Metro Buys Fen. Fen is Not Bog. Or Stadium.


For obfuscation: I can't believe that Matt just got trolled by an actual elected official. I love this guy's writing. I hope I voted for him.

Would you please post the entire letter? I'd like to know why our government is buying fancy swamps. Hopefully it's to make scotch or something.
For clarification: That is the whole letter. I'd love to know why our government is buying fancy swamps, too. But it wasn't explained therein by Bragdon.'s the accompanying press release. Apparently it's "one of a kind" in the Willamette Valley, and the aim is conservation. Blah blah. Here you go:


Peach Cove Fen one- of-a-kind in the Willamette Valley

A new property acquisition by Metro secures the remainder of a rare fen located in the Willamette Narrows area near West Linn. Providing habitat to uncommon, varied and high-quality plant communities, the fen is a unique type of wetland that includes a shallow lake with a floating peat mat. According to the Oregon Natural Heritage Program, it is the only remaining fen of its kind in the Willamette Valley.

“Protecting endangered species and one-of-a-kind habitats like this fen is what makes Metro’s Natural Areas Program so important,” said Metro Council President David Bragdon. “I feel fortunate that our voters had the foresight to pass this measure and make the protection of these key aspects of our natural heritage possible.”

Along with the fen, the Metro Council property includes large boulders and rocky piles overgrown with moss and ferns. These features were presumably created by the action of the Missoula (or Bretz) Floods at the end of the Ice Age. The fen is ringed with dogwood, willow and Douglas spirea. The property is composed of an older mixed forest with basalt outcrops as well as the fen and the riparian forest surrounding the wetland. The upland forest is dominated by Douglas-fir, Western hemlock, Western red cedar, big-leaf maple and red alder. The forest floor is carpeted with native plants including ferns, moss, huckleberry, plum, and rose. The property has been well-maintained and is in good condition.

In 1998 the Metro Council succeeded in acquiring 50-acres from the property owners including a portion of the fen. As part of that earlier transaction, the landowners agreed to Metro Council’s “Right of First Refusal” for the remaining 13-acres, which Metro Council has now purchased. The entire property totals 63 acres.

The Metro Council's voter-approved 2006 Natural Areas Program funds land acquisition and capital improvements that protect water quality and fish and wildlife habitat, enhance trails and wildlife corridors and provide greater connections to nature in neighborhoods throughout the Portland metropolitan area. For more information about this program or other habitat restoration projects at Metro's natural areas, visit

Metro, the regional government that serves 1.4 million people who live in the 25 cities and unincorporated urban neighborhoods of the Portland metropolitan area, provides planning and other services that protect the nature and livability of our region.
David Bragdon, you are a wiz with words. Thanks for sharing this lovely letter, Matt.
I know what a fen is but that is because I watched a LOT of Merchant Ivory films growing up.
dorothy sayers taught me about fens
Where are my swim trunks?!
What about Kristian Foden-Vencil of OPB?
What about Kristian Foden-Vencil of OPB?
Wait, what? Foden-Vencil's accent is real? I thought he was from Salem.

PS That's one nice looking piece of fen.
Does David need a job writing for blogs? Does the Merc have a canoe?

Maps! Man the oars!
The word is "ombrotrophic", Matt. If you're going to google "what is the difference between a fen and a bog?" and then drop some knowledge on us, please read further than the first geocities page that pops up.
Graham, the reason your government buys these ecologically distinctive swamps (and creeksides, wetlands, oak groves, hilltops) is that in November 2006, 59.8% of the voters told us to do so and gave us the money for it.
Which one of you is Matt Davis?

You're a cunt.
Thanks, David Bragdon. I love your writing and the way you are communicating with us, your constituents. Keep it up. And, nice fen.
David, that is a very good reason. I guess following voter mandates to buy wetlands and junk is part of what your job is. I think. Not entirely sure what your job is, but apparently it involves riding the train at the zoo.
David - Can you tell us more about the piece of property Metro bought in Oregon City above 99E and the creepy Lewis Motel?
So you got the scoop Sunday morning, and what did you do? Sat on it until Monday.

What, was he also offering you a job or something, and didn't want to publish the story, wanted to let Nigel get a shot at it or something, or what?
The parcel above 99E is part of a formation called Canemah Bluff, which was one of the key native gathering places along the Willamette and was also one of the first European settlements when they showed up in the 19th century. The piece we recently bought is about 25 acres and adjoins about 50 acres (if memory serves) we already owned. I think the biological significance has to do with a grove of madrone trees but I don't know more than that. As for the creepy Lewis Motel you will have to ask Matt Davis to investigate.