Lonerock Ridge Juniper Project

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Upland Habitat And Sediment
Project IDOWEB 217-6020-12909
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date10/25/2016
End Date03/25/2020
Last Edited07/21/2022
1 - 1


The project, located in the Lonerock Creek watershed in Gilliam County, proposes to strategically and systematically conduct a prescribed burn on lands currently infested with juniper. All sites treated are upslope of fish-bearing streams and were selected to have the largest impact on increased groundwater, restored upland perennial grass and shrub communities, and improved water quality and flows to the adjacent streams. Wildfires in the area burned many of the acres to be treated, reducing the treated acres to 3,633 and, subsequently, reducing the total project cost as well.

Project Benefit    

Western Juniper encroachment has been a problem in Central and Eastern Oregon for decades. Biology, Ecology, and Management of Western Juniper, published as TB 152 by Oregon State University details the effects of juniper encroachment. Studies have shown that a mature juniper tree will pull from the ground and transpire up to 40 gallons of ground water each day if it is available. In add it ion, the thick needle canopy of juniper trees will intercept nearly 100% of rainfall from reaching the ground underneath the tree. This rainfall interception drastically reduces the amount of groundwater recharge in areas of Phase II or Phase Ill juniper infestation. A fully occupied stand of juniper will consume and intercept 5-8 inches of an areas annual precipitation. Our project area is in a 12-14 inch annual precipitation zone, therefore removing the juniper infestation will equate to a 5-8 inch increase in annual rainfall. This additional ground water feeds springs which in turn feed the creeks and streams that are critical to the survival of steel head and other endangered species. Flow monitoring conducted with previous juniper projects show double the spring flow in areas where junipers have been eradicated. This increased water flow creates stronger stream flows at all levels of the water system. Higher water levels throughout the year lead to a trend of cooler stream temperatures and healthier habitat for fish species. The area in which we are working contains numerous springs and small creeks which feed into Lonerock Creek and then Rock Creek. Rock Creek flows into the John Day River and on into the Columbia River. All of these streams, creeks, and rivers are 303{d) listed and serve as critical habitat for ESA listed Summer Steel head. In addition, thick stands of juniper trees tend to reduce the amount of ground cover by outcompeting grasses and shrubs for available water. This increase in bare ground leads to increased erosion and sedimentation of streams, further degrading the water system. Eradicating juniper will help to alleviate these pressures.


Metric Completed Originally
Upland Habitat
  Acres Treated 3,633.0 8,588.0

Funding Details

Report Total:$192,392

Project Map



  • Worksite Identifier: 20190483
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: John Day
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 45.11966237
  • Longitude: -119.91196586


  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS




  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 192,392.04
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected .00
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
      Rock & Lonerock Creek Watershed Assessment (ABR, Inc. March 2011)
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.6 Upland Habitat And Sediment ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.6.a Upland Habitat / Sediment Funding 192,392.04
      •      . . . . C.6.b.1 Acres of upland habitat area treated 3,633.0
      •      . . . . C.6.h.1 Upland vegetation managementY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.6.h.2
          Species of plants in upland vegetation management
          Juniperus occidentalis
        •      . . . . . . C.6.h.3 Acres treated for upland vegetation management 3,633.0