How did Buford Park get established?
In 1973, then-Oregon Governor Tom McCall and the Oregon Legislature approved the purchase of over 3,500 acres to create Mt. Pisgah State Park. At that time, only 2,300 acres could be acquired. Howard Buford, planning director for Central Lane County had been instrumental in urging McCall to approve the purchase. In 1982, the state transferred title to Lane County, which renamed it the Howard Buford Recreation Area (HBRA or Buford Park).
What is the park’s purpose?
The 1994 Master Plan states: “The purpose of the (park) is to provide opportunities for primarily low intensity outdoor recreation and educational activities while protecting, conserving, enhancing and maintaining the natural, scenic, historical, rural and recreational qualities of this large, strategically located regional park.”
What is the Greater Mt. Pisgah area?
Buford Park is strategically located in the center of the Greater Mt. Pisgah Area, where the Coast and Middle Forks of the Willamette River come together. In total, the area encompasses 4,700 acres of public and conservation lands. The Willamette Confluence Project, currently owned by the Nature Conservancy, is the second-largest parcel at 1,270 acres. This parcel was intended to be part of the original Mt. Pisgah State Park authorized in 1973 (see top paragraph). Decades of advocacy by the Friends finally resulted in this parcel coming into conservation ownership in 2010.
Each parcel in the greater Mt. Pisgah area, whether large or small, is made more valuable by its proximity to the other parcels than it would be on its own. The Friends recognize that “the whole is more than the sum of the parts” and work in partnership with the different landowners of the GMPA to enhance the assets we all share.