Barb Gilroy

We've always referred to this path as the Frager Path and have walked it regularly for years. I love the birds and the thistles and the old apple trees - and, of course, the oaks. I walk my dog here a lot and love to see the gray skies - or sunny skies - behind Mary's Peak. It's a wonderful area, used by so many. I hope so much this property can be saved by all of us, for all of us.

Donor

I'm convinced that our grandson will be learning how to ride his first bike on your paved trails. And, I'm looking forward to visiting Witham Oaks on my next visit your way.

Institute for Applied Ecology wrote:

Witham Oaks has important potential habitat for Kincaid's lupine, a threatened species. This lupine occurs in upland prairie and oak savanna, and Benton County is one of the local hot-spots for this species. Kincaid's lupine is also the primary host plant for Fender's blue, an endangered butterfly that lives only in the Willamette Valley and could occur at Witham Oaks if the habitat was restored and the lupine reintroduced. Because of the strategic location of Witham Oaks, it could provide important future habitat for the recovery of both of these exceptional species. Nelson's checkermallow is a threatened species. The wetland habitats at Witham Oaks are prime potential habitat for this colorful rare plant. In fact, a small population still remains in wetlands on adjacent properties owned and managed by Oregon State University. Once much more abundant in the Willamette Valley, Nelson's checkermallow is now rare due to habitat loss. Benton County is one of the remaining population centers for this species, and protection of Witham Oaks can provide significant habitat for this species and improve population connectivity in the region. -- Tom Kaye, IAE

The Native Plant Society of Oregon, Corvallis Chapter wrote:

Native Plant Society of Oregon, Corvallis Chapter, supports the Friends of Witham Oaks in their efforts to purchase the property known as Witham Oaks. The terrain varies from wetlands to upland prairie and oak savanna. Because of the varied habitats has excellent potential to support the reintroduction of several threatened plant species, including Checkermallow, Kincaid's Lupine and Willamette Daisy. We hope this land may successfully be preserved as an natural area for future generations of all species.

Sierra Club - the following was sent out in a mailing to Sierra Club members:

A new open space area in Corvallis? It's possible with your help. Do you enjoy woodland walks to enjoy the spring flowers or fall foliage that don't involve having to drive far away? A place where our children can enjoy the splendors of nature? Does Bald Hill or the Jackson-Frazier Wetlands appeal to you? Here's an opportunity to add another open space for public use very close to Corvallis. The 90-acre Witham Oaks woodland/wetland located between the southwest end of Circle Blvd. and Harrison Blvd. is slated for public auction on January 29th, 2010. The Friends of Witham Oaks needs your immediate help to purchase for preservation the area as open space with public access. All donations are tax-deductible. Only by pulling together as a community will we be able to save this land for future generations to enjoy. For more information, contact Louise Marquering at www.withamoaks.org Think of what a legacy we can pass on to future generations. - Barry Wulff, Sierra Club

The Audubon Society of Corvallis wrote:

The Corvallis Audubon Society (ASC) board met last Thursday evening. Among items to consider was a decision as to whether the board would endorse the proposed purchase of land known as Witham Oaks. Testimony was given as to the quality of the property in regards to vegetation and wildlife characteristics (notably, avian wildlife). Members felt the property had substantial positive characteristics in this area. The board also discussed how the property might be used by humans. Current use, with a bike path, with people walking, jogging, biking, birding, and enjoying nature in its undisturbed state pleased us. We also liked the idea of close to town nature areas easily accessible to the public. The possibility of a road going through it disturbed us. As the goals of Friends of Witham Oaks seems to coincide with ours, the board voted unanimously to approve a letter of support to your attempt to purchase the property. - Will Wright, ASU president

Assessment from the Greenbelt Land Trust:

The property rates quite high according to most of GLT's scenic, ecological, recreation and education criteria. Located on a prominent southwestern slope of Corvallis it offers outstanding scenic and recreational quality from Harrison and Walnut and the future extension of Circle. It supports important habitats including oak woodland and wetland habitat and an intermittent stream (name?). Its accessibility and ecological importance could make it a good site for education and recreation.