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North Willamette Valley Upland Oak Restoration Partnership

Map - North Willamette Oak RCPP in Yamhill and Polk counties




Year Awarded: FY 15
USDA Funding: $2 million
Partner-Contributed Funding: $3.9 million
RCPP Funding Pool: State
Project Timeline: 5 years (2015 – 2019)
Counties: Yamhill, Polk
Lead Partner: Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District

Collaborating Partners:

  • Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • The Trust for Public Lands
  • Greater Yamhill Watershed Council
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Project Summary:

The North Willamette Valley Upland Oak Restoration Partnership aims to protect, conserve and restore endangered upland oak habitat in Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley—habitat that is vital to many plant and animal species, including the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly. Unfortunately, the majority of historic oak, prairie and savanna habitats have been lost over the years in the Willamette Valley. But conservation partners are making great strides to improve Oregon’s landscape for healthy, sustainable oak habitat.

Through this project, a team of federal, state and local conservation agencies, and other conservation groups, will restore oak habitat in 19 key areas throughout Yamhill and Polk counties.  These areas, called Conservation Opportunity Areas, were selected by The Nature Conservancy and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as areas of “great ecological significance.”   Additionally, the focus area will also serve producers with lands identified in the conservation strategy for Fender’s blue butterfly and associated habitats in Yamhill and Polk counties.

The project will also implement long-term land conservation strategies to further protect short-term investments, such as land acquisitions and conservation easements.

Landowners with oak habitats in Polk and Yamhill counties have an opportunity to participate in voluntary conservation that will improve existing oak habitat, using the NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to landowners to implement practices on their land and ensure the long-term health of oak habitat. By implementing various conservation measures and controlling invasive species, landowners can transition marginal sites into more valuable habitat and create properties that can be considered for long-term protection by a variety of funders.

NRCS Financial Assistance Programs Used:

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

NRCS Conservation Practices:

  • Forest Management Plan
  • Brush Management
  • Conservation Cover
  • Prescribed Burn
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Fence
  • Tree Shrub Site Preparation
  • Prescribed Grazing
  • Tree Shrub establishment
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
  • Forest Stand Improvement
  • Fish and Wildlife Structure

Points of Contact:

Amie Loop-Frison – Yamhill SWCD
Phone: 503-472-1474 ext. 113

Marc Bell – Polk SWCD
Phone: 503-623-9680 ext. 103

Larry Ojua, Executive Director
Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District
Phone: (503) 472-1474 ext.111