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Juniper Management Effectiveness Monitoring
Juniper Management Effectiveness Monitoring
In the late 1990s the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) began funding
grants to promote watershed restoration, including those to control the spread of western juniper.  In recent years there has been a growing interest in the importance of controlling juniper in order to improve forage production for grazing livestock, restore hydrologic function to rangelands, and protect sagebrush habitat.  As a result of this growing concern for the negative impacts of juniper expansion, OWEB has seen a steady increase in grant applications seeking funding for juniper removal and management projects.  Because of the limited nature of OWEB restoration dollars and the endless acres needing juniper treatment in central and eastern Oregon, OWEB has contracted with CSR Natural Resources Consulting, Inc to complete several juniper removal studies and to provide educational opportunities to OWEB staff, Regional Review Team members, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Watershed Councils.

Juniper Management Field Guide

 
OWEB contracted with CSR Natural Resources Consulting, Inc. to develop a field manual that provides guidance to OWEB Field Representatives and technical review committees, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Watershed Councils for identifying and designing OWEB-funded juniper treatment projects. The final document was submitted to OWEB in September of 2007 and after being reviewed and field tested by OWEB staff, Regional Review Team members, SWCD and WSC staff, it is ready for use. The document is available now for download, and limited printed copies are available by contacting OWEB.  
 
Western Juniper Management Field Guide (PDF, file size 14MB)
 
 
 

Juniper Removal Project Evaluation

 

 
OWEB contracted with CSR Natural Resources Consulting, Inc. to monitor the effectiveness of juniper removal projects. Evaluations occurred in Wheeler and Crook counties for Phase I and in Klamath, Lake, Harney, and Grant counties for Phase II in 2006 and 2007.  Juniper treatment sites were evaluated using the rangeland health assessment, vegetation and soil surveys, and when possible a “control” or untreated adjacent juniper site was also evaluated to provide information on pre-treatment condition.  Results of both Phase I and II evaluations demonstrated the variability of treatment types and levels of success among OWEB juniper removal projects.  General recommendations developed based on both evaluations include 1) Conduct juniper management workshops and provide a juniper management document for OWEB Regional Staff, Regional Review Team Members, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Watershed Councils; 2) Provide technical assistance when possible to landowners and grantees developing juniper management projects; 3) Continue to support juniper monitoring and research at both the project and watershed scale.  Both reports are posted below.
 
Phase I Final Report
Phase II Final Report
 



Camp Creek Paired Watershed Study
 
In 1994, the Camp Creek Paired Watershed Study was initiated to provide long term, verifiable data which would be collected systematically to test the hypothesis, “does the removal of western juniper change the hydrologic function of a watershed”?  The Camp Creek Paired Watershed Study occurred in two watersheds, Mays and Jenson, which are located side by side.  The study area is located about 60 miles southeast of Prineville, Oregon.  Each watershed is approximately 260 acres in size. Approximately 20 percent of the total study area is in private ownership with the remainder under the management of the Prineville District, Bureau of Land Management.  In October of 2005, following 11 years of monitoring various parameters (vegetation, ground water, spring flow, soil moisture, etc.), all “post-European aged trees”, those trees whose approximate age was less than 140 years old, were cut in the Mays watershed. The trees in Jensen were left uncut and thus Jensen became the “control” watershed.   Reports and a summary of findings are available below.
 
Summary of Findings
Increasing Water Availability through Juniper Control
Graphs and Pictures
Final Report for 204-301
 



 
 

Juniper Management in the Crooked River Watershed
OWEB contracted with CSR Natural Resources Consulting, Inc., to contrast the management of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) of the past with an emerging ecologically based, landscape-scale approach that addresses the site-specific treatment needs of watershed in which juniper has encroached or is in the process of in-fill.
 
The report details the geologic history, climate, soils and potential and current vegetation of the Crooked River Watershed of Central Oregon. Included is a review of juniper control efforts conducted over the past 60 years. A discussion of the emerging science, ecological principles and landscape-scale approach to watershed prioritization is intended for use in developing a strategy for the enhancement of the semi-arid watersheds of Oregon.
 
The report concludes with a set of recommendations for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and others in the hope of stimulating an acceleration of cooperative landscape-scale projects in the region and the State.
 
Final Report (PDF)