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FY 2014 Conservation Implementation Strategy

 

A Conservation Implementation Strategy is a detailed description of a specific natural resource problem in a specific area that NRCS, local partners and landowners are proposing to solve over the course of a few years.  Click here for FY 2013 Archived CIS.

Baker | Benton | Clackamas | Clatsop | Columbia | Coos | Crook | Curry | Deschutes | Douglas | Gilliam | Grant | Harney | Hood River | Jackson | Jefferson | Josephine | Klamath | Lake | Lane | Lincoln | Linn | Malheur | Marion | Morrow | Multnomah | Polk | Sherman | Tillamook | Umatilla | Union | Wallowa | Wasco | Washington | Wheeler | Yamhill

North Coast Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Clatsop County    
  Clatsop County Headquarters and Pasture Management

In Clatsop County we are trying to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff from agricultural headquarters and pasture land. By working with agricultural producers to install conservation practices we will enable them to improve headquarters and pasture management thereby improving water quality in the Nicolai-Wickiup and Lower Columbia watersheds.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

  Improving Forest Health

Reduce forest insect and disease risk, wildfire risk, and improve wildlife habitat in the Cow Creek-Nehalem watershed.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Inadequate structure and composition, wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters

Columbia County    
 

Columbian White-Tailed Deer Habitat Improvement

By assisting operators on private agricultural lands within the deer's current range, we will improve the habitat elements needed for the benefit and recovery of the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. This strategy will assist in stabilizing or improving the deer's population on off-refuge private grasslands with the hope of delisting the species.

Inaequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

  Columbia County Forest Diversity Initiative

This strategy is to work with private nonindustrial forest operations, concentrating efforts on ownership of 10 acres or more, to treat closed canopy stands in Upper and Middle Beaver Creek, Goble Creek, Lower Clatskanie River and Tide Creek watersheds. Of the 8,569 acres of closed canopy stands in those watersheds, NRCS and its partners will treat 50% of that acreage (4,284 acres) spread throughout the watershed through this initiative. This will result in a change from the current 60% rate, to a closer historic rate of 30% PNIF in closed single canopy within that area.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Inadequate structure and composition

Tillamook County    
  Tillamook County Nutrient Management

The Goal is to improve Water Quality through proper application rates and timing to reduce or eliminate loss of fecal coli forms to surface water adjacent to Tillamook County Pasture and Hay land and therefore improve water quality to acceptable levels meeting State and Federal standards.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excess pathogens and chemicals from manure, bio-solids or compost applications

  Nestucca Watershed Water Quality

The Goal in the Nestucca Watershed is to strategically put together multiple partner resources to stabilize temperatures and improve connectivity of wildlife habitat resulting in improved water quality and wildlife habitat in the Nestucca Watershed Council area of operation which includes the Sand Lake and Neskowin watersheds by focusing efforts of high priority projects. The Nestucca Watershed has been identified as a priority for funding through Ecotrust’s Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI).   Practices offered in this strategy will compliment with the goals of the WWRI: to restore and protect major ecological functions by removing risk factors and restoring damaged habitat-forming processes in the watershed.

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Water Quality Degradation:
Elevated water temperature

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Lower Willamette Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Clackamas County    
  Water Quality Concerns associated with Late Season/Winter Harvested Crops

The goal is to minimize impacts to water quality from late season harvested crops and non-point source pollution on streams in the Boring-Damascus including Gresham/Sandy and South Canby-Molalla areas.  The primary goal of this strategy is to address water quality degradation as a result of winter runoff associated with winter harvested crop enterprises.  Out of nearly 30,000 acres in this type of production, most large operations have multiple fields/tracts.  By working with a few producers to adopt buffers or other BMPs, the results can translate to a significant land area. Another goal is to prevent any more streams from TMDL listings due to temperature and/or pesticides.  One way to determine this would be through multi agency water sampling and monitoring to show a reduction in the frequency of detection of pesticides.

Also see Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface

 

Soil Erosion:
Sheet, rill, & wind erosion

Water Quality Degradation:
Pesticides transported to surface and ground waters

  Fish Habitat Enhancement - Near Stream

The primary goal of this strategy is to reduce sediment in selected streams by increasing buffer width and to address water quality degradation as a result of near stream practices and lack of riparian buffers.  A goal is to prevent any more streams from TMDL listings due to temperature and/or e-coli.  One way to determine this would be through multi agency water sampling and monitoring to show improved summer temperatures and reduction in suspended sediments and e-coli. This plan will focus on properties within 1000’ of a high priority stream as shown on the CIS map.

