On March 28, 2019, the statutory warranty deed was filed, transferring ownership of the Eagle Creek Community Forest from The Trust for Public Land to the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District.
This year-long process started in February 2018 and we would not have successfully completed the transaction without the help of many partners and supporters.
This began in February 2018
This journey started in February 2018 when Estacada resident David Bugni asked if the Clackamas SWCD might be interested in acquiring a 319-acre forest property. After deliberation and a public hearing, the Board of Directors chose to proceed.
Clackamas SWCD retained a land use attorney to facilitate the transfer of ownership.
Community Forest grant
The Trust for Public Land invested substantial time and effort in working with the seller on the transaction, and with the US Forest Service on a Community Forest Program grant to help reduce the net cost to Clackamas SWCD.
In fall 2018, we learned that a $550,000 grant had been awarded to Clackamas SWCD. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first soil and water conservation district in the United States to be awarded a Community Forest grant.
Finally, on March 28, 2019 at a few minutes before noon, the deed was recorded that transferred ownership from The Trust for Public Land to the Clackamas SWCD. This was a “back to back” transaction in which The Trust for Public land purchased the property from the seller, and immediately resold it to Clackamas SWCD at cost.
Clackamas SWCD is deeply appreciative for the support and assistance we received throughout this process, including:
- The Trust for Public Land was an unflagging partner, investing time and expertise in moving this project forward.
- The US Forest Service proved very supportive of the community forest approach.
- Attorney Fritz Paulus provided superior assistance, staying on top of every detail in the transfer of ownership and helping to clarify certain requirements of the Community Forest grant.
- Partner organizations from across the region expressed support for the idea of acquiring the forest, encouraging the Clackamas SWCD Board of Directors to proceed.
- Several private forestland landowners also encouraged Clackamas SWCD to proceed with the acquisition.