Listening to the Land

Katie Voelke, foreground, executive director of the North Coast Land Conservancy.

SEASIDE — The Necanicum Watershed Council welcomes you to “Conservation Land and Public Access: The Pros and Cons, Join the Discussion,” 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Seaside Public Library. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Katie Voelke, executive director of the North Coast Land Conservancy, leads an open-ended discussion about how to balance the needs of people, plants and wildlife in conserved lands on the Oregon Coast.

The Land Conservancy is working on its biggest project ever: conservation of 3,500 acres of forestland above Oswald West State Park to benefit people, plants and wildlife. So what is the right amount of public access for this property, if any?

What are the risks and benefits, the pros and cons, of opening up conserved lands to various kinds of recreation? Every human activity, benign as it may seem, has the potential to cause harm. Yet typically it is our personal experiences with wild lands that makes us care about them in the first place, and that lead us to work to conserve them.

The event is part of the council’s Listening to the Land series offered January through May at the library, 1131 Broadway St. For more information, visit

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