Also see Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface

 

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Water Quality Degradation:
Elevated water temperature

Marion County    
  Stayton-Sublimity Irrigation Efficiency & Energy Savings Project

Marion County is the largest agricultural producing county in the state of Oregon and with the population of Marion County expected to double by 2050, the identified resource concerns of water quantity and energy savings will become even more pertinent. Inefficient use of irrigation water have caused water to be mined from the aquifer and forcing restriction on the farmers and other water consumers in the identified focus area. Higher demands from surface water diverted from the North Santiam River at Stayton can affect threatened and endangered fish species with creating lower flows in a critical habitat stream system. The goal of the strategy is to convert as many inefficient irrigation systems to highly efficient irrigation system to save water and energy using EQIP funding, landowner commitment, and partner contribution in order to have plentiful water for irrigation & municipal needs.

Also see Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface

 

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Inefficient Energy Use:
Equipment and facilities

Multnomah County    
 

Also see

 
Polk County    
  Polk County Wellhead Protection

The goal of this strategy is to utilize the EQIP program to assist landowners in this area to better manage their irrigation water, to make better choices in the selection and use of Nutrients and Pesticides on their cropland and to help buffer ground water resources from negative impacts of the agricultural operations in the area.

Also see Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface

 

Water Quality Degradation:
Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

Washington County    
  Tualatin Basin Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Energy Conservation

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) contribute to climate change.  Increasing demand and decreasing supply of fossil fuels leads to high costs for energy.  The economic costs and environmental impacts of climate change and fossil fuel use are borne both by farmers and by society as a whole.  Likewise, the solutions to these problems lie in both rural and urban areas.  This strategy focuses on helping Washington County farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve fossil fuels.  Note: energy conservation practices such as new pumps are included in the overall CIS, but funding for those practices will be via the Energy Initiative. All acreages and funds shown in the following tabs are for funding via a Washington County Greenhouse Gas Funding Pool.

Also see Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface

 

Air Quality Impacts:
Emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
 

Inefficient Energy Use:
Equipment and facilities, farming/ranching practices and field operations

  Degraded Riparian Ecosystems

Highly disturbed stream reaches in the Tualatin River Basin result in stressed populations of native aquatic and terrestrial species that depend on healthy riparian areas. Our goal is to implement resource management systems on agricultural lands bordering high priority streams in the target area.

Also see Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface

 

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Water Quality Degradation: Pesticides transported to surface and ground waters

Yamhill County    
  Yamhill County Surface Water Quality

There are 421,320 acres in Yamhill County that directly impact the quality of drinking water for communities in Yamhill County and in neighboring counties. There are 11 stream segments that are currently listed for water quality impairment on the Oregon department of Environmental Quality 303d list in the Yamhill Basin. The goal is to decrease  impacts from cropland that contribute to water quality problems on the 11 stream segments in Yamhill County that are currently listed as water quality impaired.

Also see Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface

Water Quality Degradation:
Pesticides transported to surface and ground waters,
excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

  Lower Willamette Basin NIPF Wildland-Urban Interface
Yamhill, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, Multnomah, Polk

Poor or non-existent management on non-industrial private forestland (NIPF) in the Lower Willamette Basin has resulted in excessive fuel load levels that dramatically increase the chance of catastrophic wildfires. Potential for wildfires are especially of concern in wild land-urban interface areas where wildfires can have devastating effects on homes, businesses and infrastructure. The general lack of management has resulted in overstocked forest stands, invasive species spread, and insects and disease that all contribute directly to the fuel loads. Without treatment, these hazardous fuel situations become more of a concern as more homes are built in areas prone to wildfires. In addition to the direct impact that a catastrophic fire would have in the surrounding communities, indirect impacts, such as increased erosion from burned over areas and from hastily laid out access roads are also a concern. The strategy goal is to decrease wildfire potential on non-industrial private forestland that is located within the wild land-urban interface and within 5 miles of any area identified by ODF as having moderate or high wildfire hazard rating.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation,
undesirable plant productivity and health

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Upper Willamette Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Benton    
  Benton, Lane and Linn Oak Habitat Enhancement Project

The goal of the project is to enhance 1,000 acres of threatened oak habitats within ODFW Conservation Opportunity Areas.  In order to restore and expand oak woodlands and savannas, invasive weed species must be suppressed, trees that compete with oaks must be controlled, and new plantings of oaks must be established and maintained to ensure their prosperity. These tasks will be the focus of implementation plan, with the ultimate intention of revitalizing current oak populations and creating corridors to unite oak habitats that have previously been isolated. This will not only prevent the disappearance of Oregon White Oaks from their historic occupancy, but will improve the prospect of survival for many species that thrive in oak habitats.

