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Horse Heaven Watershed Restoration

Project Number



Crooked River Watershed Council


Private landowners, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, and OSU Extension Crook County

Project Overview

Odell Creek Dam Odell Creek Dam Removal
Odell Creek Channel Construction Odell Creek Dam Removed

The Horse Heaven Creek restoration project is located on private lands in the upland habitats of the Horse Heaven Creek subbasin, which flows into the Crooked River above Bowman Dam in Crook County. This landscape-scale project focused on the removal of encroaching Western juniper on sage steppe habitats on private lands directly adjacent to the Ochoco National Forest. This collaborative project brought together local, state, and federal agencies and private landowners to address habitat degradation and fuels management in habitats critical for wildlife. Restoration goals included improving native sage steppe vegetation conditions, livestock grazing rotation and management, and the reduction of wildlife fuels.

Project activities included 5533 acres of juniper removal, 4,150 acres of prescribed burning, 2,250 acres of seeding, weed control, 22 off-stream water developments, and monitoring post-project responses. This project leveraged existing conservation work in the Horse Heaven watershed including Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Mule Deer Initiative funding for habitat improvement and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding for prescribed burns.

This project spawned additional interest in restoration of instream conditions on Horse Heaven Creek. In the summer of 2018, local partners worked with the same landowner to remove 2 fish passage barriers and improve riparian conditions along the creek adjacent to the upland juniper removal.

Top photos: Looking east, pre- and post-treatment

Bottom photos: Burnt Cabin Road looking west, pre-treatment and post-treatment including pond

For complete reports on this and other OWEB projects, please search OWEB's Grant Management System (OGMS).

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