The Gerber Watershed Forest and Juniper Project focuses technical and financial assistance on critical juniper encroached rangeland and non-industrial mixed forest that is impacting springs, wetlands, streams, and river areas around Gerber Reservoir and the upper Lost River watershed. The project will also significantly reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire by reducing forest fuels with forestry management practices. In addition to this webpage, you can view the 2017 NRCS video below, or check out their Conservation Showcase to learn more about the project and efforts with the Livingston family.
Starting in spring of 2015, NRCS and Klamath Soil and Water Conservation District staff began reaching out to landowners interested in western juniper and forest thinning within the Gerber Reservoir area of the upper Lost River watershed. As of 2017, NRCS has obligated around $1 million for implementation of forest treatments on these private lands.
Treatment prescriptions for forest and juniper management are based on NRCS and ODF practice specifications and the Oregon Forest Practices Act. Stand maps showing location, size, and relative density are created for each parcel to be used in prescription development and coordination with contractors (see example below).
Practices eligible for financial assistance include: Brush Management (juniper); Woody Residue Treatment (juniper/forest);Tree/Shrub Pruning (juniper/forest); Forest Stand Improvement (juniper/forest); Fuel Break (juniper/forest); and Fire Break (juniper/forest).
Juniper removal and forest thinning projects have begun in the Gerber area using funds allocated for 2016-2017. The video below shows how wheeled heavy equipment readily piles cut mature trees for subsequent burning.
The map below shows private lands slated for forestry/juniper treatments through NRCS EQIP funding, which with funding availability and logistical hurdles, will take until 2024. Some additional funding has been secured through the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and through the BLM's Resource Advisory Committee (RAC), but KLFHP partners are looking to develop the larger funding pools that will be needed to advance the timeline for forest treatments on private land in the Gerber area.