Dorris Ranch Oak Restoration

LOCATION

Dorris Ranch Living History Farm, Springfield, OR

TARGET HABITAT

Oak woodland and prairie

TIMELINE

2016-18 with oak release in fall 2017

PROJECT SIZE

48 acres (15 acres woodland, 33 acres prairie)

PARTNERS

Willamalane Park and Recreation District, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Funding

Summary

Located at the  confluence of the Middle and Coast Fork Willamette Rivers, Dorris Ranch Living History Farm is one of Springfield’s treasured open spaces. In partnership with Willamalane, we are restoring 15 acres of oak woodland and 33 acres of prairie. Historically, this woodland was dominated by Oregon white oak but over the past century Douglas fir, bigleaf maple, Oregon ash and cherry have taken over. These trees were outcompeting the oak trees for sunlight and other important resources and reducing key habitat for species like the acorn woodpecker, nuthatch, northern pygmy owl and western gray squirrel. To remedy this problem, in fall 2017 we released the oak trees by thinning out the majority of the non-desirable trees. The result is a much more open woodland that will allow the Oregon white oak to receive sufficient sunlight and grow to be healthy, majestic trees. In the savanna, contractors have been removing invasive species since 2016 and will continue to do so for several years in order to restore its historic condition and benefit wildlife that rely on it.

Photos

These photos highlight our work at Dorris Ranch. For more please visit our facebook album.

Dorris Ranch woodland before oak release
Dorris Ranch woodland after oak release
Dorris Ranch woodland thick with cherry and ash trees
Dorris Ranch woodland after R. Franco Restoration thinned out the cherry and ash trees
Through our restoration project at Dorris Ranch, we will remove these invasive weeds and restore this oak savanna.
An Oregon white oak reaches into the savanna at Dorris Ranch
Aerial image of Dorris Ranch project area

2018 Community Planting Event
February 24th

On a cold, rainy Saturday morning 80 volunteers joined us to plant over 1500 native trees, shrubs, and flowers at Dorris Ranch.

Video

contractors

This project could not happen without our excellent contractors: R. Franco Restoration (invasive species removal and hand thinning of woodland), Advanced Land Management (mulching of slash piles and weedy trees), CV Cutting (mechanical oak release), and Trout Mountain (project management services).