Lake County - Information for Partners and Participants
Irrigated hay harvest. Northern Lake County produces some of Oregon’s highest quality alfalfa hay for dairy operations and foreign markets.
Lake County has an area of 8,359 square miles, or 5.35 million acres. Ownership is 22% private and 78% public. Land use is 75% grazing, 12% timber, 13% crop and hay, and 1% urban. Privately owned lands encompass 1.18 million acres. Cattle ranching, timber, and irrigated hay are the major economic enterprises in the county. The NRCS office, located in Lakeview, offers voluntary technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in implementing conservation measures. Historically the NRCS has focused on grazing land and irrigation improvements, and more recently is working on wildlife habitat enhancement on private lands.
NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies
The NRCS Lake County Local Working Group has indentified the top resource concerns as: invasive species, riparian health, water quantity and quality, and soil quality. Invasive species includes juniper management, noxious herbaceous weeds, and medusahead rye. Riparian health relates to proper functioning condition of stream corridors and wet meadows. Water quantity and quality includes irrigation water conservation for both ground and surface water users. Soil quality is a concern from the standpoint of wind erosion on cropland.
NRCS Programs Available
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
- Funding for juniper removal prioritized in the Sage Grouse Initiative (Warner Basin core area and other areas in the county that are current range for sage grouse).
- Funding for juniper management on mule deer winter range habitat priority areas (Warner Wildlife Management Unit and the Drews Creek watershed focus areas).
- Funding for organic producers either transitioning to or certified as organic operations.
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):
- Funding for conservation stewardship and additional enhancements.
Additional Conservation Resources Available
- Fort Rock-Silver Lake Soil and Water Conservation District
- Lakeview Soil and Water Conservation District
- Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Local Work Group Updates
If you are interested in participating, please contact the NRCS District Conservationist listed below.
For meeting information, please click here.
Clickable Map of SNOTEL Sites
For Additional Assistance Contact
Lakeview Field Office
17612 Hwy. 395
Lakeview, Oregon 97630
NRCS District Conservationist: Max Corning, (541) 947-2367 x108
Fort Rock-Silver Lake SWCD and Lakeview SWCD, (541) 947-5855
Lake County ranks among the top five counties in Oregon for total beef cattle production. Seen here are yearlings grazing on irrigated grass pasture in the Goose Lake Basin.
Alfalfa hay growing under pivot irrigation from deep wells in the Fort Rock Basin. The famous Fort Rock landmark is seen in the background.