Who We Are
The Coalition for Our O&C Lands founding members include:
- American Rivers
- Chef Kim Reid
- Dean Finnerty Guides and Outfitters
- ECHO River Trips
- Ed Hepp Design
- Fish the Swing Guide Service
- Northwest Sportsfishing Industry Association
- Oregon Tree Care
- Pacific Rivers Council
- Rebright Industries
- The Pew Charitable Trusts
- Trillium Pacific Millwork
- Wild Salmon Center
- Northwest Steelheaders Association
Western Oregon is home to some of the most remarkable natural landscapes and some of the most biologically diverse lands in the United States. Forests that have stood since before our forefathers settled Jamestown; wild salmon that have nourished our rivers, bears, and communities; and clean drinking water for millions of Oregonians, define this region.
Much of this territory falls under a special class known as O&C lands. In 1866, Congress established a land-grant program for the Oregon & California (O&C) Railroad Co. to spur the completion of the rail line between Portland and San Francisco. Forty years later, when the company failed to meet the terms of the agreement fully, the federal government reclaimed more than 2 million acres of mostly forested land. Today, many of the O&C lands, which are administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, retain much of their undeveloped character.
Today, Congressional and Administrative representatives are deciding the fate of these lands. Some have supported an increase in timber harvest of almost 700%. The Coalition for Our O&C Lands – a partnership of businesses, hunters, anglers and conservation groups – has come together to represent a balanced and responsible plan for managing these forests; A plan that will ensure the protection of our clean drinking water, ancient forests, and wild salmon for our children and our grandchildren while at the same time providing timber jobs, allowing hunting, fishing and many other forms of outdoor recreation, and attracting new companies/employers for our rural communities. Independent economic consultants, Headwaters Economics, published a groundbreaking report in November 2012 (West is Best: Protected Lands Promote Jobs and Higher Incomes- How Public Lands in the West Create a Competitive Economic Advantage) that explores the changing drivers of economic development in these rural communities and highlights some new opportunities to ensure that rural communities can be economically healthy.
Congress has a unique opportunity to preserve these valuable resources and support long-term economic stability for local communities.
We hope you’ll join us in working to protect and sustainably manage these remarkable lands and rivers and the communities that depend upon them.
For more information or for general inquires, please visit the Contact Us page.
Protecting the O&C Lands
Nestled throughout western Oregon are 2.8 million acres of federal lands – commonly referred to as O&C lands – rich with biodiversity and fraught with management challenges. read more
Starting in the 1960s and continuing for much of the following three decades, the Bureau of Land Management clear cut forests in western Oregon at a rate of more than 50,000 acres a year. read more
O&C Lands play a vital role in providing drinking water for over 1.8 million Oregonians, with approximately 75% of O&C Lands falling within the Department of Environmental Quality’s “Drinking Water Protected Areas.” read more
Despite decades of intensive logging, parcels of land in Western Oregon boast some of the most remarkable natural landscapes and collections of plants and animals anywhere in the state. read more
Oregon’s McKenzie River has long been recognized by whitewater enthusiasts and anglers alike for its outstanding recreational value. read more
Rising 3,175 feet from its densely forested surroundings, Mount Hebo is one of the highest peaks in the Northern Oregon Coast Range. read more
The emerald-green waters of the North Umpqua River are legendary among rafters, hikers, and fishermen. read more
The Rogue River starts high in the Cascade Range near Crater Lake and flows west for more than 200 miles through the rugged Klamath Basin before emptying into the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach. read more
The Devil’s Staircase, a waterfall on Wassen Creek in Oregon’s Coast Range, lies at the heart of one of the most remote locations in the state. read more
Just west of the small town of Cave Junction, in the heart of southern Oregon’s Klamath-Siskiyou region, lies the 180,000 acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness. read more