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Blue Mountains Vegetative Health Initiative (RCPP)


Year Awarded: FY 17
USDA Funding: $1.1 million
RCPP Funding Pool: State
Project Timeline: 5 years (2017 – 2022)
Location: Grant County, Oregon
Lead Partner: Grant Soil and Water Conservation District


Blue Mountains Vegetative Health RCPP Map


Collaborating Partners:

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Malheur National Forest (U.S. Forest Service)
  • Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Irene Jerome Natural Resource Consulting
  • Blue Mountains Forest Partners
  • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • Private farmers and ranchers

Project Summary:

This project will improve forest conditions, increase streamflows and improve instream listed fish habitat on private lands near the Malheur National Forest in Grant County, Oregon.  The project will be modeled after the Blue Mountains Forest Partners, a key partner in this effort, after their treatment of Malheur National Forest timber areas for fire resiliency. The project partners expect to complete 2,000 acres of pre-commercial thinning in conifer stands and 1,000 acres of juniper removal over a five year period. The partners will prioritize treatment area using a GIS-based selection process similar to the one successfully developed by the U.S. Forest Service. Finally participating landowners and partners will develop prescribed grazing to ensure long-term management of the treatments.

NRCS Conservation Practices:

  • Pre-commercial Thinning
  • Conifer removal
  • Brush management
  • Slash treatments
  • ...and more

Points of Contact:

Grant Soil and Water Conservation District
Phone: 541-575-0135

NRCS Local Service Center Contact: Grant County


Screening Questions:

  1. Is the project located in the Geographic Priority Area? (Yes-Eligible; No-Not Eligible)
  2. Are you willing to consider recommendations for long term management of western juniper and treated timber stands? (Yes-Eligible; No-Not Eligible)

Ranking Questions:

  1. Is the stocking rate to be removed: (answer only one):
    a) more than 800 stems per acre
    b) between 600 and 800 stems per acre
    c) between 400 and 600 stems per acre
    d) between 200 and 400 stems per acre
  2. Is the juniper vegetation cover: (answer only one):
    a) greater than 30%
    b) between 20 and 30%
    c) between 0 and 20%
  3. Is the project in one of the RCPP high priority areas?
  4. Is the condition of the understory vegetation within the project area mostly desirable forage species?
  5. Is the condition of the understory vegetation within the project area a mixture of invasive species and desirable forage species?
  6. Are you proposing 2 or less, non-contiguous project areas?
  7. Is the score of the GIS Ranking Tool greater than 200 points?
  8. Is the score of the GIS Ranking Tool between 150 and 200 points?
  9. Is the score of the GIS Ranking Tool between 100 and 150 points?