January 7, 2018

ICYMI: Ritter land group receives big grant

A juniper stands on a ridge in Eastern Oregon under starlight.

A century ago, a stalwart of the landscape Oregon forests was only an occasional presence in the state's eastern rangelands, covering about a million acres. These days, western juniper trees occupies more than nine million acres in Eastern Oregon.

The Blue Mountain Eagle reports on a recent Meyer grant of $135,000 to Ritter Land Management Team, a collaboration between private landowners in the Ritter and Lower Middle Fork John Day River sub-basin working to restore ecosystem health and create jobs by transforming western juniper trees into a marketable product:

Patti Hudson, the group’s executive director, said the money will be used for staffing, maintaining a website and sustaining the group’s operations for the next three years.

“It was a competitive grant, and it was fantastic that we got it,” she said, noting that the trust sent people to look over the group’s operation.

Read more about the effort to market the invasive native trees that suck up water in the dry landscape and crowd out native plants needed by wildlife and livestock here