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Wild Iris Ridge

Project #: 257102  –   Updated: October 22, 2015

Project Summary

Wild Iris Ridge is a natural area owned by the City of Eugene (Oregon). This 256-acre parcel is part of the Ridgeline Park system and contains upland forest, prairie, and savanna habitats. Restoration and management efforts have been focused on invasive species removal (blackberry and Scotch broom), oak release/thinning, and some nectar species' plantings. In 2015, the City's Parks and Open Space Program contracted to have dense understory, Douglas fir, and other trees removed to start to restore more oak savanna habitat in 20 acres of the site. Other invasive species management such as Sco...

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Location (by county):
Lane County (OR)

Watersheds:
Upper Willamette

Congressional Districts:
OR District 04

Bird Conservation Regions:
Northern Pacific Rainforest

USFWS Regions:
Pacific Region

Project size:
250.16 acres

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Wild Iris Ridge-Evans Yes
Wild Iris Ridge-Bailey View Yes

Full Project Description

Wild Iris Ridge is a natural area owned by the City of Eugene (Oregon). This 256-acre parcel is part of the Ridgeline Park system and contains upland forest, prairie, and savanna habitats. Restoration and management efforts have been focused on invasive species removal (blackberry and Scotch broom), oak release/thinning, and some nectar species' plantings. In 2015, the City's Parks and Open Space Program contracted to have dense understory, Douglas fir, and other trees removed to start to restore more oak savanna habitat in 20 acres of the site. Other invasive species management such as Scotch broom control continues.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
The City of Eugene Natural Areas and Urban Forestry Program has as part of its mission to 1) advance and steward interconnected systems of natural areas, trees, trails, and clean waters and 2) protect and restore ecological function and native biological diversity.
Public Benefit
We are managing these lands for public use, ecosystem benefits, and to reduce wildfire risk through the thinning of dense understory.

Primary goals:

Maintain and enhance upland and wetland prairie where it currently exists (approx. 33 acres)
Progress:

On the Bailey View portion of the site, we've made substantial progress removing woody and exotic vegetation.

Enhance oak-pine savanna habitat structure, placing priority on releasing individual open-grown oaks and pine.
Progress:

Completed some selective thinning projects; additional planned. Specifically, in 2015 we removed many Douglas fir and smaller hardwoods to encourage savanna species and increase savanna structure. removal of shrubby invasives.

Enhance native composition and diversity of the savanna understory.
Progress:

Have substantially reduced cover of non-native invasives including Armenian blackberry and Scotch broom. Manage understory with variety of tools to encourage native species diversity.

Provide connectivity between existing isolated patches of prairie and savanna habitat to create larger and more viable habitat blocks for prairie/savanna dependent wildlife species such as the western meadowlark, western bluebird and Fender's blue butterfly.
Progress:

Continue progress towards this goal has been made through selective thinning projects, habitat management, and native species plantings.

Enhance riparian woodland composition.
Progress:

Non-native invasive species removal completed or underway.

Enhance oak, mixed, and conifer woodland structure and composition.
Progress:

Selective thinning projects planned and/or completed. Non-native trees and shrubs removed or identified for removal.

Enhance habitat conditions for native wildlife species.
Progress:

Planted experimental nectar plots for Fender's blue butterfly. Provided and plan for habitat snags.

Regional trail connectivity
Progress:

plans in place for connector trail construction in 2016.

Consistent with plans:

State Wildlife Action Plan
Oak woodlands and grassland/prairies are identified as strategy habitats in the Oregon Conservation Strategy.

Targeted Ecosystem Services:

  • Habitat/Biodiversity
  • Fire Risk Management
  • Pollination
  • Aesthetic Values

Targeted habitats:

    • Forests and Woodlands
      • Deciduous Forests and Woodlands
        • Oak Forest and Woodland
      • Mixed Hardwoods and Conifer
        • Big Leaf Maple, Black Oak, or White Oak with Conifer Forest
    • Shrublands and Grasslands
      • Grasslands

Targeted species:

  • Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
  • Fender's Blue Plebejus icarioides fenderi
  • Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana
  • Oregon white oak, Garry oak Quercus garryana

Actions

Project Actions
Control encroaching species Show/Hide details
Control invasive plants Show/Hide details
Control native species to avoid ecological damage Show/Hide details
Reintroduce native species Show/Hide details

Assistance

Direct Funding
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (Federal Government) Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   Yes

Please describe your monitoring activity.

Regular site visits by City of Eugene staff. Local volunteers also conduct butterfly surveys on site.

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Organization

City of Eugene Parks and Open Space
(Local Government)

Primary Contact

Shelly Miller
City of Eugene Parks and Open Space
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Partners

  • Long Tom Watershed Council

Project Photos

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