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Polk County - Information for Partners and Participants

Forest Stand Improvement – Pre-commercial Thinning

Forest Stand Improvement – Pre-commercial thinning.


Polk County covers 745 square miles (476,800 acres) in the center of the Willamette Valley, extending from the Willamette River west to the Coastal Mountains. Approximately 60% of the county is in commercial forest production which is mostly privately owned. Approximately 1/3 of the county is in Agricultural production (166,663 acres), with nearly 72% of that land being in crop production. Major crops in Polk County are grapes, Christmas trees, grass seed, milk and dairy products, silage corn and fruits/nuts/berries (all ranking in the top 10 in the state). Polk County ranks #6 in the state for broiler chicken production and also produces cattle, sheep, horses as well as other livestock.

NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies

Conservation Strategies are our top priority issues to work on within the County. We utilize a variety of resources to work toward improvements of these issues including partnerships with other entities and multiple funding sources.

The primary conservation strategies in Polk County as identified by the Local Working Group are;

  • water quality/quantity
  • forest health.

We utilize the Polk County groundwater funding pool to fund projects related to nitrates in ground water. The primary practices used for groundwater protection are Irrigation System (Drip or Linear), Irrigation Water Management and Nutrient Management.
We utilize the basin forestry pool to fund projects related to forest health. The primary practices used for forest health are Forest Stand Improvement, Brush Management and Forest Slash Treatment.

Conservation Implementation Strategy

NRCS Programs Available

Additional Conservation Resources Available

  • Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Marion/Polk Small Woodlands Association
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Oregon State University Extension Service
  • Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Farm Services Agency

Local Work Group Updates

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

For meeting information, please click here.

Success Story


Polk County landowner leverages partnerships to restore oaks, bolster butterflies

Bill Wainwright knows a thing or two about maximizing conservation on his land.

Over the past 17 years, he’s worked with multiple state and federal conservation partners to restore and protect highly-valuable oak habitat on his 400-acre ranch in Polk County. More (HTML...)

Key Words:  Regional Conservation Partnership Program, Lower Willamette Basin
Grass seed grower and wildlife enthusiast Mark Knaupp enjoys the wildlife returning to his nearly 400 acre restored wetland

A Willamette Valley Wetland Restoration

"The aesthetics are a huge part of it," Willamette Valley farmer Mark Knapp says, looking across an expanse of lush, verdant wetlands. He restored nearly 400 acres of marginal cropland to its naturally soggy condition in 1996. Today, this wildlife enthusiast is enjoying the benefits.  More...

Key Words:  WRP, wetland restoration, wildlife habitat, Lower Willamette Basin


For Additional Assistance Contact

Dallas Service Center
580 Main, Suite A
Dallas, Oregon 97338-1911

NRCS District Conservationist:  Tom Finegan, (503) 623-5534

High Efficiency Linear Irrigation system

High Efficiency Linear Irrigation system.
High Tunnel

High Tunnel.