Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Northern Steens RCPP

County: Harney

Primary Resource Concern Addressed:

  • Terrestrial habitat - Terrestrial habitat for wildlife and invertebrates

Project Description
The project goal is to reduce primary threats to Greater sage-grouse and improve habitat quality and quantity by accelerating implementation of conservation actions on private lands in Harney County, Oregon. Development of site-specific plans (SSPs) for landowners with Letters of Intent (LOIs) to enroll in the Programmatic Harney Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Harney SWCD. 2014) is the most effective means by which to reach these goals. This project will expand participation in the CCAA program which has proven to restore wildlife habitats while creating opportunities for landowners and benefiting rural economies.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • Brush Management (314)  
  • Herbaceous Weed Treatment (315)  
  • Pest Management Conservation System (595)
  • Range Planting (550)
  • Prescribed Grazing (528) 
  • Critical Area Planting (342)  
  • Fence (382)  
  • Fuel Break (383)  
  • Woody Residue Treatment (384)  
  • Access Control (472) 
  • Livestock Pipeline (516)
  • Pumping Plant (533) 
  • Spring Development (574)
  • Watering Facility (614)
  • Water Well (642)
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management (645)
  • Other practices as agreed upon by NRCS and Harney SWCD that address Resource Concerns

Project Partners

  • Harney SWCD
  • High Desert Partnership
  • Oregon Department of State Lands
  • Burns District BLM
  • 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 implementing practices identified in a Whole Ranch Plan intended to address all threats to sage-grouse (e.g. CCAA site specific plan or full farm SGI plan)?
  2. Where is the majority of the proposed treatment area located?
  3. Will the proposed treatment improve direct connectivity to a larger, open sagebrush habitat?
  4. Is the proposed treatment area predominantly flat or gently sloping hills (approx. < 15% slope)?
  5. Does the understory vegetation of the proposed treatment area consist primarily of native grasses, forbs, and shrubs?
  6. Is the proposed treatment area free of old-growth juniper, pine, and as planned, will no pockets of trees (riparian areas exempted) or areas dominated by annual grasses remain after treatment?
  7. Is the observed rangeland trend stable or positive, or does the planned contract include prescribed grazing to address perennial plant health?
  8. Is the proposed treatment primarily targeting mesic habitat, phase I or II conifer encroachment, and/or an isolated invasive annual grass infestation (no other known infestations within 1 mile that are not planned for treatment?
  9. Is the proposed treatment primarily targeting treatment of Phase III conifer encroachment, treatment of invasive annual grasses in close proximity (< 1 mile) of other infestations that will not be treated, or other practices to address threats to sage-grouse?
  10. What percentage of threats to sage-grouse identified in the proposed treatment area (using the SGI Threats Checklist) will be addressed by the planned practices?

Jason Kesling

District Manager at Harney Soil & Water Conservation District

Zola Ryan

NRCS Oregon District Conservationist