Umatilla Native Plant Nursery Operational Support IX

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Pre-Restoration Acquisitions And Nursery Operations
Project ID22-Umat-06
Recovery DomainsMiddle Columbia River
Start Date03/01/2023
End Date02/28/2024
Last Edited04/15/2024
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The purpose of the project was to provide nursery services and locally adapted native plant products in support of restoration projects within the territory of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Projects supported include CTUIR and their federal, state and county conservation partners. CTUIR habitat projects supported by BPA or other funding such as PCSRF received native plant products to assist with floodplain restoration actions. Services included site assessment and treatment prescription development, seed and cutting collection and propagation, and maintenance of specified native plant species. Locally sourced materials assure higher planting success and prevent unintended introduction of non-adapted genetic materials to the watersheds. Native riparian plants provide shade, structure and a substrate for macro invertebrates that feed native fish stocks.

The 2023 Funds for the CTUIR Tribal Native Plant Nursery were utilized in paying salaries and for employee fringe benefits. From March through August 2023, the nursery employed six personnel. Five are permanent and one is seasonal. Four of these employees are enrolled members of the CTUIR and one is a member of another tribe. The nursery also had the opportunity to provide work experience through the Workforce Development Program for one individual who is a CTUIR member.

Specific activities that occurred at worksite with PCSRF funding are as follows.

* Developed planting plan with Habitat project managers, conservation partner project leaders, and contractors for restoration projects.

* Collected seed and/or cuttings from proposed site and prepare for propagation.

* Sowed appropriately to produce plants that are suitable for project site and meet target dates for out-planting.

* Maintained plants in a manner that encourages robust root growth and adequate shoot growth.

* Monitored for diseases and pests, changing practices as needed to produce healthy plants.

* Hardened plants with changes to fertilizer and irrigation protocols to encourage dormancy.

* Where needed, overwintered in protected space, transplant to desired container, then manage growth until the next planting season.

* Communicated with habitat managers regarding success of particular species and container types, making necessary adjustments to future planting plans.

Project Benefit    

Plant materials produced at the Nursery benefit Threatened summer steelhead, Threatened bull trout, and Threatened and reintroduced Chinook and Coho salmon by assuring the availability of healthy and vigorous locally sourced native plant materials for use in habitat restoration projects by tribal entities (CTUIR, Nez Perce, Yakama and Burns Paiute) and conservation partners (USFS, USFWS, OR Dept of Parks and Recreation, ODFW, ODOT, County Soil and Water Conservation Districts and City Parks), enrollees in DOI projects such as the Sage Grouse Initiative, EQUIP, CURB and CREP. Also, various non-profit organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, Blue Mountain Land Trust, Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council, Umatilla Basin Watershed Council and North Fork John Day Watershed Council.

Plants grown at the Tribal Native Plant Nursery (TNPN) are from seed collected by the nursery at the project sites or at nearby locations with similar abiotic and plant community characteristics. While it is more expensive to gather seed and raise plants with this degree of fidelity to local genetics, the prices at TNPN are generally comparable to other nurseries who do not apply such standards in seed selection.

Although we do not have the metrics to evaluate success rates of TNPN plants compared to plants from other nurseries, the value of growing plants from locally adapted seed has been demonstrated in multiple common garden studies. It is not surprising that planting success and long-range outcomes are superior when the genetics have been challenged with conditions specific to this area. Locally sourced materials not only assure long term resilience, they also prevent unintended introduction of non-adapted genetic materials to the watersheds.

Native riparian plants provide shade, structure and a substrate for macroinvertebrates that feed native fish stocks. Native plant products support CTUIR’s “River Vision” which identifies a healthy riparian condition as a key component or touchstone to achieving healthy floodplain conditions necessary to protect, restore and enhance tribal First Foods for the perpetual cultural, economic, and sovereign benefit of CTUIR. Use of locally adapted plant stocks helps protect the ecological integrity of the local plant communities while improving overall floodplain health and fish production potential.

The TNPN also makes native plants available to the local community. Participants in Pollinator gardens through the NRCS or riparian restoration through CURB projects are guided through the process. Many however, are interested in utilizing native plants for beauty, as wildlife attractants, and water conservation. TNPN personnel listen to the objectives of the homeowner to provide plants that will meet their needs and will suit the conditions of their location. The merits and needs of each species are discussed and suggestions are given to increase the success of those plantings.


Metric Completed Originally

Funding Details

Report Total:$120,000

Project Map


Tribal Native Plant Nursery    

  • Worksite Identifier: Tribal Native Plant Nursery
  • Start Date: 03/01/2023
  • End Date: 02/28/2024
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Middle Columbia (170701)
  • Subbasin: Umatilla (17070103)
  • Watershed: Mission Creek-Umatilla River (1707010305)
  • Subwatershed: Cottonwood Creek-Umatilla River (170701030507)
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain: Middle Columbia River
  • Latitude: 45.67712
  • Longitude: -118.68477


  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS
  • Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS
  • Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Snake River Spring/Summer-run Chinook Salmon ESU




  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding 120,000.00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected .00
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.12 Pre-Restoration Acquisitions And Nursery OperationsY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.12.a Pre-restoration funding 120,000.00
      •      . . . . C.12.c.1 Nursery operationY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.12.c.2
          Species (scientific) name(s) of plants
          Acer glabrum Alnus incana Alnus rhombifolia Amelanchier alnifolia Artemisia tridentata Betula occidentalis Carex amplfolia Cornus sericea Crataegus douglasii Frangula purshiana Festuca idahoensis Holodiscus discolor Juncus balticus Mimulus guttata Philadelphus lewisii Pinus ponderosa Populus balsamifera tricho. Populus tremuloides Prunus virginiana Pseudoroegneria spicata Pseudotsuga menziesii Purshia tridentata Ribes aureum Rosa woodsia Salix amygdaloides Salix exigua Sambucus nigra cerulea Sorbus scopulina Spiraea douglasii Symphoricarpos albus
        •      . . . . . . C.12.c.3 Number of each species raised per year 68,900