The State Lands Restoration and Enhancement category provides funding to two state agencies to help repair damaged plant and animal habitat. These grants focus on resource preservation and protection of public lands. Projects in this category help bring important natural areas and resources back to their original functions by improving the self sustaining and ecological functionality of sites.
The Department of Natural Resources restored 35 acres of wetland habitat through weed control, native plant establishment and hydrology improvements. The seasonally wet meadows provide important breeding habitat for the Oregon spotted frog, a state endangered species and federal threatened species. Previous mapping of nonnative grasses within the preserve has shown a substantial increase in nonnative grasses, particularly on the western portion of the preserve. Reed canarygrass, a tall aggressive nonnative species, tends to form dense monocultures with thick mats that trap and increase accumulation of sediments. This grass threatens the Oregon spotted frog by reducing the amount of preferred oviposition habitat which has shorter, more sparse emergent native vegetation. This dense vegetation can also limit feeding options for the Sandhill Crane which prefer to feed in in short vegetation. This project removed nonnative grasses in select areas by shading out the grasses with weed cloth. After two years the weed cloth is removed and planted with native grasses and sedges providing more diversity of native plant species and more ideal conditions for wildlife. In addition, we mowed approximately 17 acres of the meadow to improve habitat conditions. We also breached portions of the old ditches and old road to allow more water to flow through the meadow during early summer. We also treated invasive species along the old road and portions of the meadow and seeded with native grasses and forbs. We were not able to complete the prescribed burn in the western meadow because conditions did not allow during 2022. We have a draft burn plan and will try to conduct a burn when conditions allow in the future.