SEEKING RESIDENTIAL LAND STEWARDS
Seven Generations Land Trust, a small nonprofit, is seeking persons to be the Residential Land Stewards on a 930+ acre land trust property we call Fox Creek, a remarkable lakefront and riparian parcel in Baker County in NE Oregon. The residence is on the shore of the Brownlee Reservoir on the Snake River Breaks, dividing Oregon and Idaho. The property is centered around Fox Creek, a lovely year-round, spring-fed creek that runs the full length of the property, over 4 miles. This land has been protected for many years and it needs ongoing attention to further restore and maintain its natural wild beauty.
This is a quiet, high desert retreat away from the city. Fox Creek is less than 2 hours from Boise, a fast-growing cultural center; about 5 hours from Portland; and around 60 miles from Baker City, Oregon which is a quaint, historic town. The 16-mile trip on Snake River Road to the nearest town, Huntington, population 500, is a scenic drive alongside Brownlee Reservoir.
There are several levels of involvement available in the current search in 2016. The roles listed below are for those who are serious about taking on some responsibilities and playing a part in this ongoing project. Some applicants may be unable to take on the full role; that too is a possibility. We will take into consideration the level you are interested in, from caretaker of the homestead/ gardener/retired person to full project manager and even beyond--to taking on the whole project--will be considered at this time. We will consider less than what is described and also more: those who love the place and want to make it their own and create their own future there.
A rough estimate of the time spent on the duties listed below averages over the year to about 10 hours a week. There is a wide range, however, depending on the season, from 25-30 a week to 1-2 hours. There has been no salary in the past, unless someone stepped up to find more donations/grant monies. Depending on the applicant stewards and their level of experience and work capacity, there may be some small amount of funds to supplement for work done. The basic expenses are covered, such as housing, utilities, internet connection and approved materials related to work.
A Land Stewardship Plan is in place that guides the Board of Directors, Primary Steward and, more practically, the Resident Land Steward. The Board and Primary Steward are available for guidance and support of the Resident Steward.
We are looking for people who enjoy living and working in the country. The main focus of the position is taking care of the land itself: the preservation, restoration and maintenance of the riparian zone of the creek The position involves routine care of the orchard, yard, equipment and buildings, including a 2 story house, double-wide mobile home, historic post office and farm buildings. Another routine chore, one that has been ongoing and can consume much of the steward’s time and energy, is the control of Scotch thistle and some other plants labeled “noxious weeds”. We are committed to using ecological methods to protect the valley and slopes from the invasion of several types of noxious weeds, primarily cutting the Scotch thistle. We have primarily used a method of hand cutting (or the tractor) to stop the thistle from going to seed and spreading. These methods have been refined over the years, and differ depending on the time of yearand we are still learning!
Some basic office work is involved, such as maintaining files and records and bill paying.
On a grander, more long-term scale, there are other important aspects of the project (see Land Stewardship Plan). It is designed to eventually become a working model of beaver as restorative agents. It also involves the long term protection of the water rights for use in the agricultural fields available for growing crops.
The Fox Creek project offers an opportunity for enrolling and working with volunteers from area schools, universities and service groups, providing a rare chance for hands-on environmental education for volunteers while doing valuable service work.
For more assistance, skills are helpful in public relations and development. For the ambitious, if the Steward wants to pursue additional funding to obtain more operating funds, grant writing skills are useful.
Re: monies. Grants, gifts and donations to the nonprofit pay the basic expenses. There is time for the residents to have a part time home-based business to bring in income, if desired, e.g. computer work, as high-speed DSL Internet service is available on site. There is acreage for growing crops. On a smaller scale, it is possible to earn money from produce from the garden and existing orchard that can be sold, for example, at the Baker City Farmer's Market.
The most striking feature of this property is its natural setting, a dream come true for wild nature lovers. The property has a variety of plants and wildlife, especially beautiful birds, butterflies and flowering plantsand reptiles, of course. Brownlee Reservoir, ~200 feet from the house, is a recreational area that has been known for its fishing.
Interested parties please contact:
P.O. Box 3417
Berkeley, CA 94703
Email: kmahaffeys (at ) sbcglobal.net with subject: "Land Steward"
Prior Land Stewards may be available for questions about on-site details.