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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (FS) is strongly committed to the management of the National Forests in an environmentally sound manner. The agency's top priority is to maintain and improve the health, diversity, and productivity of forest ecosystems for the enjoyment of current and future generations. Forest management includes guidance, administration, and support of the agency's forest products management and sales programs. Forest products include materials derived from a forest

Southern Blues Restoration Project

County: Grant

Land Use: Forest, Range, Pasture, Farmstead, Associated Ag Land

Primary Resource Concerns Addressed

  • Fire Management
  • Degraded Plant Condition
  • Terrestrial Habitat

Project Description

This project area is diverse both in the plants, wildlife species, and critical stream habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species located in the Southern Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. The project boundary includes the populations of Mount Vernon, John Day, Canyon City, and Prairie City. This project will create strategic fuel treatments to reduce fire risk to local communities while improving forest, rangeland, and overall watershed resiliency to proactively address changes in climate and precipitation patterns. This project will also engage in outreach and education to landowners about their property to promote a more fire adapted landscape. Additionally, this project will support two local mills and a post-and-pole plant, providing local jobs to contractors as well as opportunities for children and families to thrive in the local communities.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • Brush Management (314)
  • Herbaceous Weed Treatment (315)
  • Prescribed Burning (338)
  • Fuel Break (383)
  • Woody Residue Treatment (384)
  • Firebreak (394)
  • Range Planting (550)
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management (645)
  • Tree/Shrub Pruning (660)
  • Forest Stand Improvement (666)

Project Partners

  • NRCS Oregon
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Grant Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Jerome Natural Resource Consulting
  • Blue Mountain Forest Partners
  • Oregon State University Extension
  • ENVU
  • Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Grant County Community Action Team
  • 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. Does the EQIP contract leverage the management of natural resources across land ownership public – private boundaries?
    a. EQIP project is located in an area that is adjacent to high priority projects on public lands as indicated in the selected JCLRP project proposal. 
    b. EQIP project is located in an area that is within the same 12-digit hydrologic unit as high priority projects on public land as identified in the selected JCLRP project proposal.  
    c. Project is located outside of these areas 

2. Does the proposed project fall within the Prairie City municipal water supply watersheds or Laycock Creek priority area?
    a. Yes  
    b. No 

3. Has the applicant worked with GSWCD and OSU and has a completed field verified rapid assessment or is there a Forest Management Plan completed for the project area within the last 10 years?
    a. Yes 
    b. No 

4. Based on the OSU rapid assessment the majority of the project falls within the following priority?
    a. High Priority 
    b. Medium Priority  
    c. Low Priority 
    d. Other/No OSU assessment 

5. Will the proposed project address wildfire fuels reduction treatments along a road?
    a. The proposed project area address wildfire fuel reduction treatments along a road that is the main access or escape route of a residence. 
    b. The proposed project area address wildfire fuel reduction treatments along a road that provides access to public or industrial forest ground. 
    c. The proposed project area address wildfire fuel reduction treatments along a road that is privately owned. 
    d. The proposed project areas does not include any treatment along a road. 


Aaron Roth

District Conservationist