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News Release

Assistance available to combat Sudden Oak Death on private lands in Curry County

Apply by Oct. 19 with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NEWS_RELEASE_HEADER-UPDATED

News Release #: 2018-09-047

Contact: Eric Moeggenberg, District Conservationist, NRCS
Phone: 541-824-8091. Email: Eric.Moeggenberg@or.usda.gov

Randy Wiese, Forester, ODF
Phone: 541-294-8425. Email: Randall.S.Wiese@oregon.gov

COQUILLE, Ore. – (September 17, 2018) — Private landowners with trees stricken by Sudden Oak Death may be eligible for funding to remove unhealthy trees and slow the spread of disease.

Sudden Oak Death is a pressing concern in Curry County and presents severe economic and environmental challenges. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has established a quarantine for Curry County to manage the spread of Sudden Oak Death, which is characterized by a rapid and fatal infection of oak trees and can impact adjacent conifers such as Douglas-fir.

ThSudden Oak Death Quarantine Area Map - by ODFe quarantine has triggered considerable economic hardship by limiting movement of bark, leaves and twigs from infected areas. The restrictions have severely limited firewood sales and commercialization of other forest products. If left unchecked, Sudden Oak Death could have a dramatic impact on the native forest health, forest habitat quality in addition to the economic impacts.

To help address this important issue on private lands, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in partnership with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is offering financial and technical assistance to help landowners perform a suite of conservation treatments that can slow the spread of the pathogen that causes the disease.

In addition to removing diseased trees, conservation practices may also reduce wildfire risk and create diverse, vegetative cover that will support wildlife habitat.

The funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary Farm Bill program that reimburses USDA eligible landowners for costs to perform conservation treatments on private lands.

For more information about EQIP eligibility and to download an application, visit the Oregon EQIP webpage.

Priority will be given to landowners within the Sudden Oak Death Quarantine Area which includes most of southwest Curry County; though all landowners that have encountered Sudden Oak Death on their property are encouraged to contact NRCS and ODF for more information. High priority will be given to landowners with Sudden Oak Death on their property who do not currently have a forest management plan.

Interested landowners should apply at the USDA Coquille Service Center (382 North Central Blvd in Coquille) by Oct. 19 to be eligible for the first round of funding. Subsequent funding may become available in coming months.

Applicants may also contact Eric Moeggenberg, District Conservationist, at 541-824-8091 for more information and to apply.

About Sudden Oak Death (source: Oregon Department of Forestry)

Sudden Oak Death is caused by the non-native pathogen phytophthora ramorum and kills highly susceptible tree species such as tanoak and California black oak. It’s primarily recognized by lesions on the main stem of the tree and dead leaves.

The pathogen spreads during rainy periods when spores produced on infected leaves or twigs are released into the air and are either washed downward or transported by wind. It can also spread by humans transporting infected plants or infested soil. The pathogen can survive for months or years in soil or plants.

Eradication treatments of an infested site consists of cutting, piling and burning all infected plant material and nearby host plant material within a specified radius surrounding infected plants.

Sudden Oak Desk Task Force

NRCS and ODF are active members of the Sudden Oak Death Task Force formed in 2016 along with many other organizations, landowners and governmental agencies. The primary objective of the task force is to assess the work that has been accomplished thus far, to document and share the results of those efforts, to develop a strategic action plan that guides future efforts, and to identify funding for implementation of planned actions. Learn more about the Task Force via the Oregon Association of Counties.

Sudden Oak Death in Curry County - Photo by ODFPictured: Sudden Oak Death in Curry County, photo by ODF.

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The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides financial and technical assistance to voluntary farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to implement conservation practices on private lands. By working collectively with partners and stakeholders, NRCS helps maintain healthy and productive working landscapes, benefitting both environmental and agricultural needs. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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