The University Forest at Zena
What is the Willamette University Forest at Zena?
- 305 acres of ecologically diverse and historically significant land
- Part of the largest remaining contiguous block of forestland in the Eola Hills west of Salem
- Habitats include oak and mixed species woodland, riparian areas, grassland areas, wetlands, freshwater aquatic areas, and forest plantations
- Contains prominent, viable farming land
A Brief History
In 2008, Willamette University purchased this land from the Trust for Public Lands. As part of this purchase, Willamette University entered into a conservation easement which protects the property from development into other land uses (such as viticulture), promotes conservation efforts and supports economically viable sustainable forestry practices. With this easement in mind, the Willamette University Forest Stewardship plan was created by Trout Mountain Forestry to guide the efforts of future use.
Prior to acquisition by Willamette University, this property was managed under German scientific forestry principles, including elements of uneven-age management and selective cutting. During this 20 year time span, the current Willamette University property was managed as part of the entirety of Zena Forest, approximately 1,640 acres total.