The Ochoco Preserve Project is Underway

Jun 10, 2022
Starting this month, Ochoco Preserve will be a hive of activity as the Ochoco Preserve Project kicks into high gear. Learn more about the project.


Starting this month, Ochoco Preserve will be a hive of activity as the Ochoco Preserve Project kicks into high gear! This year we will be completing the first phase of the major Preserve renovation which includes realigning McKay Creek onto the Preserve to improve habitat for fish and wildlife, building a fish acclimation pond to help accustom salmon and steelhead to McKay Creek, and establishing initial locations for trails and educational sites. Here is what you can expect to see in the next several months:

  • Logs being collected for use in the Ochoco Preserve Project. Photo: Land Trust.
    Logs being collected for use in the Ochoco Preserve Project. Photo: Land Trust.
    Tree stockpiling. We've been stockpiling trees at the Preserve since last fall, with a new batch arriving the first week of June. These trees will be used in the habitat restoration portion of the project. Huge thanks to the local Prineville family that worked with us to acquire these trees!
  • Surveyors on site marking the project area and various components of the project.
  • Equipment mobilization. Heavy equipment will begin to arrive at the Preserve in preparation for the active phase of construction. This includes placing a temporary bridge over McKay Creek so crews can access the restoration area.
  • Excavation and grading. Crews will be working in the westernmost portion of the Preserve first, excavating new floodplains and channels for both McKay Creek and a small portion of the new Crooked River channel. Learn more about the McKay Creek work.
  • Adding more stream habitat. Once the initial excavation work is complete, another construction crew will begin work on building new habitat structures in and along McKay Creek and the Crooked River. These will include log jam structures, small dams that mimic beaver dams, and other fixed wood structures. This will create more habitat types that will benefit fish and wildlife.
  • Developing funding. We continue to work with a variety of partners to develop funding for the next two phases of the Ochoco Preserve Project. This includes the funds we will need for trails, trail connections, and bridges at the Preserve.

What's next? Excavation, grading, and habitat structure building will be ongoing through September. Then we will transition into decommissioning access roads and planting all the new native grasses, shrubs, and trees that will help the site recover.

Learn more: