Pasture and hay, Malheur County, Photo taken by Terry Finnerty.
Malheur County is the second largest county in the state and has an area of
9,874 square miles or 6.3 million acres. Seventy-two percent of the county is in
public ownership. Privately owned land includes 1, 074,900 acres of rangelands
and 396,000 acres of irrigated crop and hay. The NRCS office is located in
Ontario. The NRCS staff provides technical assistance and administers NRCS
financial assistance conservation programs. NRCS is currently conducting an
inventory for the North Malheur Soil Survey and is working cooperatively with
the BLM on the South Malheur Soil Survey and Vegetation Assessment.
NRCS Local Conservation Activities and Strategies
The NRCS in Malheur County works voluntarily with private land owners and
cooperatively with partners to strategically address priority natural resource
concerns. These practices and resource concerns include:
- Irrigation water management and system improvements to address
inefficient use of irrigation water and irrigation induced erosion on
- Grazing management and treatment to address invasive noxious weeds and
juniper encroachment to improve ecological conditions on rangeland.
- Upland wildlife habitat management and juniper control to stabilize
populations and improve rangeland conditions for greater sage-grouse.
- Irrigation water management and related practices to address water
NRCS Programs Available
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
- Assistance may be available for juniper removal prioritized in the
Sage Grouse Initiative.
- Assistance may be available for irrigation improvements for targeted
watersheds in the county.
- Assistance may be available to improve grazing management and
improve upland wildlife habitat on rangeland.
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP):
- Assistance may be available for conservation stewardship and
National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI):
- Assistance may be available for improving water quality through
conservation measures in the Little Willow Creek and Poison Creek watersheds.
- Agricultural Water Enhancement
- Assistance may be available for conservation measures to improve
efficiency and management of irrigation systems in the Willow Creek
Watershed through sponsorship of the Vale Irrigation District.
Additional Conservation Resources Available
The NRC works cooperatively with a variety of partners including:
- Malheur County Soil and Water Conservation District
- Farm Service Agency
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Owyhee Watershed Council
- Malheur Watershed Council
- Irrigation Districts
- Oregon State University Extension
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Bureau of Land Management
Local Work Group Updates
The Malheur County Local Work Group meets to discuss natural resource
priorities and provide input to NRCS on conservation programs. If you are interested in participating, please contact the NRCS District
Conservationist listed below.
For meeting information, please
The following document requires
Adobe Acrobat Reader.
March 6, 2013: Irrigation
Water Management Field Day Flyer (PDF, 540 KB)
For Additional Assistance Contact
Ontario Service Center
2925 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 2
Ontario, OR 97914-2446
NRCS District Conservationist: Lynn Larsen: (541) 889-9689
Malheur County SWCD: (541) 889-9689