In April of 2016 OWEB approved a $259,378 project that is assisting two landowners who are working to improve the condition of local ecosystems in order to stabilize wildlife habitat, watershed function, and agricultural production.
It is a rich mosaic of rural wetlands, wet meadows, and irrigated pasture lands that provide critical migration and breeding habitat for a myriad of North American bird species.
The two private landowners participating in the project account for 67% of the project area. When combined with the 27% of the project area that is federally owned, the participating landowners and agencies control 94% of the Watson and Paulina Creek watersheds.
This area is Crook county's largest wetland area for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds.
This rare and declining habitat type provides essential habitat for sage-grouse and mule deer.
Camp Creek Watershed Restoration Atlas
This watershed-wide atlas for Camp Creek, a tributary to the Upper Crooked River near Paulina, will identify, locate, and prioritize all restoration work necessary to restore Camp Creek Watershed’s function to the highest attainable level. This watershed restoration atlas will provide a “blueprint” to begin working cost effectively in specific locations on resource concerns that have the most impact on overall watershed conditions.
Camp Creek is plagued by poor water quality, lack of emergent and woody riparian vegetation, and juniper encroachment as a result of past livestock grazing and fire suppression. Camp Creek has been identified by the Crook County SWCD as our number one focus area. This project is a partnership between the SWCD, Camp Creek landowners, OSU extension and a variety of local natural resource agencies to participate collaboratively to identify resource concerns, plan, and strategize the restoration of the Camp Creek watershed. An OWEB-funded watershed assessment developed in 2007 will serve as the basis for this work.
Remotely sensed imagery will give us a baseline condition of the geomorphic features and water holding capacity of the watershed.
Collecting data on the biophysical conditions as well as the socioeconomic priorities will help us develop a plan for future restoration.
Suplee's Grouse Habitat and Watershed Enhancement
Creating limited access to the creek prevents extensive damage to the riparian vegetation while allowing cattle to water.
BEAVER DAM ANALOGS
Vertical posts and woven willow branches form channel spanning structures that mimic the functions of beaver dams. The structures can help raise the water table and accumulate sediment.
Sediment basins are designed to trap runoff and reduce the amount of small particles entering the creek, thus improving water quality.
FOREST HEALTH IMPROVEMENT
Thinning forest stands helps reduce the risk of wildfires and the increase in available sunlight to the understory allows stunted trees -such as quaking aspen and ponderosa pine- to flourish.
Suplee’s Grouse Habitat and Watershed Enhancement is a landscape scale project involving 3 landowners in the extreme eastern end of Crook County. The watersheds in the project area form the headwaters of South Fork Beaver Creek and contribute substantial natural resources for the residing agricultural community, fish species, and wildlife including sage grouse.
With a project area that spans over 25,000 acres, OWEB's financial assistance helped construct 4 miles of exclusion fencing, remove four miles of fence (wildlife hazard areas), build 20 artificial beaver dams, construct 15 off-stream water developments, construct 4 sediment basins, remove 4,000 acres of western juniper, implement 200 acres of forest health improvement, and 200 acres of noxious weed treatment.
OWEB Small Grants
The next quarterly application deadline is
December 16, 2019
Crook County Soil and Water Conservation District began a new biennium of Small Grant restoration funding in July, 2019. The priorities of local restoration include water quality, instream process, and upland function. Anyone interested in applying should first talk with Andy Gallagher, who serves as the local Small Grant Team representative within the Crooked River Watershed.
The review process usually takes less than 60 days. Successful applicants have two years to complete the funded project with a maximum of $15,000 funds available for project.
Examples of Past Projects
Providing livestock water off of the primary stream channel is a great way to help improve water quality. This trough is equipped with an escape ramp for wildlife.
OFF CHANNEL WATER
In sunny central Oregon solar panels are a cost effective way to pump water from the stream into troughs away from the creek banks.
Riparian fences create a buffer between the stream and grazing areas to help rest these pastures and allow stream side vegetation to recover.