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FY 2015 East Face of the Elkhorn Mountains Partnership

Sign Up Today --- Application deadline is January 16, 2015 and March 20, 2015

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.

To lean more, contact your local NRCS field office.


The Partners

The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced a multi-year partnership with the United States Forest Service to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet across the nation.


Fuel Reduction - Before

The Project

The project, called the Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership, will invest $30 million in 13 projects across the country and over $2.6 million in Oregon, to help mitigate wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality, and supply and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species.

The 13 priority projects will build on existing projects with local partnerships already in place. By leveraging technical and financial resources and coordinating activities on adjacent public and private lands, conservation work by NRCS and FS will be more efficient and effective in these watersheds.

In Oregon, the project will focus on the East Face of the Elkhorn Mountains. Funding will be targeted on the landscape to augment and increase fuels reduction activities on adjoining private, federal and state lands. The East Face area contains high to very high wildfire potential on both public and private land. This goal of this work is to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire to a number of private residences across three separate Wildand Urban Interfaces. This will also reduce the threat of wildlfire to the watersheds that contain the municiple water supply for La Grande and Baker City. The project area also contains key habitat for federally threatened bulltrout, steelhead and Chinook salmon.

The Benefits

A number of options exist for utilizing additional resources, based on partnership priorities. Examples include:

  • Treat an additional 3,500-4,000 acres on NIPF thereby reducing fire hazards, benefiting wildlife, improving water quality and quantity, and supporting the health of the local economy;
  • Implement fuels treatment practices like Pre-Commercial Thinning and Slash Treatment;
  • Augment stewardship projects to focus on commercial removal in and adjacent to WUI areas, approximately 2,000-4,000 acres;
  • Enhance limited resources for in-stream work to remove fish barriers and strengthen existing partnerships with the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla and Bonneville Power Administration to further project implementation; and
  • Utilize rural fire departments and state resources to implement burning and therefore further their training specific to wildland fire.


Fuel Reduction - After

Vegetation treatments could increase the resilience of forests in La Grande’s municipal watershed, resulting in improved water storage, regulation of flow and sustained water quality. By reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, restoration treatments could also avoid future costs related to fire, including loss of municipal infrastructure and impaired water quality due to erosion.

2015 East Face Practice Payment Lists

The Measure of Success

Fuel reduction activities will reduce the likelihood of fire spread onto private lands and reduce severity of fire impacts on water quality and elk forage in upland areas. These fuels reduction activities will protect infrastructure related to Anthony Lakes Recreation area, the access corridor, and investments by Baker County.


East Face Project Map (PDF, 248 KB)
East Face Flyer (PDF, 399 KB)

Success Stories


EAST FACE: Landowner leverages NRCS partnership to improving wildlife habitat & forest health

Like many woodland owners in eastern Oregon, Tim Fisher enjoys and appreciates the value wildlife brings to his 1,500-plus acres in Baker County.

“I love watching the elk up here,” he said as he drove his pickup truck up a steep dirt road on his property, a mountainous view surrounding him. More (HTML...)

Key Words:  East Face, EQIP, Snake River Basin

EAST FACE: Landowner gives conservation a try with NRCS -- and he’s coming back for more

For eastern Oregon ranchers like Bill Loennig, starting small can lead to big benefits. That was his approach for a recent cost-share partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve forest health along the East Face of the Elkhorn Mountains.

This summer, contractors completed timber thinning and tree stand improvements on 37 of his 900-plus acres in Baker County -- and Loennig couldn’t be happier with the results. More (HTML...)

Key Words:  East Face, EQIP, Snake River Basin



Baker County
     Aaron Roth, 541-523-7121
     Jana Peterson, 541-523-5831

Union County
     Mike Burton, 541-963-4178 ext. 108
     Jamie Knight, 541-963-3168