Landscape Stewardship Certificates of Appreciation - 2014

Left to Right: Mat Millenbach, PLF Director-at-Large; Dick Prather, PLF Oregon State Representative; Sue Doroff, President, Western Rivers Conservancy; Kim Titus, BLM Salem District Manager, and Jerry Perez, BLM State Director, Oregon & Washington.

The Public Lands Foundation presents the Western Rivers Conservancy with a 2014 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation.  The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Since 1999 Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) has worked closely with the Bureau of Land Management to bring over 3,000 acres of private land along the Sandy River into public ownership.

One of the most notable outcomes of the project was the decommissioning of Marmot Dam in 2008.  The removal of the dam was facilitated by the acquisition of lands in its vicinity thereby protecting the riparian environment along the river and expanding recreational opportunities in the Sandy River Basin.

For nearly 15 years, WRC has provided land acquisition expertise not readily available to the BLM.  They bring a complete package of negotiating with private landowners, providing legally sound title work, and holding property until BLM can get its funding in order to purchase the properties.  While it is impossible to estimate the total number of hours that have gone into the acquisition of these lands, it is safe to say that the work could not be done by the BLM acting alone.

In addition to the partnership with BLM, Western Rivers has developed close relationships with other large landowners including PG&E and Clackamas County.  Bringing these public and private entities together has enabled a vast improvement of the Sandy River environment in an atmosphere of cooperation with a shared vision of how a river on the edge of one of the country’s major urban areas can be used to benefit its citizens.  The expansion of readily available public lands to a significant number of people is a shot in the arm for the BLM.

The partnership between BLM and WRC is invaluable to the enhancement of America’s public land heritage.  By providing expertise and time that BLM does not have, WRC enables the BLM to acquire lands it otherwise would not be able to get.  Not only does this improve the quality of public lands opportunities for all Americans, it provides a positive image of the BLM and its ability to work closely with local citizens and organizations.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Western Rivers Conservancy with its 2014 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.


Note: For additional information about the Sandy River project, including pictures, videos, maps and project brief, visit

Edward Shepard
September 9, 2014