The Upper Klamath Basin includes high desert, wetlands, and the Klamath River, which extends 250 miles from its headwaters at the Upper Klamath Lake in south central Oregon to the West Coast of northern California. The Upper Klamath Basin is the drainage area above the Iron Gate Dam near the Oregon-California border. The Klamath Basin’s lakes, marshes, and wetlands host an abundance of plant and animal species and include national wildlife refuges, parks, and forests. The Klamath Basin is also home to more than 1,400 farms and farm families. The basin was opened to agriculture around the turn of the century and, with the creation of the Klamath Irrigation District in 1905, water diversions for irrigation began in earnest.
In the 5 million-acre Upper Klamath Basin, there are 2.2 million acres of private lands. Of this, slightly over 500,000 acres are irrigated; 188,000 irrigated acres are within the U.S. Bureaur of Reclamation project and, the majority, about 314,000 irrigated acres are upstream of the project area.
Other watersheds within Klamath County include the Deschutes, Rogue and Summer Lake. These lands are primarily forested, public land.
Current Financial Assistance Opportunities for Farmers, Ranchers and Forest Owners in Klamath County
The following Conservation Implementation Strategies are available to help Klamath County agricultural producers address targeted resource concerns identified in the Long Range Plan. Click the project names below for more information:
- Irrigation Water Conservation and Drought Resilience
- Klamath Basin Farming and Wetland Collaborative
- Lost River Watershed Juniper Removal Project
- Food Security Initiative
- Climate-Focused Sustainable Livestock Production in Oregon
Additional Funding Opportunities...
In addition to the local projects above, producers may also apply for statewide programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Organic Initiative, Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, On-Farm Energy Initiative, and conservation easement programs. Visit with your local District Conservationist for more information on these and other programs, or visit the NRCS Programs webpage.
Local Work Group Meetings
Every year, NRCS hosts a Local Work Group meeting where farmers, landowners, conservation partners and other members of the community discuss the natural resource needs for the county. Based on feedback from those meetings, NRCS updates the county's Long Range Plan and develops new Conservation Implementation Strategies to address those resource concerns. You may contact us anytime to express concerns or comments about conservation needs in the county, and we encourage you to attend the next Local Work Group meeting in your county. For more information about Local Work Group meetings, contact your local NRCS office.