WISE-WATER USE


WILDLIFE
AND HABITAT
PROTECTION


SUSTAINABLE
DAIRY PRACTICES


RECYCLING AND
WASTE CONTROL


LARGE-SCALE
GREEN FARMING




The conservation area provides habitat for this long-billed curlew.

Our conservation area provides habitat for this long-billed curlew.

At Threemile Canyon Farms, our commitment to balancing business and nature isn't just talk. We placed 23,000 acres of land - more than one quarter of our farm - into a conservation area to protect Columbia Basin grasslands, a unique and irreplaceable part of Oregon's natural heritage.

We partner with The Nature Conservancy to manage the preserve to benefit four key species whose habitat has been shrinking. A voluntary, but binding, agreement with state and federal wildlife officials outlines conservation efforts that are conducted by the farm and public agencies.

The agreement is one of very few in the nation and has been heralded as a national model that achieves species protection while minimizing economic effects.

Our conservation area specifically benefits these species

  • Washington ground squirrel - Listed as endangered under Oregon law and a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.
  • Ferruginous hawk - Listed as sensitive by the state of Oregon.
Loggerhead shrike

Loggerhead shrike

Ferruginous hawk

Ferruginous hawk


  • Loggerhead shrike - Listed as sensitive by the state of Oregon.
  • Sage sparrow - Listed as sensitive by the state of Oregon.

It also helps chinook and Snake River sockeye salmon, steelhead trout, the white-tailed jackrabbit, Swainson's hawk, Western burrowing owl, grasshopper sparrow, long-billed curlew, Northern sagebrush lizard, two species of bitterbrush, two species of sagebrush and three different grasses.

The agreement was finalized in 2004 and initiated 25 years of conservation benefits.

Under the agreement, Threemile Canyon Farms is:

  • Providing 250-foot buffers around the conservation area.
  • Providing money for preserving, managing, monitoring and surveying the areas.
  • Restricting grazing, hunting and other ground-disturbing activities.
  • Implementing detailed conservation and adaptive management plans to address the changing habitat conditions of the areas.

Work undertaken by our partners

  • The Nature Conservancy is working with us to manage the habitat area.
  • The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is assisting with surveys, making recommendations and managing hunting on the covered area.
  • Portland General Electric is setting aside 880 of the 3,520 acres at its Boardman Power Plant as part of the conservation area. The PGE land is entirely surrounded by Threemile Canyon Farms.

A model for the future

The conservation area is known officially as a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances. It is a formal agreement between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Threemile Canyon Farms, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Portland General Electric and The Nature Conservancy to address conservation needs of species that are candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act. This voluntary agreement provides for species protection while minimizing the economic effects of that protection.

National recognition for Threemile Canyon Farms

Interior Secretary Gale Norton presents farm General Manager Marty Myers with a certificate of recognition in April 2004 for habitat protection.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton presents farm General Manager Marty Myers with a certificate of recognition in April 2004 for habitat protection.

Our conservation area received special recognition in 2004 from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, who heralded it as an example of effective species and habitat protection. Russell Hoeflich, Oregon director of The Nature Conservancy, also praised the agreement that created the conservation area, saying it "brings together bodies that typically would be battling each other." Marty Myers, general manager of Threemile Canyon Farms, says the conservation area "helps us accomplish together what none of us could do alone."