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Lane County    
  Lane County Fire Protection Initiative

The purpose of this initiative is to make significant progress towards reducing fire hazard and improving forest health on non-industrial private forest land in Lane County.

Also see Benton, Lane and Linn Oak Habitat Enhancement Project

Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation,
undesirable plant productivity and health

   Siuslaw Forest Management Plan Strategy

This initiative uses the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to fund the writing of forest management plans in the area of western Lane County serviced by the Siuslaw Soil and Water Conservation District.  Identification of clusters of ready and willing landowners through the plan writing effort will focus future implementation strategies.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Inadequate structure and composition

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Linn County    
  Linn County Watershed Enhancement

The purpose of the Linn County Watershed Enhancement project is to provide landowners with the opportunity to significantly improve temperature and sediment loads in surrounding rivers and stream through conservation measures to improve habitat for threatened, endangered, and sensitive aquatic and terrestrial species.

Also see Benton, Lane and Linn Oak Habitat Enhancement Project

 

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation


Water Quality Degradation:
Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Lincoln County    
  Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians Forest Strategy

The Siletz River watershed covers 373 square miles, the vast majority of which is forested.  The Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians (CTSI) own and manage 8100 acres of forestland in the watershed in multiple tracts.  These lands have been under CTSI management for several years with a Forest Resource Management Plan.  This strategy seeks to improve forest water quality by addressing forest condition to diversify forest stands and have an overall positive effect on forest health.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters, elevated water temperature
 

Degraded Plant Condition:
Inadequate structure and composition

  Big Elk Water Quality

The goal of this implementation strategy is improvement for all water quality parameters (temperature, sediment, dissolved oxygen, bacteria).  This goal will be reached through cooperative project development and implementation between landowners and local partners to decrease negative impacts derived from agricultural activity on farms and nonindustrial privately owned forestland.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters, excess pathogens and chemicals from manure, bio-solids or compost applications, elevated water temperature

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Southwest Oregon Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Coos County    
  Coquille Tribal Collaborative Forest Health

This strategy is focused on improving forest health through the implementation of forest management practices on private and tribal lands near the headwaters of the Middle Fork Coquille River.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Inadequate structure and composition, excessive plant pest pressure, wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation

Coos/Curry  County    
  Coos/Curry - Surface Water Quality

The Coos/Curry Surface Water Quality/Quantity Project focuses on improving the surface water quality & quantity of certain segments of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) 303(d) listed streams   located in the Coquille, Sixes, and Coos sub basins.  This will include agricultural operations that are within ½ mile of the 303(d) listed stream segments in the identified basins. The goal is to assist   producers in reducing point and non-point source pollution of excessive nutrients, organics, and sediment to adjacent streams and waterways.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

  Coos/Curry - Irrigation Automation For Cranberry Farms

Excess or inefficient water delivery (timing and amounts) in cranberry irrigation systems is a priority resource concern.  Cranberries require significant amounts of water and are vulnerable to frost and heat.  The irrigation system is used for irrigation, frost protection, chemigation, and flood harvesting.  Irrigation timing (length and duration), uniformity and net application rates are critical for crop health, vigor, and productivity.  Applying too much or too little water for irrigation or frost protection can result in dramatic impacts to production or complete crop loss.    The goal of this strategy is to assist producers with water savings through improved irrigation efficiency and energy savings through reduced pump usage and fuel/electricity consumption via system component automation.

