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Project Abstract

Project Location 

The location of this project is north-central Wheeler County, Oregon. The project area encompasses private land south of the town of Fossil and north of the community of Twickenham. 

Project Need 

Severe drought and little snow pack have increased the prominent issue of invasive weeds throughout Wheeler County. Range land and riparian health are one of the biggest issues facing landowner's dependant on forage amounts and quality. The loss of native vegitation due to the encroachment of noxious weed species has greatly impacted native upland and riparian plant communities and watershed health. The declining native plant communities have a detrimental effect on watersheds leading to wildlife risk, erosion, and the spread of noxious weeds throughout Wheeler County. Wheeler county landowners have lacked education on treatment and prevention of noxious weeds. The Wheeler SWCD Weed Program has been focused in south Wheeler County while central and north Wheeler County have not received much assistance, technical or otherwise. In addition, despite the numerous agencies putting efforts forth for treatment and prevention of noxious weeds, partnership has not been developed. 

Proposed Project Work

This project to reduce the negative impacts of state listed ''A'' and ''B'' priority noxious weeds species by treating 292 net acres, and 388 total gross acresof ''T'' listed weed species on private lands that are adjacent to public roads and highways by using chemical control methods to limit the spread of noxious weeds of high traffic areas. The target species for this grant are Russian knapweed, Diffuse knapweed, Canada thistle, Scotch thistle, and Yellow starthistle. The work will include surveying approximately 52,330 acres in the project area, recording weed species and area of treatment, and working with landowners and contractors to educate and train to get the best results of weed treatment. This plan will build off of previously funded grants to eliminate priority noxious weed species on private property. The previously funded grants include the recently awarded Central Wheeler County Priority Noxious Weeds Phase I; Wheeler, Jefferson, Crook Coutny Noxious Weeds Phase I and II; and Wheeler County Priority Noxious Weeds and Emergency Phase II. Our long-term goal is to incorporate the entire District in the effort to control estabished noxious weeds, limit seed spread, and raise awareness. 

Project Partners 

Partners include Wheeler SWCD, Wheeler County Road Department, Grant SWCD, Crook County Weed Control, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service (Ochoco & Umatilla), Department of Interior National Park Service, Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs, and private landowners.