On the fish and wildlife conservation front, 2007 had many highlights—one of them, we believe, is the growing recognition among Oregonians that the work of conserving our native habitats and species belongs to all of us. A few groups and individuals cannot do it—to achieve long-term fish and wildlife conservation, we must work together across landscapes. The Oregon Conservation Strategy was created as a statewide blueprint for this work. Make 2008 the year you get involved in spreading the word and sharing the work.
NEW LANDOWNER INCENTIVE BROCHURE AVAILABLE NOW
With much of Oregon’s land in private ownership, much of the success of fish and wildlife conservation rests in private landowners’ hands. To help them find the resources they need to provide healthy habitat, ODFW staff have compiled a list of available resources in a free brochure that summarizes the many technical and financial assistance programs available to landowners. The brochure is designed to support voluntary conservation under the umbrella of the Conservation Strategy. It is available online and in print.
Visit the Strategy Tools section of the website to download a copy.
Contact Karen Buell at ODFW for a printed copy.
PRIVATE LANDOWNERS RESTORE OAK WOODLANDS
Land use changes, invasive species and fire suppression policies have decimated the Willamette Valley's historic oak woodlands—only about seven percent of the original habitat remains, and the majority of it is in private ownership. The loss of this unique habitat has negatively impacted many wildlife species including Columbian white-tailed deer, western gray squirrel, acorn woodpecker, slender-billed nuthatch and chipping sparrow.
"Because so much of the remaining oak woodlands are in private ownership, it is really important to provide support to landowners," said Peg Boulay, ODFW Conservation Strategy outreach coordinator, who participated in two workshops this year sponsored by the American Forest Foundation under their Forested Flyways Program.
“Through the workshops, we are able to bring together landowners who have successfully restored lands with those interested in learning about sustainable oak woodlands management,” said Laura Dunleavy, American Forest Foundation Program manager. “It was encouraging to see so many people aware of the unique habitat they have and interested in learning about active forest management practices that can restore oak woodlands and savannas."
Workshops included information on invasive species removal; prescribed fire; oak woodland and savanna restoration; hinning of oak stands; restoration of native grasses; and wildlife and oak ecosystem management. Tours of Mark and Jolly Krautmann's Jefferson Farm in Marion County and the Cooke Family Forest in Yamhill County were held.
Oak woodlands are designated as a Strategy habitat. The American Forest Foundation is a nonprofit education and conservation organization working for healthy forests, quality environmental education and helping people make informed decisions. In Oregon, Forested Flyways is working with state and federal agencies and conservation organizations to improve the quantity and quality of oak habitat available for wildlife through specific management recommendations and technical support.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OREGON!
In preparation for Oregon's 150th birthday celebration in 2009, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and ODFW will award a number of fish, wildlife and habitat restoration grants to projects that conserve Oregon's symbolic fish and wildlife species—the western meadowlark, chinook salmon, Oregon swallowtail butterfly and American beaver—and the habitats on which they depend.
OWEB has dedicated $1 million in Oregon Lottery funds for on-the-ground projects to aid in the conservation of our natural heritage. Projects will be selected by ODFW with agreement from OWEB. Funding will be administered by OWEB.
Proposed projects must focus on actions that address conservation of the four target species under priorities identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy. Grant application materials are available on the ODFW website.
CONSERVATION EASEMENT PAVES WAY FOR LONG-TERM WILDLIFE PROTECTION
Viewed from the air, the 1,500-acre Zena timber property near Salem looks exactly like what it is—an emerald green gem in the midst of a checkerboard of farm fields and urban development. A mixed conifer and oak woodland forestland, it contains several unique and valuable habitats and shelters a number of native plants and wildlife species including black-tailed deer, Kincaid’s lupine and western gray squirrel.
Managed for many years as sustainable forest, the tract was purchased this year by the Trust for Public Land in collaboration with the Bonneville Power Administration as a conservation easement, restricting development and allowing for long-term conservation planning.
According to Michael Pope, ODFW Wildlife Mitigation coordinator, who worked on the project, such easements are a wonderful tool for conservationists. “With 96 percent of the Willamette Valley in private ownership and a 150-year history of altered landscapes, it’s a huge challenge to conserve the Valley’s native habitat—so much of it has already disappeared.”
The Bonneville Power Administration holds the conservation easement on the property. TPL will hold the land until a permanent owner is found who will continue to use the land as a managed, sustainable working forest. Under the Northwest Power Act, BPA is responsible for mitigating the impacts to wildlife caused by the development of the dams on the Columbia River.
Strategy habitats on the Zena timberland include grasslands, oak woodlands, wetlands and riparian. Strategy species that may benefit from protection of this property include western gray squirrel, Kincaid’s lupine, acorn woodpecker, western bluebird and yellow-breasted chat.
For more information:
Kincaid’s lupine, BPA’s Fish and Wildlife Program, The Trust for Public Land, Willamette Valley ecoregion
STATE WILDLIFE GRANTS TO CONTINUE IN 2008
In the nick of time, Congress passed an appropriations bill that includes $73.8 million for State Wildlife Grants in Fiscal Year 2008. Of this amount, ODFW will receive about $1 million dollars to put to work in Oregon.
Thank you to all the Oregonians who called, e-mailed and visited with their congressional representatives about the importance of State Wildlife Grants. And thank you to Oregon's legislators who championed increased funding for the program this year: Senator Gordon Smith, Senator Ron Wyden, Representative David Wu, Representative Earl Blumenauer, Representative Peter DeFazio and Representative Darlene Hooley. These leaders joined more than 220 other Members of Congress from around the country in signing a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting increased funding for the program.
For more information visit the Teaming with Wildlife website.
ABOUT THE OREGON CONSERVATION STRATEGY
The Oregon Conservation Strategy offers a blueprint for the long-term conservation of Oregon’s native fish and wildlife and their habitats through a non-regulatory, statewide approach to conservation. It was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in February 2006, enabling the state to receive federal funding for wildlife management and habitat restoration projects. It was developed by a diverse coalition of Oregonians including scientists, conservation groups, landowners, extension services, anglers, hunters, and representatives from agriculture, forestry and rangelands.
See past issues of the Strategy newsletter on the ODFW website.
Send us news about Your strategy-related projects
Meg Kenagy, editor and Conservation Strategy communications coordinator
For information about the Strategy
Peg Boulay, Conservation Strategy and State Wildlife Grants coordinator
Oregon Conservation Strategy
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