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Polk County Oak Habitat Restoration

Counties: Polk

Primary Resource Concern: Long term protection of land - Threat of conversion

Project Description
The Polk Soil and Water Conservation District plans to enhance and restore oak habitat and associated wildlife species on private lands in Polk County. The project will, create habitat corridors that traverse the county, adding increased wildlife forage and unobstructed travel from and between neighboring counties. The partners also plan to acquire three permanently conserved tribal ancestral lands through the Willamette Wildlife mitigation fund, increase awareness of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde's Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in managing oak habitat conditions and uses, historically maintained by the Tribes for more than 400 years, and to instill a deeper commitment to maintaining oak habitat among private landowners.

Collaborating Partners

  • Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
  • Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office (OFWO)
  • Institute for Applied Ecology
  • US Fish and Wildlife Partners Program
  • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s Small Grant Team
  • 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. Project is within the Airlie or Habeck Oaks COAs
  2. Oak stand is becoming overtopped by conifer and has a high risk of mortality
  3. Restoration targets priority plant and animal species associated with oak habitat as identified in the RCPP; includes installation of correlating plantings and structures for wildlife with no less than three years of maintenance.
  4. Oak project is connected to other properties with oak habitat
  5. Project incorporates three or more traditional ecological knowledge factors that are culturally valued by the tribes. See TEK Exhibit A.
  6. Oak Woodland restoration project is adjacent to oak prairie or savanna, or will establish adjoining oak prairie or savanna habitat
  7. Legacy oaks represent 5% or more of the existing oak stand that will be released as part of the project
  8. Understory planting will include only native species.
  9. Oak project is within partner designated Conservation Opportunity Areas (COAs) outside the Airlie or Habeck Oaks COA and south of Township 7S.
  10. Oak Project is not in a COA, but improves Oak Habitat in South Polk County from T8S to the Polk and Benton County line.

How to Apply
If you're interested in applying for this Program, please contact:

Karin Stutzman, District Manager Polk SWCD
Phone: 503-623-9680 x 110

Marc Bell, Senior Resource Conservationist Polk SWCD
Phone: 503-623-9680 x 103