Restoring the land for wildlife and people: Seven years of restoration at Champoeg Prairie

By Michel Wiman May 2020 Please note: IAE’s work at Champoeg Prairie is currently on hold due to COVID-19. Willamette Valley native prairies occupy less than 1% of their original range, and are now among North America’s rarest ecosystems. Once blanketing the Willamette Valley with diverse forbs, grasses and shrubs, prairies have always provided critical […]

Habitat Restoration and Ecological Education Combat the Enemy We Know

By Jessica Celis April 2020 In this time of combating an insidious, novel threat like the coronavirus, it is nice to get outside and combat a more typical ecological threat: weeds. Last week, staff from IAE’s Ecological Education Program (EE) joined Habitat Restoration Program (HR) folks up at Horse Rock Ridge, a 378-acre mid-elevation meadow […]

Nursery supports the restoration cause

Peter Moore April 2020 Getting plants in the ground and seeing them thrive – this is a rewarding part of being a restoration ecologist at the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE). Each year, IAE plants thousands of native plants at restoration sites throughout Oregon and New Mexico. For example, see the December blog How does […]

Champoeg Prairie Restoration Annual Report

The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has been involved in restoration of Champoeg Prairie, a 45-acre former agricultural field at Champoeg State Heritage Area, since 2013. In 2014, IAE developed and began implementation of the Champoeg Prairie Restoration Plan (IAE 2014) for Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The goal of restoration at Champoeg Prairie is to create upland and wet prairie habitats with diverse plant communities that attract pollinators, birds and other wildlife. Restoration objectives include controlling high priority invasive species, improving forb diversity, increasing abundance of culturally significant species, and implementing periodic prescribed burns. This report summarizes prairie conditions and restoration actions in 2019. Weed management included mowing, hand weeding, and broadcast and spot spray herbicide applications. Some of the treated or disturbed areas of the prairie were planted with native trees, shrub, and forbs. In particular, a 2.8-acre area in the central part of the prairie that has been difficult to establish natives from seed was planted with shrubs and trees in winter 2019. Native prairie species, including culturally important food plants, were planted in a portion of Champoeg Prairie for a second consecutive year. It is hoped that this portion of Champoeg Prairie will be a place for tribal members to harvest traditional food and fiber plants in the future. The planting was completed through the combined efforts of IAE, OPRD, and Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde (CTGR) Natural Resources Department employees, students and teachers from Newberg High School, and other dedicated volunteers.

The Violet Restoration Hydra

By Rolando Beorchia January 2020 Restoration work at IAE is often like a multi-headed hydra (we’re talking the cute cousin to anemones type of hydra, not the scary monster that Hercules killed). ­­­­­Each project has multiple “arms,” including property owners, staff, funders and sometimes researchers, who all have to come together to make the magic […]

Fender’s Blue Butterfly Habitat Restoration at Henry Hagg Lake

In 2019, the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to help restore habitat at Henry Hagg Lake (Hagg Lake) to aid in the recovery of the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi) and its host plant, the threatened Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus oreganus). Through this partnership, IAE provides recommendations for habitat management, executes on-the-ground management actions, manages subcontractors, produces and procures native plant materials, and develops and purchases native seed mixes. Special Note: This report has been modified from its original format by removing maps and/or appendices that include information on the location of rare and sensitive species.

Champoeg Prairie Restoration Annual Report

The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has been involved in restoration of Champoeg Prairie, a 45-acre former agricultural field at Champoeg State Heritage Area, since 2013. In 2014, IAE developed and began implementation of the Champoeg Prairie Restoration Plan (IAE 2014) for Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The goal of restoration efforts at Champoeg Prairie is to create upland and wet prairie habitats with diverse plant communities. This report summarizes prairie conditions and management actions in 2018. The objectives of restoration of Champoeg Prairie include controlling high priority invasive species, improving forb diversity increasing abundance of culturally significant species, and implementing periodic prescribed burns as part of prairie management. In 2018, weed management included mowing, hand weeding, and broadcast and spot spray herbicide applications. Some of the treated or disturbed areas of the prairie were seeded with native forbs, grasses, sedges and rushes. Native prairie species, including culturally important food and fiber plants, were planted in a portion of Champoeg Prairie. It is hoped that this portion of Champoeg Prairie will be a place for local tribal members to harvest traditional food and fiber plants and share knowledge of these plants, harvesting techniques, and the cultural significance of the Champoeg area. The creation of this harvest area was celebrated by a cultural event hosted by IAE, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde (CTGR) where attendees planted culturally important food plants, ate traditionally prepared foods, and learned about tool and basket making techniques.

How does IAE get all of those plants in the ground?

By Andy Neill December 2019 Fall is planting season, which means IAE’s restoration ecologists are in the midst of their busiest time of the year. Most of the restoration work that takes place the rest of the year is in preparation for planting and seeding each fall. This year, nearly 116,000 plants were planted and […]

Restoring prairies: making a home for butterflies takes time!

By Ian Silvernail October 2019 Prairie habitat once existed extensively along the Oregon coast, most commonly occurring on stabilized dunes, headlands, salt-spray meadows, and on some coastal, montane peaks. Today, the few remaining coastal prairies are significantly degraded, and the loss of this habitat has resulted in a significant reduction in many of the animal […]

How IAE harvests native plants

By Michel Wiman October 2019 The United Nations General Assembly recently declared 2021-2030 the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, to “massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems as a proven measure to fight the climate crisis and enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity.” For the U.N. to recognize the importance of restoration […]

Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly habitat restoration at Cardwell Hill: Final Report 2019

The Institute for Applied Ecology worked with private landowners and USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to enhance the three Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly occupied meadows at Cardwell Hill during 2018 and 2019. Work was funded by a grant with Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board funds administered through the Oregon State Weed Board. This grant supported herbicide treatments to control priority weeds and encroaching shrubs and the purchase and planting of plant materials to enhance and improve butterfly habitat throughout the Cardwell Hill project site.

Taylor’s checkerspot – the fair weather butterfly

By Andy Neill May 2019 Location: Benton County (Site names and locations excluded to protect sensitive species and habitats) Many of you are probably familiar with the Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi), sometimes used as the poster child of prairie restoration in Oregon and rightfully so. It is likely that some of you have […]

Taylor’s checkerspot – the fair weather butterfly

By Andy Neill May 2019 Location: Benton County (Site names and locations excluded to protect sensitive species and habitats) Many of you are probably familiar with the Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi), sometimes used as the poster child of prairie restoration in Oregon and rightfully so. It is likely that some of you have […]

Fender’s blue or silvery blue butterfly? And other entomological adventures

By Jessica Celis April 2019 IAE’s restoration ecologists tend to focus on plant communities. But this year, three of HR’s five restoration ecologists will shift their search image from plants to butterflies as they participate in the annual range-wide survey for Fender’s blue butterfly, which is funded each year by the US Fish and Wildlife […]