Fate of three proposed Oregon land conservation projects uncertain as federal fund expires

By Kelly House of The Oregonian – December 05, 2014

Hikers walk along the east moraine of Wallowa Lake, one of three Oregon land swaths under consideration for conservation dollars. (Photo courtesy of David Jensen)

Hikers walk along the east moraine of Wallowa Lake, one of three Oregon land swaths under consideration for conservation dollars. (Photo courtesy of David Jensen)

Three proposed land conservation projects in Oregon have made it to Washington leaders’ desks to compete for money that would protect thousands of acres of wild land from development.
But unless Congress renews a program set to expire next year, and then fully funds it for only the second time in its 50-year history, it’s possible none of Oregon’s three proposals will win approval.

“In theory all of these projects are worthy of being funded,” said Kathleen Ackley of theWallowa Land Trust. “That’s not what we’ve seen happening.”

Ackley’s nonprofit is sponsoring one of three Oregon projects vying with others from across the nation to win money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s Forest Legacy program. The Wallowa project would protect more than 1,500 acres of land along the east moraine of the area’s famed Wallowa Lake.

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