This project is located in the Service Creek-John Day River watershed in Wheeler County, Oregon near the headwaters of Muleshoe Creek.
Multiple old pastures surround Muleshoe Creek, but the reduction of farming and historic fire suppression has increased Western Juniper encroachment. Phase I and II juniper occupy these pastures making it prime for removal before they cause a bigger impact on the watershed. The project area currently has good stands of bunch grass communities, but risk being compromised and competing with annuals if left untreated. Additionally, the property has an undeveloped spring development that shows great potential for production, but currently is being trampled by livestock and wildlife. Because the lack of developed springs along these pastures cattle congregate to lower sections of the fields and bypass the good production of grass stands along steeper slopes.
Proposed Project Work
This project proposes to treat 32 acres of Western Juniper by mechanical machinery cut and pile. Juniper slash piles will be burned when left lay long enough to dry out and ensure a clean burn. Areas with ground disturbance will be reseeded to establish bunch grass communities and prevent competition with annual grasses. Additionally, a spring will be developed and piped to a 1300 gallon water trough. Overflow from the trough will be piped into the nearby drainage. All implemented conservation practices will follow NRCS specifications.
Project partners include the landowner, OWEB, and Wheeler SWCD.