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Inefficient Energy Use:
Equipment and facilities

Douglas County    
  Douglas Pasture Health

The pasturelands in Douglas County are being overtaken by invasive brush species including English hawthorn, scotch broom and Armenian (Himalayan) blackberry.  This is creating a wildfire hazard, reducing pastureland productive capacity and reducing the habitat for wildlife. The goal is to restore pasture health by controlling invasive brush, installation of cross fencing, livestock water systems and implementation of prescribed grazing.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure

Livestock Production Limitation:
Inadequate feed and forage

Jackson County    
  Forest Stand Health and Fuels Reduction
Jackson, Josephine

Forests in southwestern Oregon are under extreme environmental stress due in part to unnaturally high tree densities as a result of fire exclusion. The effects include the increased risk of uncharacteristically severe wildfire with resultant effects on soil, water, air, plant, animal, and human resources, increased risk of insects and disease, reduced wildlife habitat value, and decreased productivity and value of the timber resource. Jackson County consistently experiences one of the highest occurrences of wildfire in Oregon and has suffered devastating losses to life, property, natural resources, and community infrastructure. The goal is to promote healthy forest ecosystems and reduce the risk of uncharacteristically severe wildfire.

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Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation,
excessive plant pest pressure

  Little Butte Creek Agricultural Water Quality Improvement Project

The goal of this strategy is to improve water quality and irrigation efficiency in the Little Butte Creek Watershed. This proposal will focus on conversion of flood to sprinkler irrigation systems, and the implementation of proper irrigation water management (IWM). The elimination of tail water runoff and its associated pollutant load and elevated temperatures will improve water quality in the watershed. This may have positive impacts to spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids, including the threatened Coho, while also increasing crop production and the potential for positive impacts to farm/ranch viability and profitability.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Josephine County    
    Also see Forest Stand Healthy Fuels Reduction  

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High Desert Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Harney County    
  Mule Deer Habitat Improvement in Harney County

Treat 8,000 acres of Phase 1 and 2 invasive juniper on private lands to improve mule deer habitat by restoring bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, and aspen stands.  In combination with other mule deer management actions, these habitat improvements are expected to result in increased numbers of mule deer in Harney County.

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure

Klamath County    
  Spring Creek Forest Health Project

The Klamath Lake Forest Health Partnership and other partners intend to implement treatments to reduce risk of further beetle infestation and wildfire on approximately 705 acres of non-industrial private forest land within the Spring Creek area by 2020. 2014 contracting effort is being supplemented by ODF fuels crew work, wood cutter and commercial logging to further meet project objectives.

 

Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation, excessive plant pest pressure,
undesirable plant productivity and health

  North and South Fork Sprague River Irrigated Systems Implementation Project

To improve the conditions of the Sprague River and the Upper Klamath Lake, this initial Klamath County NRCS conservation strategy will focus technical and financial assistance on critical inefficient irrigation water diversion systems to address low stream flow in the Sprague River and its tributaries.

 

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Lake County    
  Mule Deer Habitat Improvement

The goal of this project is to improve mule deer wintering habitat by changing the plant composition of the landscape to one less dominated by juniper.  The targeted area of juniper treatment on privately owned lands is 5,000- 6,000 acres. Future conditions will reflect a change in invading juniper by reducing the acreage of Phase I and II stands. Habitat improvement should be directed to those areas in or immediately adjacent to the key habitat components of bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, and aspen stands.


Also see North & South Sprague River Irrigation System Improvement Project

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation


Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health

  Working Lands for Waterbird Conservation

Since the early 1990s Irrigation water conservation has been a primary focus of NRCS in the High Desert Basin.  The increased funding associated with the 2002 Farm Bill allow for treatment of significant amount of irrigated acres.  Conversions from flood to sprinkler irrigation typically ranked amongst the highest projects.    In 2006 the Directors of the Harney Soil and Water Conservation District raised concern for the extent of flood irrigation conversions and the loss of associated waterbird habitat.  As a result, NRCS completed a program review to evaluate past efforts related to irrigation water conservation and potential impacts to water bird habitat. The goal of this strategy is to demonstrate the value in maintaining and enhancing flood-irrigated meadows to support foraging habitat for spring migratory water birds.

 

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

  Medusahead Control on Rangeland in Southern Lake County

In 2010, the Lake County Local Working Group identified invasive species and noxious weeds as a high priority resource concern.  This was incorporated into the NRCS Long Range Strategic Plan as a resource problem to be addressed.  Of particular concern was the spread of annual grasses on private and public grazing lands; specifically this focused on the invasion of medusahead on rangeland in the southern half of Lake County.  Soils with surface textures higher in clay content are more susceptible to medusahead invasion.  In Lake County these soil types are more prevalent in the Goose Lake, Lake Abert, and Summer Lake Basins. The main goals are for landowners to adopt and implement integrated pest management, to decrease the expansion of this invasive species, and to reduce the acres of medusahead on highly-susceptible soils in the focus areas.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure

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Snake River Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Baker County    
  Old Auburn Saves Mule Deer Juniper Removal

Improving range health and Mule Deer habitat by removing juniper and releasing understory vegetation.

