One thing was evident during a May tour the representatives of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association took of the Prairie and Little Sheep Creek watershed in Enterprise with water quality program officials from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
What was so clear was that a vast amount of conservation work has been done by landowners. Even more impressive is that the Wallowa Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) officials found promising results of improved water quality through their monitoring program.
Bill Moore, the OCA’s past president, showed examples of how riparian areas have responded to grazing and total exclusion, along with the fact that weeds were a reoccurring problem in the non-grazed areas. Moore also showed significant challenges in addressing legacy issues, such as channelization projects funded by government programs more than 20 years ago, which are now believed to adversely affect water quality.
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