SONEC Working Wet Meadows Initiative Business Plan

This report is intended to summarize progress toward establishing Partner Positions in the Oregon portion of SONEC (Southern Oregon-Northeastern California), as well as tangible conservation planning and habitat accomplishments.

Conservation Activities Completed Through June 30, 2014:

1. Biological Inventory and Monitoring for Wetland Wildlife Conservation: No activities to report.

2. Conservation Practice Designs for Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management, Wetland Enhancement and Wetland Restoration: No activities to report.

3. Monitoring of Existing Easements: No activities to report.

4. Partnership/Public Outreach Activities:

  • The IWJV developed the Oregon SONEC Business Plan as a means of clearly articulating the objectives, approaches, and expected outcomes of the partnership in this science-based conservation endeavor. It is built upon the foundation of progress achieved by a dedicated cadre of conservation partners and landowners that have worked in SONEC for many years. The Business Plan was finalized in March 2014 and is included as Appendix A to this quarterly report.
  • As mentioned above, a number of important partners were involved in funding and hiring the two Oregon SONEC Partner Positions.
  • The IWJV Communications Team produced a number of SONEC communication tools during the reporting period. Highlights include: SONEC Communications Mini-Strategy and SONEC Landowner Fact Sheet (Appendix C).
  • Partner outreach and coordination meetings held during the reporting period include: 1) Oregon Habitat Joint Venture Meeting in Bend, Oregon; 2) State Conservation Partnership Chair Meeting in Boise, Idaho; 3) Harney Basin Wetland Initiative Meeting in Burns, Oregon; and, 4) monthly SONEC partner coordination conference calls.

5. Conservation Implementation Strategy: To date, key Oregon SONEC partners have discussed the tools and tactics needed to implement the NRCS CIS’ in Lake and Harney Counties. The Working Lands Habitat Conservation for Waterfowl CIS and Harney Basin Aquatic Health Improvement CIS provide the foundation for conservation delivery actions by the new partner biologists in southeast Oregon.

 

Conservation Delivery Business Plan: 

The partnership developed a Business Plan as a means of clearly articulating the objectives, approaches, and expected outcomes of the partnership in this science-based conservation endeavor. It is built upon the foundation of progress achieved by a dedicated cadre of conservation partners and landowners that have worked together in SONEC for many years, including NRCS, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), soil and water conservation districts, watershed councils, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and most importantly, the ranchers that have effectively managed their wet meadows for livestock and migratory birds for generations. The plan is modeled after certain elements of the successful Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) Strategic Watershed Action Team partnership between NRCS and dozens of conservation partners, which is coordinated by the IWJV. This Business Plan lays out a game plan for maintaining rural lifestyles and wildlife habitat in one of the Nation’s most important wetland landscapes, amidst an array of landscape changes that threaten ranching and migratory bird habitat. It is a “win-win” endeavor in which the needs of birds and ranchers can be addressed through the same set of conservation practices.

 

The report contains the following appendices: Oregon SONEC Working Wet Meadows Initiative – Conservation Delivery Business Plan; Scope of Work and Services; and, SONEC Fact Sheet.