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation


Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health

  Baker Valley Irrigation Improvement

Improve Irrigation efficiency and improve water quality in the Baker Valley.

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Water Quality Degradation:
Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters


Inefficient Energy Use:
Farming/ranching practices and field operations

Malheur County    
  Blackjack Butte Irrigation Improvement

The Blackjack Butte Water Quality Improvement will provide landowners an opportunity to improve water quality, increase irrigation efficiencies, and improve soil health in the Blackjack Butte area. The goals of this project are to improve water quality by reducing the amount of irrigation runoff and erosion/sedimentation that leaves the area and to increase on-farm irrigation efficiencies.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters,
Excess nutrients in surface and ground waters

Soil Quality Degradation:
Subsidence

  Fletcher Gulch Water Quality Improvement

The Fletcher Gulch Irrigation Improvement will provide landowners an opportunity to improve irrigation water quality, increase irrigation efficiencies, and improve soil health in the Fletcher Gulch area. The   goals of this project are to improve water quality by reducing the amount of irrigation runoff and erosion/sedimentation that leaves the area and to increase on-farm irrigation efficiencies.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Soil Quality Degradation:
Subsidence

Union County    
  Catherine Creek Irrigation Efficiency Project

The purpose of the Catherine Creek Irrigation Efficiency Project is to provide landowners with the opportunity to significantly improve irrigation efficiency on their land while saving energy and improving productivity.  The goal of this project is to increase the efficiency of irrigation systems in the Lower Catherine Creek Watershed from 50 percent to a minimum of 70 percent on 5000 acres in the next five years.  This increase in efficiency will also improve stream flows and habitat conditions for Chinook salmon and other endangered salmonids.

Also see Vegetation Regeneration around Indian Lane

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

 

Upper Grande Ronde ESA Listed Fish and Watershed Treatment

Private landowners will have the opportunity to improve habitat for endangered salmonids and upland vegetation condition on grazed range and forest land with technical and financial assistance from a coalition of partners.  Upland practices planned and implemented with NRCS programs will facilitate riparian corridor establishment and management implemented by partners.

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation


Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation

Wallowa County    
 

Wallowa Lake Glacial Moraine Weed Partnership

The first year of the CIS the Wallowa County Weed Department is doing the inventory on the three target species "meadow hawkweed, common bugloss and spotted knapweed".  The three target species are both B and T listed species with the intent to maintain or prevent the spread.  The proposed area has been identified in the Wallowa County Integrated Weed Management Plan as the priority containment area which comprises a total of 5,100 acres of grazing lands.  The weeds are spreading onto the very unique Wallowa Lake Glacial Moraine.  Our partner is investing 30,000 dollars to identify the specific locations and amounts of each species this spring and summer.  In 2014, NRCS will provide cost share to treat the three targeted species.  The contracts will be for no more than two years of treatment.  The Wallowa County Weed Department will be the lead in monitoring the target species over the next 3-5 years.  Our target is a 75% reduction in the size of the targeted species area.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure

  Prairie Creek Irrigation Efficiency Improvement

Irrigation water is diverted from Wallowa Lake into a 70 mile canal system with 300 miles of smaller ditches. The 4 main canals, Silver Lake, Farmers, Big Bend and Dobbin, are individual ditch companies managed by individual members of the canals. The individual ditches formed the Associated Ditch Company (ADC) to manage Wallowa Lake dam and diversions into each of the canals. Conveyance efficiency is estimated at 50 percent. The majority of on-farm irrigation is applied with wheel lines. The 300 miles of smaller ditches primarily supply water from the main canal to pumps or gravity system inlets. Typically, the smaller ditches provide water to multiple pumps belonging to multiple landowners. In order to keep screens and pumps supplied with sufficient water amounts in excess of need is diverted via the smaller ditches to provide constant flow to pumps and pipeline inlets. Unused water returns to Prairie Creek.  The goal is to improve irrigation efficiencies in Prairie Creek, connect all pumping stations to the main canals by relocating pumps to the canals or piping water to the pumps.

