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Washington - Pullman Plant Materials Center

Pullman Plant Materials Center (WAPMC)
Serving areas in the States of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

Established: 1935
Size: 320 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: NRCS and Washington State University

Silver mine reclamation in North Idaho.  PMC scientists screened plants that were adapted to the low pH and heavy metal contaminated spoilsThe Pullman Plant Materials Center (WAPMC) in Pullman, Washington lies in the Palouse Hills provides plant solutions for parts of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Eastern Washington, Oregon, and northern Idaho is a mosaic of cropland, orchards & vineyards, rugged scablands, native range, and mountains.

The service area of the Center faces many resource challenges. Winter winds strip unprotected topsoil and create dust clouds that degrade air quality for people living downwind. Melting snow erodes unprotected soil that pollutes receiving waters. Many of the region’s streams are important for salmon and steelhead trout spawning and rearing. Riparian areas in the Center’s service area frequently lack desirable vegetation that provides shade and woody debris for fish habitat. Invasive plants hinder streambank revegetation. Annual weeds have replaced native vegetation in many areas, and noxious weeds such as spotted knapweed are invading forested areas. These undesirable plants impede natural revegetation and threaten wildlife healthy environment.

The Center has provided new vegetative technologies for suppressing noxious weeds, tree and shrub planting directly into Conservation Reserve Program acres, cover crops, riparian restoration, herbicide use, and Palouse Prairie restoration.

The Pullman Plant Materials Center has developed over 30 conservation plants including varieties of Saskatoon serviceberry, western clematis, western dogwood, thickspike wheatgrass, Lewis mock orange, and common snowberry.

Highlights

WIND EROSION

Controlling erosion on Agriculture lands in high wind areas of eastern Washington
  • Trees Against the Wind, a Pacific Northwest Extension Publication, provides information on planning, designing, species selection, and maintenance of windbreaks.
  • Principle Uses of Cover Crops and Green Manures and Conservation Covers for Vineyards and Orchards publications to assist in selecting and using cover crops.
  • Dryland wheat field borders using native and non-native perennial bunchgrasses and wind breaks in the Horse Heaven Hills using tall wheatgrass and caragana provide erosion control technology.
  • A Rocky Mountain Juniper snow fence/wind break along highway in Lincoln County Washington uses native plants to protect the highway.

DEGRADED WILDLIFE AND POLLINATOR HABITAT

Increase native species on rangeland, forestland, and along Ag land
  • Developed blue wildryes, 'Union Flat' and 'Little Nachez', for wildlife habitat and erosion control on forest and rangeland.
  • Research pollinator beneficial forbs for their ability to be propagated, grown, and increased, for use in conservation practices.

UNSTABLE AND ERODING STREAMBANKS

Stabilize streambanks by establishing native woody and herbaceous vegetation
  • Collecting and Care of Cuttings for Riparian Plantings; Use of Herbaceous Vegetation for Streambank Erosion Control; and List of Native Species Suitable for Wetland and or Riparian Plantings in Washington are technical notes designed to help users select the right plants and techniques to stabilize streambanks.
  • Waterjet-Stinger; Photography: A basic monitoring technique for riparian ecosystem projects; and Rooting Characteristics of Black Cottonwood and Pacific Willow are guides which help the user select the right plants and tools to establish plants in a riparian setting as well as method to evaluate their effectiveness.
  • Conduct conservation field trials using native woody species such as black cottonwood in degraded riparian areas to demonstrate effectiveness in repairing damaged riparian areas.

Pullman Plant Materials Center
211-A Hulbert Hall
PO Box 646211
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6211
Telephone: 509-335-6892
Fax: 509-335-2940

Farm Location:  4900 SE Terre View Road, Pullman, WA