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Upper Rogue Initiative receives $2.78 millon in funding for habitat restoration

Trees in the Wild Rogue Wilderness
Bureau of Land Management
Trees in the Wild Rogue Wilderness

Oak-prairie habitat in the Upper Rogue watershed of southwest Oregon is undergoing extensive restoration. The project is headed by the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The project is being aided by a $2.78 million federal grant courtesy of the America the Beautiful Challenge program. It’s intended to streamline grant funding opportunities for new conservation and restoration strategies around the US.

With the new funding, the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network can expand its geographic reach by another 800 acres, restoring habitat damaged by conifer encroachment, invasive species, and climate change.

Outreach coordinator Elva Manquera-DeShields emphasized the necessity of habitat restoration for local fauna.

“The end goal is to have short term and long term benefits for birds, big game species and other wildlife that are dependent on the oak woodland and oak conifer habitat,” she said.

The newly-created Habitat Division of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network next year to implement restoration work.

Jasmine Lewin was a freelance reporter in 2022 and 2023. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Lewin wrote for the University of Oregon quarterly magazine Ethos before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.