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

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John Day / Umatilla Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Gilliam County    
  Healthy Cropland Soils of Eastern Oregon
Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla

Traditional tillage practices of cropland in the Pacific Northwest have led to degradation of the health of our soil base.  Producers of the region are being constantly asked to produce more food, and with the traditional practices of cultivation, that represents a continued depletion of the natural health of the soil in which they base their lives work.  With the increased popularity of direct seed and no-till farming, NRCS assisted producers in recognizing the degradation, and then offering assistance to start a trend of improving the health of the soil.  Now, NRCS has the opportunity to further our commitment to the producers of the Pacific Northwest and provide them assistance in proceeding to the next stage of managing the land, and help them ensure that they and future generations are able to continue producing the food needed by our world for survival.

Soil Quality Degradation:
Organic matter depletion

  Lonerock Basin Prescribed Burn
Gilliam, Wheeler

The goal of this project is to assist landowners within the Lonerock Basin Project area to increase plant production for wildlife and livestock, improve health and vigor in the uplands, and restore the hydrologic function on 9,000 acres of juniper infested rangeland, using prescribed burning and brush management.

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation


Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health

  Rock Creek Irrigation Efficiency
Gilliam

Rock Creek is a tributary to the John Day River, which supports wild Chinook Salmon and Columbia River Steelhead populations, and Upper Rock Creek itself is spawning habitat for Columbia River Steelhead.  There are approximately 3,100 acres being irrigated with direct withdraws and inefficient irrigation delivery systems on Rock Creek, creating water quantity concerns.  These systems typically operate at 50% efficiency and according to the irrigation water savings estimator, open ditch conveyance systems are estimated to lose 2.2 ac/ft. per acre of water per year.  While the irrigated land in Rock Creek constitutes a fraction of the total acres in Gilliam County, the 3,100 acres are 50% of the total irrigated acres in the county, making it a significant concern.

Insufficieint Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water, inefficient moisture management

Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health

Grant County    
  JDU Grant DPC IHFW Range Grazed Forest Mule Deer Aspen

Restore and enhance aspen stand in Grant County to improve wildlife habitat.  The ODFW Mule Deer Initiative areas will be the highest priority.

See also JDU Forestry CIS

Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

  Grant Mule Deer Winter Habitat Improvement - Murderers Creek and Heppner WMU

The reduction in shrubs, such as bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, currants, roses, sagebrush, and native grass dominated sites has reduced mule deer habitat, contributing to the reduced deer numbers in many areas of Grant and Morrow counties.  Altered hydrologic cycles have resulted in reduced ground/surface water availability in the late season when it’s needed (late summer/early fall).  Late succession juniper sites, where shrubs are mostly absent and perennial grasses are severely reduced, allow annual grasses and other noxious weeds to begin to invade the site. The goal of the project is to improve upland health in the grazed rangeland and forestland within the Murderers Creek and Heppner Units of the Mule Deer Initiative.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

  JDU Grant Soil Health

The goal of this CIS will be to reduce soil quality degradation by improving soil health.  Rangeland soil quality affects plant production, erosion, water infiltration, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, vegetation changes, establishment and growth of invasive plants and overall rangeland health.

Soil Quality Degradation:
Organic matter depletion, compaction

Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health

Morrow County    
  Columbia Basin Mule Deer Range Improvement

A major limiting factor for mule deer on winter rangeland is habitat degradation. Mule deer rely heavily on robust riparian vegetation with a high diversity of woody shrub species along streams. Winter rangeland will be enhanced through habitat alterations that increase the shrub component while enhancing the herbaceous understory, benefiting not only mule deer but upland game birds and livestock.

See also

Inadequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation


Degraded Plant Condition:
Inadequate structure and composition

Livestock Production Limitation:
Inadequate livestock water

  Boardman - West Extension Irrigation Russian Olive Control

In the targeted 10,000 acres of irrigated pasture and cropland, 325 acres of Russian olive is outcompeting and replacing native vegetation, interfering with natural plant succession and nutrient cycling, and choking irrigation canals. The goal is to break a landowner/producer program participation barrier and enhance irrigation water availability through the control of Russian olive.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Umatilla County    
  Fruitvale Water Users Association

The project targets producers who are wanting to upgrade their on-farm irrigation systems as the FWUA system upgrades from open ditch to pipe.

See also

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

  Hudson Bay District Improvement Company (HBDIC)

The project targets producers who are wanting to upgrade their on-farm irrigation systems as the HBDIC system upgrades from open ditch to pipe.

