Jackson County - Information for Partners and Participants
Jackson County is located in the south western part of the state. It includes 2,801 square miles (1,792,640 acres) extending south to California, west to Josephine County, North to Douglas County, and east to Klamath County. Jackson County is at the confluence of the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains providing a tremendous diversity of landscapes and wildlife habitat. The counties principle industries are lumber, agriculture, manufacturing, recreation, and tourism. Jackson County has approximately 5,500 acres of pears helping to rank it 3rd in the state for fruit, tree nut, and berry production. The NRCS office, located in Medford, provides voluntary conservation technical and financial assistance to private land owners/operators interested in natural resource conservation improvements.
NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies
The NRCS local work group in Jackson County has identified both Water Quality and Forest Health/Wildfire Hazard as the top natural resource concerns in Jackson County. Practices typically used to address Water Quality have included irrigation and grazing improvements. Practices typically used to address Forest Health & Wildfire Hazard have included thinning, pruning, and slash treatments. The Little Butte Creek Watershed has been identified as a priority funding area to address Water Quality concerns through flood to sprinkler irrigation conversion and water management. There are currently two separate focused priority funding areas addressing Forest Health and Wildfire Hazard concerns. The first is located in portions of the Seven Basins and Applegate watershed areas. The second priority area is located in/around the Ashland Watershed as part of the Ashland Forest All-Lands Restoration Project (AFAR). Jackson County has also established a priority funding areas for Oak Woodland Health and Habitat Restoration. This project is being funded through the Regional Conservation Partnership Project (RCPP). Priority funding areas for Oak Habitat Restoration include areas in the Colestin Valley as well as areas in/around the Table Rocks area.
NRCS Programs Available
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): -- Apply by April 15, 2016
- Regular EQIP
- Technical assistance and funding available for fuels reduction and practices to increase overall forest health in the 7 Basins Watershed (Pleasant Creek, Foots Creek, Lower Evans Creek, Creek, and Wards Creek) as well as in the Applegate Watershed (Thompson Creek).
- Technical assistance and funding available for designs and practices related to flood to sprinkler irrigation conversion and irrigation water management in the Little Butte Creek Watershed.
- Technical assistance and funding available for fuels reduction and practices to increase overall forest health and reduce wildfire hazard in/around the Ashland Watershed as part of the Ashland Forest All-Lands Resiliency Project (AFAR). This project is being funded through the Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Project.
- Technical assistance and funding available for Oak Woodland Health and Habitat Restoration in the Colestin Valley and areas in/around the Table Rocks.
- Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative:
- A Program available to agricultural producers, designed to strengthen local and regional food markets and increase the use of sustainable conservation practices that will improve plant and soil quality, reduce nutrient and pesticide transport and reduce energy inputs.
- EQIP Organic Initiative
- Special EQIP funding is available to organic growers that are certified organic, transitioning organic or those who make under $5,000 of gross organic product farm sales.
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP): -- Apply by March 31, 2016
- Encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land. The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land operated.
- Soils Information and the Soil Survey Program:
- Soils related information including soil survey maps and reports.
- Web Soil Survey.
- Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP):
- Administered by the Farms Service Agency (FSA), it is a program that helps agricultural producers protect environmentally sensitive land, decrease erosion, restore wildlife habitat, and safeguard ground and surface water.
Additional Conservation Resources Available
Conservation agencies in the region are very cooperative and routinely work together with private landowners to accomplish resource enhancement projects. The following agencies provide assistance in planning, funding or implementing conservation and restoration projects:
Local Work Group Updates
The Local working group is a collaborative group of agencies and organizations working on conservation in the region. They assemble annually to share information and provide input and suggestions to the development of strategies and programs in the county. Please contact the district conservationist if you would like to participate or be included in information sharing.
For meeting information, please click here.
The richest and most diverse terrestrial eco-systems in Oregon are disappearing – oak woodlands and savannahs. Since the arrival of settlers in the early 1800s, more than 90 percent of Oregon’s pre-settlement oak habitats have been cleared to make way for farms, urban areas, and other development. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and partner organizations are working with private landowners to help protect and restore precious remaining oak habitats. More (HTML)...
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Follow the link to view more images for this story on Flickr. For related stories, visit the US Fish and Wildlife Service Journal.
Key Words: CCPI, oak restoration, Southwest Oregon Basin
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For Additional Assistance Contact
Central Point Service Center
89 Alder Street
Central Point, Oregon 97502
NRCS District Conservationist: Erin Kurtz, (541) 776-4267
Seasonal high tunnel on an organic farm, Applegate, OR
Wheel line irrigation, Talent, OR