In the same general area, property was also acquired by two Rease men (George Guy and Denison), by Marion West, and by Edward Rourk. In the following years many land transfers occurred. Familiar names are found throughout the records: Vandevert, Hixon, Shevlin, Gilcrist.

    Between 1942-1945 Inez Marie Toldano, born in Columbia in 1906, but a naturalized US citizen living in California, began purchasing land in the area. In 1929 she married a minister, the Reverend Jesse Randolph Kellems. The nearly 900 acres she owned became known as the Kelldano Ranch. Toldano and Kellems died in 1977 and 1980, respectively, and it wasn’t until 2016 that Kelldano Ranch sold to new owners.

    The Deschutes Land Trust established Paulina Creek Preserve in 2022.