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water
  Vegetative Regeneration around Indian Lake
Umatilla, Union

The Indian Lake area has a long history of Tribal subsistence use. It is a source of roots, berries, big and small game, wood, medicines, mushrooms, fish and grazing for their livestock. Their oral history includes stories of favorite locations for these first foods and good camp sites with water and firewood for warmth and smoking and drying meat. Restoring the health of the first foods in this area is a top priority to the Tribal Members.   To accomplish the restoration of this area, the BIA and CTUIR would actively manage vegetation by the use of proper grazing of domesticated animals as a vegetation management tool along with mechanical thinning of the over stocked forests. To protect sensitive resources and focus on resource needs, specific forage utilization levels and season and duration of use for livestock would be prescribed on a pasture-by-pasture basis. In addition, range readiness criteria, and wildlife habitat standards have been designed to address sensitive resources.  Overstocked areas of Forest land will be identified and thinned to match the resources available and at a density that will promote the reproduction of Aspens and Huckle Berries where they have a presence.  Adaptive management, or the continual process that ensures that management strategies will be adjusted to meet goals and objectives through planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, will be used throughout implementation.  This process emphasizes flexibility necessary to make adjustments while ensuring results.  A continual feedback loop based on new information allows for mid-course corrections to grazing or thinning schedules, standards and guidelines, and underlying assumptions in order to meet planned goals and objectives.  It could also be used as a model for adjusting goals and objectives as new information develop.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation, undesirable plant productivity and health

 Livestock Production Limitation:
Inadequate livestock water

Wheeler County    
 

Bear Creek Project

The goal of this project is to assist landowners within the Bear Creek Project area with the restoration of plant productivity, health and vigor in the uplands and hydrologic function on 7,350 acres of degraded rangeland which would result in an additional water savings of approximately 1,569 acre feet of water available annually.

See also Lonerock Basin Prescribed Burn

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure, Undesirable plant productivity and health

Inaequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

  Mountain Creek Irrigation

Open ditch delivery systems are increasing irrigation inefficiencies on irrigated cropland, generally hay, in the Mountain Creek Watershed in Wheeler County.  This impacts riparian areas, fish and wildlife habitat, and water quality and quantity.  The efficiency of irrigation systems is the one component that NRCS has the capacity to help landowners improve and, thereby, help maintain or improve stream flow conditions for the resident fish populations. The goal of this strategy is to decrease stream temperatures by increasing irrigation efficiency to improve water quality, quantity, and fish habitat for migratory and resident salmonids.

 

 

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Inaequate Habitat for Fish & Wildlife:
Habitat degradation

  JDU Forestry CIS
Wheeler, Grant, Umatilla, Morrow

The goal of this project is to provide an impact to the overall Non Industrial Private Forest health of the John Day/ Umatilla Basin by assisting landowners in creating a defensible buffer on their property to reduce the risk of fire and pest infestations moving from publicly held land onto private tracts.  Through reducing stocking densities and slash loads currently in place, the buffer along the public forest/private forest interface will help protect future investments into long term forest health and ecosystem sustainability.

 

Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation, excessive plant pest pressure

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Deschutes Area Basin

Location Description Primary Resource Concern
Crook County    
 

Crook County Aspen Restoration Strategy

The goal is to restore and enhance aspen stands throughout Crook County with special emphasis in the ODFW Maury Mule Deer Initiative area.

See also Upper Deschutes Tri-county Forest Health

Inadequate Habitat for Fish and wildlife:
Habitat degradation

Deschutes County    
  Upper Deschutes Tri-County Forest Health
Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook

The goal is to improve the overall health of forestland within and directly adjacent to the wildland urban interface on Non-Industrial Private Forestland (NIPF). Priority will be given to watersheds with significant resource and/or infrastructure concerns. Treating these areas will reduce the potential of experiencing adverse catastrophic wildfire impacts to forest resources and improve the overall health of the watershed. In addition, the strategy will reduce the density of overstocked stands, manipulate fuel arrangement and forest structures to minimize risk of unwanted stand replacement fires thereby improving the health and vigor of forestland and maintaining watershed function.

 

Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation.

Hood River County    
  Surface Water Quality/Quantity in Hood River Valley

The primary objective of this project is to have 75% of the Hood River Valley's irrigated cropland that is of a 5% slope or more, converted to a low flow, efficient irrigation system (micro or drip) by 2015. This will in turn reflect a reduction in irrigation induced erosion. It is also a goal that by having more efficient systems, there will be less need to for water withdraw at irrigation diversions, so more flow may be left in the main water courses. By allowing more flow to remain in the channels during the peak irrigation season (and also hottest time of the year) the potential for surface waters to increase in temperature due to solar radiation will go down.

