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Chehalem Ridge

Chehalem Ridge Natural Area

Planning and conservation    Natural areas, parks and trails    Planning parks and trails    Planning future parks    Chehalem Ridge

Metro's Natural Areas Program makes its biggest acquisition yet, investing voters' money in a working forest with sweeping views. Welcome to Chehalem Ridge.

Chehalem Ridge Natural Area

View more photos of the Chehalem Ridge on Metro's Facebook page. Go

Straddling the top of Chehalem Ridge, one of Metro's signature natural areas looks out over Tualatin Valley farmland and five Cascade Mountain peaks: Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, Hood and Jefferson.

You might spot deer tracks, or an uncommon oak-madrone woodland. Explore the starting point for a network of streams flowing to the Tualatin River and a landscape of young Douglas fir trees. With generations of careful management, they'll mature into old-growth forests that support diverse wildlife and clean water.

At 1,200 acres, Chehalem Ridge is the largest property ever purchased by the Portland region's voter-approved Natural Areas Program. Along with all that land, Metro took on a lot of opportunities. The science team is learning more about the land's forests, streams and habitats, and considering options for public access.

In the meantime, check back for new photos, video and schedules of guided tours.

Restoration under way this summer and fall

From July through October 2012, work crews will strategically remove Douglas-fir trees from the dense, young forest. This thinning will help Chehalem Ridge transition from a tightly packed timber crop toward a more complex forest where a variety of native trees and shrubs grow. Initial studies show that many birds and other wildlife already rely on Chehalem Ridge; experience indicates they will benefit from the more diverse habitat created by thinning and planting work.

Immediate neighbors might see log trucks or hear noise during daytime weekday hours. Metro takes every step to minimize inconveniences and make sure natural areas improvements are safe – for the environment and for people. Licensed, insured and experienced natural resource contractors will carry out the restoration work.

Read all about it

Metro's Natural Areas Program kicked off 2010 by acquiring Chehalem Ridge Natural Area - the biggest single acquisition in the program's history. Go to the news release

Lay of the land

See where Chehalem Ridge fits into the Portland metropolitan area, and experience the property first-hand with a video featuring Google Earth images and photos of the site.
Download a map (PDF 1.6MB)

Know your facts

Impress your family and friends with trivia about the history and habitat of Chehalem Ridge. Download the fact sheet

Take a closer look

View photos of Chehalem Ridge on Metro's GreenScene Facebook page. Become a fan while you are at it! Visit

You ask, Metro answers

Metro's natural areas team has fielded lots of questions about Chehalem Ridge. Read answers to some of the most common inquiries

Stay in touch

Have questions about Chehalem Ridge Natural Area, or want to receive updates? Send e-mail to or call Carrie Belding at 503-797-1545.

Related Documents

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Natural Areas Program

Related Links

Acquiring natural areas

Find out more about the 27 target areas where Metro is acquiring natural areas and trails to safeguard water quality, protect fish and wildlife habitat, and ensure access to nature for future generations.

Natural areas parks and trails

Metro works with partners to protect natural areas, restore sensitive habitat for fish and wildlife, and plan the region’s parks and trails.

Protected by voters

Natural areas, parks and trails

Thanks to voters, Metro has preserved 12,000 acres of natural areas, protected 90 miles of rivers and streams, supported hundreds of community projects and opened three large nature parks. Learn more


This acquisition nearly doubles the amount of land the Metro Council has protected with the latest bond measure, but Chehalem Ridge is much more than a number. It's also a milestone in terms of scenery, restoration potential and partnerships.

By the Numbers

$12 million
What it costs every year to put unused food in this region in the landfill.

By the numbers

Total acreage of the Chehalem Ridge Natural Area, the largest property acquired by Metro's Natural Areas Program and four times the size of the second largest property.

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