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Upper Crooked River Restoration

Funding Pool: Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership. This is a partnership between two USDA agencies—the Forest Service and NRCS -- to mitigate wildfire threats to landowners and communities across the nation. USDA selects and funds new projects every year under this initiative to help improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet.

Project Timeline: 3 years (2020 – 2022)

Location: Crook County, Oregon

Project Summary

The Upper Crooked River Restoration project area encompasses 766,100 acres of checkerboard public and private land in the eastern half of Oregon. The landscape includes dry ponderosa pine, mixed conifer forests, intermixed with sage-steppe. The project would address the extreme fire risk on the landscape by reducing tree stand densities and removing ladder fuels while retaining stands of late and old structure ponderosa pine. It would improve watershed conditions and habitat for at-risk species through juniper removal, controlled burns, aspen enhancement, and riparian restoration. A primary goal of the habitat treatments is to improve the connectivity of sage grouse habitat in the region.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • 314, Brush Management
  • 315, Herbaceous Weed Treatment
  • 338, Prescribed Burning
  • 382, Fence
  • 383, Fuel Break
  • 384, Woody Residue Treatment
  • 394, Fire Break
  • 472, Access Control
  • 490, Tree/Shrub Site Preparation
  • 516, Livestock Pipeline
  • 550, Range Planting
  • 574, Spring Development
  • 612, Tree/Shrub Establishment
  • 614, Watering Facility
  • 660, Tree/Shrub Pruning
  • 666, Forest Stand Improvement

Collaborating Partners

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Forest Service - Ochoco National Forest
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Crook County
  • City of Prineville
  • Crook County High School
  • Crooked River Watershed Council
  • Crooked River Weed Management Board
  • Crook County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Oregon State University Extension Office
  • The Nature Conservancy Juniper Hills Preserve
  • Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative
  • Discover Your Forest
  • Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council

Screening Questions:

1. Is the project located within the JCLRP– “Focus area? Yes- high priority, No- Low priority

Ranking Questions

1. Has the applicant implemented the operation and maintenance plans for all practices installed with program assistance in the past five years, or is this the applicants first contract?

2. Are each of the applicants active program contracts in compliance? Also answer yes for contracts out of compliance due to reasons beyond the applicants control or if this is the applicants first contract.

3. Has the applicant avoided contract termination within the past 3 years? Also answer yes for contracts terminated for reasons beyond the applicants control or if this is the applicants first contract.

4. Does the EQIP contract leverage the management of natural resources across land ownership (public-private) boundaries? EQIP project is either:

  • Located in an area that is adjacent to high priority projects on public land as identified in the selected JCLRP project proposal.

  • EQIP project is located in an area that is within the same 12-digit hydrologic unit as high priority projects on public land as identified in the selected JCLRP project proposal.

5. If predominantly Forestry – Within the treatment area, achieving the planned stocking rate will require removal of over:

  • 500 stems per acre
  • 300-500 stems per acre
  • 200-300 stems per acre
  • less than 200 stems per acre=0 points.

6. If predominantly Rangeland – Treatment area is dominated state A, B or C understory vegetation as indicated by Threats-Based Land Management in the Northern Great Basin: A Managers Guide.

7. If predominantly Forestry, the applicant has or is willing to develop an approved forest management plan?

8. If predominantly Rangeland the applicant has or is willing to develop an approved grazing schedule?

9. Is the project adjacent to public land?

10. Does the project create direct connectivity to another treatment? (existing or planned)

NRCS Point of Contact

Chris Mundy, Crook County District Conservationist
Phone: 541-699-3177
email: chris.mundy@usda.gov