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Water Quality Initiative - Baker City Source Water and Forest Health Protection

County: Baker

Primary Resource Concern Addressed

  • Fire Management
  • Degraded Plant Condition
  • Pest Pressure

Project Description
Through the source water protection special component of the National Water Quality Initiative, NRCS assists landowners with implementation of practices to protect source water for public water systems. The Baker drinking water source area is located within the HUC8 Powder River (17050203), and a targeted approach will be implemented focusing on 5 wildlife-urban interface areas that are adjacent to Baker City and Sumpter’s source water watersheds.

The Baker Watershed is 10,000 acres of land within US Forest Service owned land that provides municipal water to Baker City. Project partners intend to reduce the risk of wildfire on non-industrial private forestland surrounding the Baker Watershed by assisting landowners in creating a defensible buffer on their property and reduce risk of fire and pest infestations moving from publicly held land onto private tracts, and visa versa. In partnership with the City of Baker, US Forest Service, Baker County, Oregon Department of Forestry, private landowners and others, the goal is to reduce wildfire risk and spread in and around the watershed to protect this valuable resource.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • Brush Management (314)
  • Herbaceous Weed Treatment (315)
  • Prescribed Burning (338)
  • Critical Area Planting (342)
  • Fence (382)
  • Fuel Breaks (383)
  • Woody Residue Treatment (384)
  • Firebreak (394)
  • Livestock Pipeline (516)
  • Prescribed Grazing (528)
  • Pumping Plant (533)
  • Range Planting (550)
  • Spring Development (574)
  • Watering Facility (614)
  • Water Well (642)
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management (645)
  • Early Successional Habitat Development-Mgt (647)
  • Forest Stand Improvement (666)

Project Partners

  • Baker County
  • City of Baker
  • Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF)
  • Oregon State University Extension
  • US Forest Service
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Contractors
  • Forestry consultants
  • Private landowners
  • NRCS Oregon

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. The planned project has disease or insect infestations present within or adjacent to the planned project area and is predominately high density (over 900 trees/acre) with hazardous fuel loads.
  2. The planned project has disease or insect infestation present within or adjacent to the planned project area and is predominately medium density (600-900 trees/acre) with moderate fuel loads.
  3. The planned project area is directly adjacent to any forest thinning or hazardous fuels reduction projects that have occurred in the last 5 years.
  4. The planned project area is within one mile of any forest thinning or hazardous fuels reduction projects that have occurred in the last 3 years.
  5. The project will incorporate additional practices to further enhance wildlife habitat (must be added in the CPO with job sheets to get credit).
  6. Has ODF completed the practice specifications and or written a Forest Management Plan for the enrolled acres?
  7. If installing livestock watering facilities, will the applicant have sufficient storage 5,000 gallons or more to aid in fire suppression and allow wet weather access to fire vehicles 10 ft from the water source? Will the applicant allow access to fire management personnel and agree to add the site to ODF fire management maps?
  8. Is/are the planned water locations more than ½ mile from an existing livestock water source?
  9. Does the applicant follow an existing grazing management plan or is 528 prescribed grazing scheduled on the CPO?