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Grant County - Information for Partners and Participants

Grant County, OregonGrant County has an area of 4,528 square miles, or 2.9 million acres. Over 60 percent of the county is publicly owned with national forests comprising approximately 54 percent of the county. The private land in Grant County, about 1.1 million acres, is made up of 70% rangeland, 24% forest, 4% irrigated and 3% dryland crop. The NRCS office, located in John Day, offers voluntary technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in natural resource conservation improvements. Historically the NRCS has focused on rangeland and irrigation improvements, and more recently has started working on forest health improvements on private land.

Grant County Long Range Plan

NRCS Oregon uses a Strategic Approach to Conservation to address priority natural resource concerns in specific watersheds and landscapes across the state. It all begins with a Long Range Plan. Each county develops a Long Range Plan with input from landowners, agency partners and other stakeholders that identifies and prioritizes natural resource concerns in the community. Based on those plans, NRCS works with partners to develop local Conservation Implementation Strategies to help agricultural producers in those targeted areas implement conservation practices that address the resource concerns. Long Range Plans are updated to reflect the changing needs and objectives of the county's natural resources.

Current Financial Assistance Opportunities for Farmers, Ranchers and Forest Owners in Grant County

The following Conservation Implementation Strategies are available to help Grant County agricultural producers address targeted resource concerns identified in the Long Range Plan. Click the project names below for more information:

Additional Funding Opportunities...

In addition to the local projects above, producers may also apply for statewide programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Organic Initiative, Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, On-Farm Energy Initiative, and conservation easement programs. Visit with your local District Conservationist for more information on these and other programs, or visit the NRCS Programs webpage.

Local Work Group Meetings

Every year, NRCS hosts a Local Work Group meeting where farmers, landowners, conservation partners and other members of the community discuss the natural resource needs for the county. Based on feedback from those meetings, NRCS updates the county's Long Range Plan and develops new Conservation Implementation Strategies to address those resource concerns. You may contact us anytime to express concerns or comments about conservation needs in the county, and we encourage you to attend the next Local Work Group meeting in your county. For more information about Local Work Group meetings, contact your local NRCS office.

The NRCS local work group in Grant County has identified invasive species and proper grazing use, forest health, water quality & quantity, and land protection as the top resource concerns in the county. Invasive species includes noxious herbaceous weeds, annual grasses and invasive juniper. Proper grazing use concerns include overgrazing, improper grazing rotation, and riparian area degradation. Forest health concerns include wildfire hazard, disease and pest infestations. Water quality & quantity concerns includes stream temperature, E. coli, bacteria and sediment issues as well as late season stream flows and stock water.  Land protection concerns include protecting and preserving high value lands from degradation by subdivision, implementing practices that would facilitate the loss of habitat, or invasion by undesirable species.

Snowpack Information in Grant County

  • Oregon Snow Survey website - Daily Conditions Highlights
  • Post-Fire/Flood Reports These reports provide a summary of weather and snowpack conditions in areas recently burned that can help land managers determine when the snowpack is prime for potential flooding or debris slides as a result of rain-on-snow events.

Contact Your Grant County Conservationist

Other Resources Available:

Success Stories in Grant County

Aaron Roth and Pat Voigt with cut juniper

Improving Mule Deer Habitat, One Juniper at a Time

In Grant County, Oregon—like many communities across the West—juniper encroachment has created several challenges for natural resource managers.

One of those challenges is losing winter habitat for mule deer.

“Western juniper encroachment on forests and grazed rangelands is a major contributor to the loss of critical grasses, forbs, and shrubs that are important to mule deer,” said Aaron Roth, District Conservationist for Grant County with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Mat Carter, Rancher in Grant County, Oregon

Grounded in Principle, Oregon ranchers maximize soil health on grazing lands

With innovation comes risk. Trying something new can be uncertain and scary, especially when your livelihood depends on it. But for several Oregon ranchers, their appetite for innovation is creating positive change to revive the land, bolster production, and maximize profits.


Pre-treatment and post-treatment photographs of a juniper removal project. Project site was a North slope that still maintained a healthy perennial bunchgrass and shrub population but had been significantly invaded by juniper.  Photos taken by Kyle Sullivan, Grant SWCD.

Pretreatment  photographs of a juniper removal project
Post treatment photographs of a juniper removal project