“I’m really excited,” says Cathy Macdonald, Oregon Conservation Programs Director of The Nature Conservancy, “about the work we are doing at the Willamette Confluence and in the Ashland Watershed.”

She’s talking about thousands of acres of unprotected floodplain bought by the Conservancy recently, so that instead of gravel mines covered with invasive Himalayan blackberry, the critical river land can be restored to native trees and shrubs and sloughs, and provide healthier habitat for fish and other wildlife.

On February 13, Macdonald will join the new state director of the Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Jim Desmond, to speak with Salem people about the organization’s work at the Salem City Club.

The Nature Conservancy currently protects more than 500,000 acres in Oregon and over 120 million acres worldwide.

Macdonald will discuss the Conservancy’s recent purchase of 470-acres of land near Willamina, in Polk County, an area that is home to white oak savannah and hundreds of plant and animal species and that may serve as a connector between two other significant natural areas.

Desmond is expected to remark on his goals as new state director and the marine conservation work the group is doing in the Pacific Ocean estuaries that provide habitat for more than 75% of Oregon’s commercial fish and about 85% of its recreational fish.  Since 2009, The Nature Conservancy has led the formation of the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership to assess and classify Oregon estuaries consistent with federal standards.  The marine work is another aspect of Conservancy efforts that powerfully interests Macdonald.

Anyone interested in The Nature Conservancy – the world’s leading conservation organization since 1951 – will want to attend this important event.

Salem City Club

“Finding Creative Solutions to Challenges Facing Nature and People in Oregon and Around the World”

Jim Desmond, Executive State Director of the Nature Conservancy.

Cathy Macdonald, Oregon Conservation Programs Director, The Nature Conservancy

February 13, 2015

Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill

1313 Mill St. SE, Salem

Doors open at 11:30; presentation begins at noon