Central Oregon will soon have 4,000 acres of public land along the John Day River available for recreational use, including boating, camping and hiking.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Wednesday that it’s purchasing the acreage on the west side of the river, about 14 miles east of Wasco, known as McDonald’s Ferry.
The agency is purchasing the land from the Western Rivers Conservancy, a Portland-based nonprofit organization that acquires riverside lands for conservation. BLM’s purchase will draw from the Land and Water Conservation Fund — which was established in 1965 to purchase lands for public use.
In a press release, BLM said the purchase will be based on a fair market value price, determined by an appraisal from another federal agency.
Once the deal is finalized, the public will be able to access the river on the west side of McDonald’s Crossing. Its current east-side boater access will remain available.
The agency also says it’ll work to restore healthy rangelands and wildlife habitat on the parcel, including the critical habitat for the Mid-Columbia summer steelhead.