Also see Wasco & Hood River County Forest Health Improvement

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

 

Mid-Columbia Soil Health Management Systems
Hood River, Wasco


The goal of the project is to pilot a strategy to address degraded soil health through the application of conservation practices in the Mid-Columbia region. This project will assist agricultural producers to fine-tune their cropping systems to increase soil tilth and organic matter on 9500 total acres of irrigated and dry cropland.

Soil Quality Degradation:
Orgnic matter depletion

Jefferson County    
  Mud Springs- NUID Lateral 58_11

In this strategy, the 58-11 lateral canal would be replaced with a HDPE plastic pipeline starting at the diversion where 58-9 and 58-11 split, a distance of about 5 miles. 58-9 was piped in a previous project completed in 2012. A surge pond was built at this junction to take care of any excess water coming down the main canal due to lags in adjusting flow rates to the pipelines. Individual irrigators will need to modify or replace existing infrastructure to connect to the NUID pipeline and take advantage of the pressurized system. They may also be able to make improvements to their existing systems to more efficient sprinklers and better irrigation water management. Individual conservation plans will be developed to determine on farm needs and solutions. At a minimum the plans would include irrigation water management and water control structures at the points of delivery with water meters and other needed appurtenances. Some farms will also need irrigation pipelines to connect their existing systems to the new NUID pipe and improvement to existing sprinkler systems to maximize efficiency.

Also see:

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

 

North Agency Plains Irrigation Improvements

The goal of this strategy is to improve irrigation efficiency on cropland in the North Agency Plains area NW of Madras.  It will reduce demand for water diverted from the Deschutes River and reduce irrigation runoff that reaches the river below the Pelton Dam complex.  Priority will be given to those applications that have the greatest improvement in irrigation efficiency and reducing runoff such as converting from flood irrigation to sprinklers.

Insufficient Water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters

Inefficient Energy Use:
Farming/ranching practices and field operations

 

Logg Springs Restoration Project


This strategy seeks to improve anadromous fish habitat in the Beaver Creek watershed. Two goals of this watershed project are to improve water quality and improve important fish spawning and rearing habitat.  Removing common natural resource stressors like open logging roads/skid trails, plugged culverts and uncontrolled livestock will reduce sedimentation and improve water quality.

Water Quality Degradation:
Excessive sediment in surface waters

Soil Erosion:
Excessive bank erosion from streams, shorelines, or water conveyance channels

Sherman County    
  John Day and Deschutes River Corridor Noxious Weed Program

The NRCS and Partners will be working with Producers to treat areas along the John Day River and Deschutes River that currently host noxious weeds. The locally defined desired future conditions are to control approximately 70% - 80% of noxious weeds within a 2 mile corridor along the rivers, and to provide a healthier habitat for rangeland, wildlife and livestock grazing.

 

Degraded Plant Condition:
Excessive plant pest pressure.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health.

Wasco County    
  Wasco County Forest Health Improvement

This project is a collaborative effort between several partners including local, state and federal agencies and private landowners. The project will focus on improving forest health in the Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in Wasco County. The goal is to improve forest health affected by insect, disease and overstocking within the Wasco Management area by implementing forest stand improvement and slash treatment practices.

Degraded Plant Condition:
Wildfire hazard, excessive biomass accumulation

Degraded Plant Condition:
Undesirable plant productivity and health

  White River Watershed Council Irrigation Efficiency

The purpose of this strategy is to outline the next actions needed to address critical water quality resource concerns in the White River Watershed. This strategy focuses on the irrigators and irrigation districts within the White River Watershed.  Resource concerns addressed within the strategy include: Water Quality, Water Quantity, Soil Erosion, Soil Condition and Energy. The project area includes the White River Watershed and also the sub watershed of Wapinitia Creek. The goal is to improve the existing on-farm irrigation systems by upgrading to new technologies that are proven to conserve water, and to improve the delivery system by eliminating or reducing the loss of water through open ditches. In turn, water quality within the White River and its tributaries will improve as water is left in-stream. We estimate that 60% of the water is lost in the poor delivery systems and on-farm improvements can save estimated 20% to 40% additional water.

Water quality degradation:
Excessive sediment in water

Insufficient water:
Inefficient use of irrigation water