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The City of Portland, Oregon

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City Council Votes to Proceed with Bull Run Land Exchange

On July 31, 2019, the City Council approved Ordinance 189631, authorizing the City to sign an exchange agreement with the USDA Forest Service. This agreement defines the terms of an exchange of lands in the Bull Run watershed. The land-for-land exchange will convey approximately 2,890 acres of National Forest System land to the City of Portland in exchange for approximately 2,200 acres of City-owned lands, all within the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit. The total size of the management unit is 94,196 acres—this exchange affects roughly 5% of the lands within the unit.

The land exchange will consolidate City ownership to lands surrounding the two water supply reservoirs and associated water infrastructure. The USDA Forest Service will acquire forested uplands that the City purchased from private landowners, mostly in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The lands to be exchanged were determined to be of equal financial value based on a professional land appraisal.  

Next Steps

When signed by both parties, the exchange agreement will commit both parties to proceed to finalize the land transaction, culminating in the recording of deeds. Finalizing the land transaction will take approximately 6-12 months.

Background Information

The City of Portland and the Mt. Hood National Forest agreed in February 2010 to pursue a land exchange. The initial public scoping period for the land exchange process ended on September 30, 2010. The public comment period for the 2015 Amended Agreement to Initiate (a document that contained additional details about the exchange) ended on March 25, 2016. The draft NEPA document (Preliminary Assessment) was made available for public review in July 2017. The Forest Service published a final Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact in March 2019.  Go to the Mt. Hood National Forest website for more information on the steps leading to the exchange agreement.

Maps describing current land ownership and ownership after the land exchange are available.  The parcel legal descriptions in the Exchange Agreement correspond to the mapped parcels shown on this map

For more information, contact Sara Petrocine at (503) 823-7629.