Grant County has an area of 4,528 square miles, or 2.9 million acres. Over 60 percent of the county is publicly owned with national forests comprising approximately 54 percent of the county. The private land in Grant County, about 1.1 million acres, is made up of 70% rangeland, 24% forest, 4% irrigated and 3% dryland crop. The NRCS office, located in John Day, offers voluntary technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in natural resource conservation improvements. Historically the NRCS has focused on rangeland and irrigation improvements, and more recently has started working on forest health improvements on private land. The NRCS is currently completing a county-wide soil survey which will be available online.
NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies
The NRCS local work group in Grant County has identified invasive species, forest health and proper grazing use as the top three natural resource areas of concern. Invasive species includes noxious herbaceous weeds, annual grasses and invasive juniper. Forest health concerns include wildfire hazard, disease and pest infestations. Proper grazing use concerns include overgrazing, improper grazing rotation, and riparian area degradation.
NRCS Programs Available
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
- Funding for juniper removal prioritized in the ODFW Mule Deer Initiative areas (Murderers Creek and Heppner Management Unit).
- Funding for Aspen restoration prioritized in the ODFW Mule Deer Initiative areas (Murderers Creek and Heppner Management Unit).
- Funding for Forest Thinning and Slash Treatment in South Central Grant County (Canyon Creek, Silvies/Bear Valley).
- Rudio Creek CCPI- for conservation projects in the Rudio/Gilmore Creek watersheds.
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):
- Funding for conservation stewardship and additional enhancements.
Additional Conservation Resources Available
- Grant Soil and Water Conservation District
- Monument Soil and Water Conservation District
- Farm Service Agency
- North Fork John Day Watershed Council
- Upper South Fork John Day Watershed Council
- Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, John Day Basin Office
- Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
- OSU Extension Service
- Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
- Oregon Department of Forestry
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Bureau of Reclamation
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
John Day Service Center
721 S Canyon Blvd
John Day, Oregon 97845-1084
NRCS District Conservationist: Lorraine Vogt, (541) 575-0135, x109
Grant County SWCD, (541) 575-0135, x110
Pretreatment and Post treatment photographs of a juniper removal project. Project site was a North slope that still maintained a healthy perennial bunchgrass and shrub population but had been significantly invaded by juniper. Photos taken by Kyle Sullivan, Grant SWCD.