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Chehalem Ridgetop to Refuge goals and objectives

Planning and conservation    Natural areas, parks and trails    Protecting natural areas    Acquiring natural areas    Chehalem Ridgetop to Refuge    Goals and objectives

Learn about the goals and objectives for habitat and water quality protection in the Chehalem Ridgetop to Refuge 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 goal and objectives for the Chehalem Ridgetop to Refuge target area are:

photo of Chehalem Ridgetop to Refuge target area


  • Protect large, undeveloped tracts of forestland to protect water quality, wildlife habitat and connections, and to provide public access opportunities.


Tier I Objective

  • Protect the upper elevation forestlands and oak woodlands on the Chehalem Ridge to enhance water quality and wildlife habitat and to provide potential public access opportunities.

Tier II Objectives

  • Acquire and protect the rare upland prairie and oak savanna habitat, as well as lands along creeks and streams on the western slope of the Chehalem Ridge to provide connections between the ridgetop and Wapato Lake target area.
  • Support future recreational trail opportunities by securing potential trail corridors connecting Wapato Lake and/or Gales Creek to the Chehalem Ridge.

Partnership Objective

  • Pursue partnership opportunities with Oregon State Parks, Trust for Public Land and the Nature Conservancy in order to leverage regional bond funds to acquire the upper elevation forestlands on the Chehalem Ridge.

About the area

The unbroken ridges and forested slopes of the Chehalem Mountains provide a scenic panorama across the Willamette Valley from the southwestern edge of the greater Portland metropolitan region and an urbanized portion of Washington County. There is significant wildlife habitat along Chicken, Cedar and Baker creeks and vital wildlife corridors that stretch from mid-mountain oak woodlands and savanna to Wapato Lake and the Tualatin River floodplain, linking the Chehalem Mountains to the Coast Range.

2006 Natural Areas Program bond description

The northern end of the Chehalem Mountains provides opportunities for the protection of large, undeveloped tracts of forestland to protect water quality and wildlife connections from this mountain range to area river bottomlands.

Focus for Metro's 2006 Natural Areas Program

  • Protect forestland, water quality and wildlife connections.
  • Consider the relationship between natural areas protection and existing agricultural operations.
  • Initial estimates are that a minimum of 400 acres of land would be protected within this target area.

Field research and scientific data findings

  • Chehalem Ridgetop and Wapato Lake area should be viewed as a connected natural area important to wildlife habitat and movement along natural corridors.
  • Rare upland prairie and oak savanna habitat stretch from Wapato Lake lowlands to mid-level on the ridge offering the highest habitat value.
  • The upper elevations of Chehalem Ridge forest areas provide excellent views and opportunities for outdoor recreational and educational activities.

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

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