Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Plan to Buy Former Blue Heron Mill at Willamette Falls

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde plan to buy the former Blue Heron paper mill at Willamette Falls, according to a press release by the city of Oregon City.

The Tribes have signed an agreement to purchase the site from the current owner. The sale is not expected to be complete for at least a couple of months, pending a due diligence period that is typical of real estate transactions.

Grande Ronde representatives have reached out to Willamette Falls Legacy Project partners from Metro, Oregon City, Clackamas County and the State of Oregon to express their desire to work collaboratively if the property transaction is finalized.

Tribal representatives have said they want to purchase the property due to its cultural and historic significance, and have no plans to build a casino at the site. They have been a strong partner on the riverwalk project, actively participating in the Tribal Advisory Board and contributing to plans for programming and interpretation.

“We are excited about carrying out the community’s vision for a public riverwalk along Willamette Falls — a commitment that remains in place, even if the landowner changes,” the release said. “Construction is slated to begin in spring 2020.”

Project partners will continue to deepen our relationships with all the sovereign tribal governments that have a connection to Willamette Falls, including the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation.

As plans for Willamette Falls took shape, community members and project partners have united to advance four core values: historic and cultural interpretation, public access, healthy habitat and economic redevelopment.

Photo by Sam Beebe, Ecotrust.

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