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Cooper Mountain

Planning and conservation    Natural areas, parks and trails    Protecting natural areas    Acquiring natural areas    Cooper Mountain

Learn about the goals and objectives for habitat and water quality protection in the Cooper Mountain target area. View maps illustrating the Metro Council's priorities in this area and learn more about the importance of the area to our region.

The Metro Council's goals and objectives for the Cooper Mountain target area are:

photo of Cooper Mountain target area

Goals

Acquire key land parcels in the Cooper Mountain target area to build on Metro’s successful efforts using 1995 Bond Measure funds to:

  • Expand habitat protection of Oregon white oak and rare prairie habitat and riparian corridors along Lindow and McKernen Creeks.
  • Enhance access to Cooper Mountain Nature Park by land acquisition and securing trail connections between major publicly-owned properties.
  • Keep important wildlife corridors and buffers intact.

Objectives

Tier I Objective

  • Acquire lands adjacent to the Cooper Mountain Nature Park to secure rare oak habitat and riparian corridors and enhance the experience of park users.

Tier II Objective

  • Secure a corridor between the planned Cooper Mountain Nature Park and other regional and local trails (including the Westside Trail) and natural areas.

Partnership Objective

  • Pursue partnership opportunities with the City of Beaverton, Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District and Washington County to leverage regional bond dollars.

About the area

Cooper Mountain Natural Area sits on the southwestern slopes of Cooper Mountain, an 800-foot high basalt mound located near the western edge of Beaverton. The natural area provides stunning views of the Tualatin Valley and Chehalem Mountains and is comprised of remnant and recently reforested conifer forests, oak and madrone woodlands and upland prairies nestled between residential and agricultural lands. Restoration projects at the site include the reintroduction of more than 60,000 trees and shrubs in former clear-cut areas and a series of prescribed burns to enhance oak and upland prairie habitat and improve conditions for the endangered pale larkspur and other rare wildflowers. Also included are enhancements to a small quarry pond to improve habitat conditions for a breeding population of the state-sensitive Northern red-legged frog.

Site design and development of the first phase of visitor improvements as described in the adopted master plan for Cooper Mountain Nature Park is under way. Planned improvements include a network of trails and public facilities, interpretive cultural and natural history signage and a "nature house" for environmental education programs.

2006 Natural Areas Program bond description

Acquiring remaining oak communities and streamside forests will build on the investment already made in protecting Oregon white oak and rare prairie habitat at Cooper Mountain near Beaverton.

1995 Natural Areas Program goals and accomplishments

  • Establish a significant natural area with a core of 700 acres to support a diversity of plant and animal life. Metro's initial acquisition goal for the 1995 program was 428 acres.
  • Provide connections from the Cooper Mountain area to other trails, greenways, parks and natural areas.

To date 255.8 acres have been protected.

New focus for Metro's 2006 Natural Areas Program

Protect remaining oak communities and streamside forest lands supporting Oregon white oak and rare prairie habitat.

Field research and scientific data findings

  • The regionally rare upland prairie and oak/madrone woodland habitat at Cooper Mountain supports exceptional species including what is perhaps the largest remaining population of the state endangered pale larkspur (Delphinium leucophaeum), meadow checkermallow (Sidalcea campestris), and on-site breeding populations of the state-sensitive Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora aurora).
  • Varied habitat in close proximity supports several mammal species that are uncommon in urban settings such as the Western gray squirrel and black bear, as well as an extremely diverse bird community.

Public input helps Metro Council set priorities

In September 2007 the Metro Council approved acquisition plans for each of the 27 regional target areas. The Metro Council established these priorities with the input of natural resource and land use experts, scientists, citizens and local land managers. More than 500 people attended eight community open houses to share their ideas with Metro Councilors. Nearly 1,000 people filled out questionnaires ranking their priorities and offering ideas for partnerships and other ways to stretch the public's investment. The acquisition plans include a map, goals and objectives for each target area.

Need assistance?

Natural Areas Program
503-797-1545
naturalareas@oregonmetro.gov

Related Documents

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Nature park update

Cooper Mountain Chronicle
Read this summer's Cooper Mountain Chronicle, with news about nature park construction, wildlife habitat restoration and volunteer opportunities.

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