The land is to be handed over to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with a special management designation similar to wilderness status but with emphasis on public access. It is to contribute to the Sandy river conservation corridor, a project that aims to create over 2000ha of protected land over the next five years.

The land is being assembled by Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC), a Portland-based organisation set up in 1988 to protect rivers in western US. BLM this week awarded Portland General Electric and WRC an award for their plans for the Sandy river basin.

The project has already received US$8.1M from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.