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Malheur County - Information for Partners and Participants

NRCS Oregon is accepting applications for Drought Mitigation in EQIP  -- application cutoff date is June 17, 2016.

Pasture and hay, Malheur County, Photo taken by Terry Finnerty

Pasture and hay, Malheur County, Photo taken by Terry Finnerty.

Malheur County is the second largest county in the state and has an area of 9,874 square miles or 6.3 million acres. Seventy-two percent of the county is in public ownership. Privately owned land includes 1, 074,900 acres of rangelands and 396,000 acres of irrigated crop and hay. The NRCS office is located in Ontario. The NRCS staff provides technical assistance and administers NRCS financial assistance conservation programs. NRCS is currently conducting an inventory for the North Malheur Soil Survey and is working cooperatively with the BLM on the South Malheur Soil Survey and Vegetation Assessment.

NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies

The NRCS in Malheur County works voluntarily with private land owners and cooperatively with partners to strategically address priority natural resource concerns. These practices and resource concerns include:

  • Irrigation water management and system improvements to address inefficient use of irrigation water and irrigation induced erosion on cropland.
  • Grazing management and treatment to address invasive noxious weeds and juniper encroachment to improve ecological conditions on rangeland.
  • Upland wildlife habitat management and juniper control to stabilize populations and improve rangeland conditions for greater sage-grouse.
  • Irrigation water management and related practices to address water quality concerns.

Conservation Implementation Strategy

NRCS Programs Available

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
    • Assistance may be available for juniper removal prioritized in the Sage Grouse Initiative.
    • Assistance may be available for irrigation improvements for targeted watersheds in the county.
    • Assistance may be available to improve grazing management and improve upland wildlife habitat on rangeland.
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):
    • Assistance may be available for conservation stewardship and additional enhancements.
  • National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI):
    • Assistance may be available for improving water quality through conservation measures in the Little Willow Creek and Poison Creek watersheds.

Additional Conservation Resources Available

The NRC works cooperatively with a variety of partners including:

  • Malheur County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Farm Service Agency
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • Owyhee Watershed Council
  • Malheur Watershed Council
  • Irrigation Districts
  • Oregon State University Extension
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • Bureau of Land Management

Local Work Group Updates

The Malheur 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


Soil Health Producer Profile: Kenneth Jensen

In the Treasure Valley -- one of the nation’s top agricultural hubs nestled in Southeast Oregon and Southwest Idaho -- an innovative farmer named Kenneth Jensen is making waves for soil health. More (HTML...)

Key Words:  Soil Health, Snake River Basin


The following document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.


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March 6, 2013:  Irrigation Water Management Field Day Flyer (PDF, 540 KB)

For Additional Assistance Contact

Ontario Service Center
2925 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 2
Ontario, OR 97914-2446

NRCS District Conservationist:  Lynn Larsen: (541) 889-9689
Malheur County SWCD: (541) 889-9689

Irrigated Crops, Malheur County

Irrigated Crops, Malheur County.
Confluence of Owyhee and Snake Rivers, Malheur County, Photo taken by Clint Shock

Confluence of Owyhee and Snake Rivers, Malheur County, Photo taken by Clint Shock.