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Wildlife need three basic elements for a supportive habitat.
Planting a diversity of native vegetation at varying heights will help attract wildlife to your property. Developing and maintaining appropriate vegetation at the three different vertical areas (canopy, under-story, and floor) of the natural environment will help provide a variety of habitats on your land. “Avoid plants with a high potential for escaping cultivation and becoming invasive in natural areas, such as butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).
Snags and dead trees are important elements to have and leave on your property for wildlife. They provide habitats to roughly 80 different species; reptiles, birds, mammals and amphibians call these features home for at least part of their lives. If you do not have any snags or dead trees on your property, you can girdle unneeded or weedy trees to create snags. Piling woody debris near the forest edge can provide wildlife with places to hide. In dry areas, fire risk must be taken into consideration.
Riparian habitat is the dynamic interface between flowing water and land. This includes land along streams, rivers, intermittent streams, creeks, alluvial floodplains, lakes and other water bodies. These terrestrial habitats are unique from uplands because their soils and vegetation are shaped by the presence of water.
Visit our Riparian Habitat page for more information.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife identify 11 habitats of conservation concern within the state, 4 of which are in our Ecoregion of the Willamette Valley.
If you have land that you are interested in restoring for wildlife habitat, learn about what resources are available to you through programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, or reach out to your nearest Watershed Council or SWCD to learn how Conservation Planning can help you.
To learn about restoring salmon habitat, visit Wild Salmon Center, the the leading group working to protect the strongest wild salmon rivers around the entire North Pacific, from northern California and the Pacific Northwest, up to British Columbia and Alaska and across to Russia and Japan.
Learn how the Farm Service Agency’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program can help you restore streamside habitat. To learn about CREP, visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/conservation-programs/conservation-reserve-enhancement/index.
Connect with our Multi-County Riparian Technician to get started.