Last July I stood among the leaders of Oregon’s land trusts, taking in breathtaking views from the East Moraine of Wallowa Lake. We had gathered for our annual Coalition of Land Trusts (COLT) board meeting to work on a shared vision for protecting the parks, rivers, forests, and extraordinary lands that make Oregon so special.
It’s been four years since this community banded together to form COLT. Their objective was to create a unified, statewide voice to advocate for the tools and resources land trusts need to fulfill their missions. Up among the high peaks of Wallowa County, I reflected on the work we’ve accomplished and the dynamic relationships we’ve built with partners, elected officials, and community leaders across Oregon who value private land conservation. Today we truly are the coalition we set out to be.
This year’s State of the Lands report shares the progress we are making together, including conserving more than 15,000 acres in 2015. Our coalition was made even stronger last year when Pacific Forest Trust became COLT’s newest member, adding nearly 13,000 acres of protected working forests to further our collective impact.
I invite you to explore the report by clicking through the slideshow above. You will learn more about the good work that’s being done and discover stories of everyday Oregonians helping to invest in Oregon’s unique conservation legacy.