Oak Woodland Enhancement

Oak Woodland Enhancement

The goal of the Oak Woodland Enhancement program is to gain a better understanding of the current distribution and ecological health of oak woodland/savanna ecosystems within the Mattole watershed, preserve existing stands, and implement projects to restore historical structure and functioning.

Oak Woodland Enhancement

Some of the program’s objectives are to:

  • Map the historical and current distribution of oak woodlands to assess changes in distribution and regeneration in order to determine the need for restoration or conservation projects
  • Conduct assessments to develop and prioritize site-specific prescriptions
  • Implement projects to restore and enhance historical oak woodland conditions including conifer removal, re-vegetation, and prescribed fire
  • Monitor sites for project effectiveness
  • Implement projects that protect stands from the spread of sudden oak death (SOD)
  • Monitor and map the spread of SOD through stream bait sampling and on the ground assessments
  • Educate landowners about SOD and the importance of oak woodlands through pamphlets, newsletter articles, the website, and workshops
  • Work with local Fuels Reduction and Fire Planning program, Fire Safe Councils, Cal Fire, and local fire departments to integrate Oak Woodland Enhancement projects with fuels reduction projects
  • Work with local landowners, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), UC Davis Cooperative Extension, Humboldt State University, and other agencies to implement best management practices to support oak regeneration and stand health.

For more information about sudden oak death and what you can do to help slow its spread in the Mattole watershed and elsewhere, please visit http://www.suddenoakdeath.org/ and/or http://www.suddenoakdeath.org/diagnosis-and-management/best-management-practices/ and choose the appropriate guide to inform you.

Oak Woodland Funding Opportunity for Private Landowners

The MRC is currently working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA) to help landowners see if they qualify for funding to support deciduous oak woodland conservation efforts (does not apply to tanoak). This funding is a per acre reimbursement that pays landowners back after they have completed forest thinning and tree removal to release deciduous oak trees from encroaching Douglas-fir. The MRC helps landowners qualify for funding by identifying resources of concern on their property, completing a habitat assessment, and making a case for restoration on the property.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, and to see if you qualify, please contact Lisa at 707-629-3514, TDD/TTY : (800) 877-8339, or by email at lisa@mattole.org.