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OR/WA - Black Canyon Research Natural Area (RNA) Monitoring and Guidebook

Post Date

March 15th 2016

Application Due Date

May 14th 2016

Funding Opportunity Number


CFDA Number(s)


Funding Instrument Type(s)

Cooperative Agreement

Funding Activity Categories

Natural Resources

Number of Awards


Eligibility Categories



  • Estimated Total Funding:


  • Award Range:

    $1 - $9000

Grant Description

The Black Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern Research Natural Area (ACEC/RNA) was designated in April 2015 through the signing of the John Day Basin Resource Management Plan. Located in Wheeler County, in eastern Oregon, the 6,639 acre ACEC/RNA contains seven plant community cells that are to be included in the statewide RNA system. One of these cells, consisting of big sagebrush and ThurberДккs needlegrass, is not represented elsewhere. Additionally, the area contains a high density of endemic plant species. The establishment of baseline monitoring plots within ACEC/RNAs has been part of a nation-wide effort to measure climate change on public lands. The RNA network in the west consists of tracts of wildlands designated for research, education, and conservation. They contribute significantly to regional and statewide biological diversity and provide a valuable resource necessary for long-term monitoring and research. Collected information becomes part of a databank for RNAs, as well and guidebooks, utilized by scientists and educators at Universities, State, Federal, and local government agencies, as well as conservation groups and other non-profit and private organizations. Monitoring vegetation over time allows land managers, across multiple jurisdictions, to determine if action is needed to maintain, conserve, preserve, and/or restore plant communities that ACEC/RNAs are designated to protect, as well as meeting the requirements of Executive Order 13186 to conserve and manage migratory birds, their habitats, and associated values. Monitoring data and the production of guidebooks also contribute to the adaptive management of similar ecosystems on public lands in the Intermountain West. Western Stewardship Science Institute (WSSI), in collaboration with public and private land owners, has completed over ten RNA guidebooks of public lands in Oregon and WSSI continues to revisit the plots to conduct on-going monitoring. The baseline data and future data collection, as well as guidebooks, benefit researchers, and others interested in conducting studies on public land RNAs in order to understand the health of the land, maintain functioning ecosystems, preserve natural heritage, and to inventory and monitor ACEC/RNAs and sensitive species. The objective of this project is to establish permanent quantitative baseline monitoring plots within the Black Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern Research Natural Area, ACEC/RNA as part of a nation-wide effort to measure climate change on public lands by conducting vegetation monitoring using agreed upon natural area and vegetation monitoring protocols. The project is to establish long-term monitoring plots to collect data on vegetation, wildlife, geology, physiography, climate, and use history, in order to document and detect vegetation changes. Collected information is to be entered in a database for RNAs, as well as for the creation of a guidebook, to be used by Universities and other institutions for research, and State, Federal and local government agencies, conservation groups, and other non-profit and private organizations to assist in determining land management actions needed to maintain, conserve, preserve, and/or restore plant communities within the newly created Black Canyon ACEC/RNA.

Contact Information

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