Oak habitats support a high diversity of birds and other wildlife species, but are threatened by conifer encroachment, invasive species, and fragmentation. Since 2011, KSON partners have already successfully leveraged millions of dollars of public and non-federal resources to restore 3,000 acres of oak woodland in southern Oregon and northern California in the last five years, with an additional 3,400 acres of restoration planned for the next several years.
Over the last few months, with the support of a grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, KSON has been developing a Strategic Action Plan for oak conservation in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion. Strategic conservation planning is a science-based process that helps regional conservation partnerships plan for the future. Why prioritize? Both time and conservation dollars are limited, so identifying the projects that have the most impact is important. Strategic planning helps identify the species, habitats, and places that most need our help, and the conservation actions that are likely to be effective. Ultimately, partnership-based strategic conservation planning is how we can have the most impact at a regional scale for oak habtiat conservation.
Science-based maps of oak habitat help us identify priority restoration areas and set specific, measurable goals. When complete, the KSON Strategic Action Plan will serve as a road map for oak habitat restoration actions across the region for the next 10 years, and will enhance our ability to protect and restore oak habitats for birds and other oak-associated animals and plants.