Skip

Baker County - Information for Partners and Participants

Sage Grouse Initiative in Baker County

Sage Grouse Initiative in Baker County.

Baker County comprises approximately 1,977,000 acres of land. There is 964,000 acres of private land of which approximately 127,000 acres is irrigated cropland or hayland, 638,000 acres is rangeland and 128,000 acres is forest. Fifty-one percent of the county is publicly owned. The major drainages in the county include the Powder River, Burnt River and Pine Creek. The NRCS office is located in Baker City. The NRCS staff provides technical assistance and administers NRCS financial assistance conservation programs.


NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies

The NRCS in Baker County works voluntarily with private land owners and cooperatively with partners to strategically address priority natural resource concerns. Resource concerns that are prioritized for conservation treatment include:

  • Rangeland Health
    • Invasive weeds, including annual non-native annual grasses, threaten native plant communities which results in altered wildlife habitat, reduced forage production and increased erosion.
    • Juniper encroachment on native sage brush steppe grasslands adversely effect upland wildlife habitat.
  • Forest Health
    • Stands are overstocked with unhealthy, unsuitable species and disease and pests are reducing productivity while forests are subject to catastrophic wildfire.
  • Water Quantity
    • Inefficient application of irrigation water.

Conservation Implementation Strategy


NRCS Programs Available

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
    • Assistance may be available for irrigation efficiency improvements and management for targeted watersheds in the county.
    • Assistance may be available for forest improvement practices on private forest land in the Powder River watershed.
    • Assistance may be available for juniper control and implementation of upland wildlife habitat management to improve ecological conditions on rangelands to benefit the greater sage-grouse.
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):
    • Assistance may be available for conservation stewardship and additional enhancements.
  • Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI):
    • Assistance may be available for conservation measures to improve habitat for the greater sage-grouse through inventory and treatment of invasive annual grasses and implementation of upland wildlife habitat management in coordination with the Keating Soil and Water Conservation District.
  • Grassland Reserve Program (GRP):
    • Funding to assist working ranches implement grazing strategies to benefit greater sage-grouse.


Additional Conservation Resources Available

The NRC works cooperatively with a variety of partners including:

  • Baker Valley Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Burnt River Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Eagle Valley Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Keating Soil and water Conservation District
  • Farm Service Agency
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Oregon State University Extension
  • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
  • Tri-County/Baker County Weed Management
  • Irrigation Districts
  • Bureau of Land Management
     

East Face of the Elkhorn Mountains Partnership

Funding is now available to improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire on your land through active forest management.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) have entered into a partnership to provide technical assistance and cost sharing opportunities for private forestland owners.


Local Work Group Updates

The Baker County Local Work Group meets to discuss natural resource priorities and provide input to NRCS on conservation programs.  If you are interested in participating, please contact the NRCS District Conservationist listed below.

For meeting information, please click here.


Success Stories

Juniper Eradication Project Bolsters Wildlife Habitat and Increases Water Quantity on Historic Ranch

Allen and Bev Duby hang on as their pickup truck bucks and jerks along the ragged tracks of their farm road. The ranchers are out inspecting a 1,000-acre portion of their 10,000 acre ranch —a section that illustrates both the rich farming history in Bev’s family and the progressive conservation practices they are undertaking to assure the family’s future. More (HTML)...

Download a printable copy (PDF 1.08MB)

Key Words: CCPI, water-quality, juniper removal, Snake River Basin

Sage-Grouse: A Precious Natural Resource in Baker County

Boone Sullivan is keeper of the history and caretaker of the precious natural resources on his family’s 18,000-acre ranch along Burnt River south of Baker City. Boone tells the story of logging ponderosa pines, of hunting deer and elk and of Old Sam, a reclusive hermit and prospector who mined for gold on Forest Service land near their home place in the mid 1900s. Over the years the quest for gold has died out in the valley while awareness of another precious natural resource, the sage-grouse, has emerged.  More (HTML)...

Download a printable copy (PDF 4MB)

Key Words:  CCPI, sage-grouse, juniper removal, Snake River Basin



Clickable Map of SNOTEL Sites

 

For Additional Assistance Contact

Baker City Service Center
3990 Midway Lane
Baker City, OR 97814

NRCS District Conservationist:  Parker Ussery, (541) 523-7121
Baker County SWCD: (541) 523-7121

Forestry in Baker County

Forestry in Baker County.
Irrigation in Baker County

Irrigation in Baker County.