Our mission is to provide a space to reconnect our human experience of life and death with land conservation. We are achieving this by offering natural burial in reciprocity with the living landscape—reinforcing the vital connection between ourselves, one another, and the natural world.
Reciprocity is the practice of exchanging with others for a shared benefit. It is mutual dependence, action, and influence—and we believe it is the bedrock of cultural resilience and sustainability. We aim to reflect this reciprocity in our actions and choices, both in life and in death.
The land selected for The Forest has mature conifers and oaks, native shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers. Burial sites overlook meadows and seasonal wetlands. Paths and trails wind through the cemetery. Green burials are a natural fit in this serene setting. Natural burial grounds are living landscapes, meant to be shared with the living.
The Forest opened in late June 2020, with our first burial. This project is advised by the Conservation Burial Alliance. We are in the process of becoming a certified natural burial ground with the Green Burial Council.
The land is a private in-holding within the expanded Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Owners Suzanne Willow and Lanita Witt see the green cemetery as an extension of their 30+ years of work to restore the forests and wetlands of their 445-acre ranch. They plan to be buried there and recognize that many other people are committed to the natural integrity of land in our unique ecosystem and wish their own burials to support their lifelong ecological values. The Forest Conservation Burial Ground may appeal to them.
While there are cemeteries that allow ‘green’ burials among their conventional graves, this is the first burial ground in Oregon that is dedicated completely to green burial.