Updates On Megafire Prevention
PUEBLO MOUNTAIN PILOT PROJECT
MONITORING TO FIND WHAT WORKS
The close of 2019 found High Desert Partnership in the initial development stages of a monitoring program to serve collaboratively-planned projects such as the Pueblo Mountain Pilot Project. The HCWC knows from experience that restoration and conservation of sagebrush steppe can be challenging and that megafire prevention involves multiple layers of treatments such as prescribed fire, herbicide treatment, reseeding with native seeds, and more, with these treatments happening over multiple years. This multi-layered, multi-year approach is in its early stages to address megafire risk which means there is a need to monitor whether treatments are delivering the outcomes expected.
Data from this monitoring program will show how a project (such as the Pueblo Mountains project) is doing and will help guide discussion for next steps. A new monitoring coordinator, High Desert Partnership's Brianna Goehring (firstname.lastname@example.org
), will lead development of this monitoring program that will: 1) monitor any collaboratively-developed project and 2) provide the boots on the ground with seasonal field crews to get the data collected. The scientists at the Agriculture Research Service
in Burns will provide their expertise to help analyze and interpret any data collected. This information will then be shared with the HCWC for discussions about how treatment "recipes" are working within a given project as well as shared with anyone who could benefit from the insights it will offer.
Also a product of the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative, the Northern Great Basin Native Seed Production Cooperative is in initial stages of its formation. This cooperative is a diverse group of partners looking to enhance local native seed production with ultimately, the seeds commercially produced and marketed, used for landscape scale restoration. As shared above, reseeding with native seeds is one aspect of megafire prevention.
High Desert Partnership and the Agriculture Research Service are working together to build this self-sustaining business. The demand for native seeds is increasing because
quality habitat continues to be lost by invasive annual grasses and frequent reoccurring wildfires. This makes landscape scale restoration an essential part of repairing the landscape and rangelands. Also, where restoration projects occur on public land the Federal Government and its National Native Seed Policy
requires native seeds to be used whenever and wherever possible. Once again, science and experience suggest that local native seeds have a greater chance of success. Currently native seeds are difficult to procure for southeastern Oregon and the northern Great Basin region thus creating this business opportunity.
The Northern Great Basin Native Seed Production Cooperative is in its fledgling stages of development. Watch for updates as this cooperative evolves, and contact Jennifer Taynton, Native Seed Cooperative and Economic Coordinator at email@example.com with questions.