Oak Savannas & Woodlands
Oak savanna and woodland habitats are native to the Willamette Valley, provide an important, unique habitat for many species, and are culturally significant to local Native American tribes. However, they have become increasingly rare over the last 150+ years due to urban and agricultural development and fire suppression. Where oak habitat still exists, oftentimes Douglas fir have moved in and shaded out the sun-loving oaks making it hard for them to thrive. In the past, fire would regularly burn through these habitats, keeping Douglas fir and other trees at bay. Without those regular fires, intervention by restoration professionals is necessary to maintain the open nature of woodlands and savannas. Following the scientific literature and accepted practices, we release oaks through thinning out other tree species, removing invasive weeds, and planting native grasses and wildflowers. To learn more about oak habitats, check out this flyer put together by the Rivers to Ridges Partnership and click on the projects below.