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North Willamette Valley Upland Oak Restoration Partnership

County: Yamhill

Primary Resource Concern: Degraded plant condition - Plant structure and composition

Project Description
RCPP funding will provide investments in oak and prairie habitats in Yamhill County. This will fund practices typically associated with oak and prairie restoration projects under similar contracting procedures as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to address the primary resource concern of Wildlife Habitat Degradation/Terrestrial Habitat. This unique project will protect USDA investments and critical wildlife habitat by leveraging other investments made by partners that protect and preserve land. An investment in oak habitat conservation in the project area will facilitate implementation of numerous regional conservation plans and priorities. With the secured funding, we plan to restore at least 700 acres within Yamhill County. Depending on project sizes, this could total 35-60 contracts by the end of 2025. A large part of the leveraging funds will come from securing properties with permanent conservation easements which harbor oak and prairie habitat. We plan to acquire at least three properties in the county to fulfill this goal. Properties with an RCPP contract will undergo extensive restoration efforts for a three-year period. Practices will focus on removing invasive weed species in the understory and will remove a variety of trees that are competing with native Oregon white oak.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • Forest Stand Improvement (666)
  • Fence (382)
  • Conservation Cover (327)
  • Brush Management (314)
  • Woody Residue Treatment (384)
  • Tree/Shrub Establishment (612)
  • Wildlife Habitat Planting (420)
  • Prescribed Grazing (528)
  • Tree/Shrub Site Preparation (490)
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management (645)

Collaborating Partners

  • Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Greater Yamhill Watershed Council
  • The Institute for Applied Ecology
  • Willamette Partnership
  • NRCS Oregon
  • Private landowners

Application Questions

NRCS uses prioritization questions to evaluate applications for this initiative. See the list of workload prioritization questions on the Oregon EQIP page. Ranking questions below will also apply.

Ranking Questions

1. Is the project site permanently protected or within 0.5 miles of other oak or prairie habitats that are permanently protected?

a. Permanently protected
b. Within 0.5 mi. of other protected sites
c. More than 0.5 mi. of protected sites

2. Are there known threatened or endangered species associated with upland prairie or oak habitat present in the project site or within 0.5 miles?

a.    Yes, onsite
b.    Yes, within 0.5 mile
c.    No

3. Will the scheduled practices continue restoration already implemented independently by the landowner or with assistance through other programs?

a.    Yes, restoration has been occurring in project area
b.    Yes, restoration has been occurring on the same or adjacent parcel
c.    No, there has not been any restoration

4. Is the project area within a Conservation Opportunity Area (either ODFW or TNC)?

a.    Yes
b.    No

5. Will restoration of the project area enhance or create a historical oak/prairie plant community?

a.    Parcel has prominent oak or prairie characteristics. Enrollment will facilitate enhancement.
b.    Parcel has oaks, but few other natives and has been used for purposes other than wildlife habitat.
c.    Parcel has a few native prairie forbs and/or grasses but has been used for purposes other than wildlife habitat in the past.

6. If the project area is not enrolled in RCPP this FY, what level is the risk at to conservation values or habitat quality due to threats such as development, loss of habitat value through lack of active management (excessive weeds, Doug fir encroachment) or conversion to different land use?

a.    High - loss will occur within 1-2 years
b.    Medium - loss will occur within 5-10 years
c.    Low - habitat quality and ownership are stable

7. Is the project/restoration area large enough to provide significant habitat uplift for the region?

a.    Project area is greater than 15 acres
b.    Project area is greater than 5 acres
c.    Project area is less than 5 acres

How to Apply

If you're interested in applying for this program, please contact:

Amie Loop-Frison – Yamhill SWCD
(503) 376-7611