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Wheeler County - Information for Partners and Participants



Pond, on private land, next to the Painted Hills National Park.

Wheeler County encompasses 1,715 square miles, or 1,097,600 acres, of which 316,384 acres are public and 781,216 acres are private. Of the private acres, 435,911 are rangeland, 280,625 are forestland, and 14,000 are irrigated cropland. The NRCS office, located in Condon, 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 that will be available online.


NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies

  • Upland Health/Function
  • Water Quality/Quantity
  • Soil Erosion
  • Riparian Restoration
  • Noxious weeds
Conservation Implementation Strategy


NRCS Programs Available

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
    • Mountain Creek-funding is benefiting the Mountain Creek Watershed by improving irrigation systems and efficiency.
    • Grant/Wheeler Prescribed Burn- this EQIP funding pool is working to promote prescribed fire for juniper reduction.
    • N. Twickenham/Rowe Creek CCPI- funding will improve rangeland health through strategic treatment to return the range to its historical state.
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):
    • Funding for conservation stewardship and additional enhancements.


Additional Conservation Resources Available

  • ODFW
  • Oregon Water Resources
  • FSA
  • Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation
  • Oregon Freshwater Trust
  • Wheeler SWCD
  • Lower John Day Working Group
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation


Local Work Group Updates

The Wheeler County Local Work Group works with Gilliam County’s Local Work Group to discuss natural resource concerns and mitigation strategies. Major concerns consist of juniper encroachment into rangeland and water quality/quantity issues in streams.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the NRCS District Conservationist listed below.

For meeting information, please click here.

Success Story

Matt Williams surveys his ranch.
Legacy of Conservation Produces Vigorous Secar Grass

If there was a contest for producing the tallest Secar grass amongst landowners in Oregon, Matt Williams may bring home the prize. Matt has found chest-high Secar on his ranch in Twickenham along the John Day River in the center of Wheeler County. Rangeland grasses like Secar are an important tool for conservation. The first Secar on the Williams place was planted as part of a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) demonstration project 25 years ago. Secar is a long-lived, cool-season wheatgrass with an extensive root system that grows from one to four feet tall. Seed for the Secar grass growing on the Williams rangeland was first collected in the Lewiston, Idaho area along the Snake River.  More (HTML)...

Download a printable copy (PDF 823.49KB)

Key Words: CCPI, conservation planning, Deschutes Basin



 

Clickable Map of SNOTEL Sites

 

For Additional Assistance Contact

Condon Service Center
333 Main, Dunn Brothers Building
Condon, Oregon 97823-0106

NRCS District Conservationist: Damon Brosnan (541)384-2671 x107
Wheeler SWCD: (541)468-2990



Sunflowers planted, for wildlife, next to Bear creek in Wheeler County.


Rock Mountain elk grazing a native, mountain meadow in Wheeler County.