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PORT ORFORD — Wild Rivers Land Trust announced that they have completed the sale of the Purple Mountain property to the U.S. Forest Service, providing the preservation of a lush and thriving ecosystem with abundant wildlife and connectivity of wildlife corridors.

The sale was made possible with capital from the Land & Water Conservation Fund, a federal program dedicated to land and water conservation. This land will add to other surrounding public lands maintained by the USFS, allowing long-term public access for hiking and recreational use.

"The transfer of the Purple Mountain property to the U.S. Forest Service opens 160 acres to public access for recreation and conserves important fish and wildlife habitat," said Max Beeken, WRLT conservation director. "Bald Mountain Creek, which flows through the Purple Mountain property, was recently added to the national wild and scenic rivers system, underscoring the importance of protecting this area for its contributions to recreation and water quality in the Elk River watershed."

In May of 2016, Wild Rivers Land Trust acquired Purple Mountain, a 160-acre parcel, from a private landowner. The goal of the purchase was to avoid forest and wildlife corridor fragmentation, according to a press release from the Wild Rivers Land Trust. The land contains a significant stretch of mature forest which will eventually become old growth and is prime habitat for threatened species including marbled murrelets, spotted owls and coho salmon.

This region has one of the most productive steelhead tributaries in the Elk River watershed. An intact forest ensures cleaner streams and healthier habitat by preventing erosion on the very steep topography. The Elk River is one of the most pristine rivers in Curry County and it is designated as a wild and scenic river. The coastal region has four wild & scenic rivers, the highest concentration in the lower 48 states. They are the Elk, Rogue, Chetco and Illinois rivers.

Those who would like to know more about Wild Rivers Land Trust can visit the website at www.wildriverslandtrust.org, Facebook page at facebook.com/WildRiversLandTrust/ or by calling the office at 541-366-2130.

Wild Rivers Land Trust is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, that works to secure Oregon’s legacy of clean waters, healthy habitats and working lands for future generations. For more information on Wild Rivers Land Trust, contact Ann Schmierer, Executive Director, at 541-366-2130.

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