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Conservation of Soil Health in Wallowa County (RCPP)


Year Awarded: FY 17
USDA Funding: $3.1 million
RCPP Funding Pool: National
Project Timeline: 5 years (2017 – 2022)
Location: Wallowa County, Oregon
Lead Partner: The Nature Conservancy


Map of Wallowa Soil Health RCPP project area


Collaborating Partners:

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Wallowa Land Trust
  • Wallowa Resources
  • Private farmers and ranchers

Project Summary:

This project will maintain and improve soil heath in targeted areas of Wallowa County, Oregon through innovative on-farm practices and permanent Agricultural Land Easements, ensuring productive agricultural lands are never converted to other uses and prior or current resource improvements are secured well into the future. The project capitalizes on the strengths of three well respected local non-governmental organizations who have a history of working with local producers, NRCS and each other. The project will leverage NRCS financial assistance programs and easement programs to help private farmers and ranchers address multiple natural resource concerns, including soil health, habitat, water quantity/quality and climate change resilience.

NRCS Financial Assistance Programs Used:

Screening Questions

1. Is the proposed project in the defined geographic target area?

2. Is the proposed project on currently irrigated ag land irrigated 2 of last 5 years?

Ranking Criteria

1. Is the applicant currently working with a partner to install a complimentary project that increases the magnitude of conservation benefits?

2. Will this project or has a former project on this parcel improved water efficiency via the change of water delivery method?

3. Is irrigation efficiency >36% increase?
4. Is there a 31-35% irrigation efficiency increase?
5. Is there a 21-30% irrigation efficiency increase?
6.Is there a 20-15% irrigation efficiency increase?

NRCS Conservation Practices:

  • Irrigation Pipeline
  • Structure for Water Control
  • Irrigation Sprinkler System
  • Irrigation Water Management
  • Fence
  • Well
  • Water Facility
  • Pipeline
  • Prescribed Grazing

Points of Contact:

Jeff Fields, Project Director, The Nature Conservancy
Phone: 541-426-3458
Email: jfields@TNC.ORG

NRCS Local Service Center Contact: Wallowa County

Cows graze on the Zumwalt Prairie in Wallowa County, Oregon.