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A tour of Klamath County sites where juniper trees have been thinned to improve rangeland conditions will be offered Sept. 11 by the Klamath Soil and Water Conservation District, according to a news release.

The tour is open to the public. A carpool caravan will leave at 1:30 p.m. from the district office at 1945 Main St. The group will return to Klamath Falls by 5 p.m.

“State grant funds have helped us clear juniper trees this year on more than 600 acres of privately owned rangelands in the Gerber area east of Klamath Falls,” said district manager Brian Quick. “Our hope is that native grass and shrub plant communities can take hold on these sites.”

The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board allocated $328,965 in grant funds to assist in the work, which was called the Gerber Watershed Enhancement Project. Total cost of the project was more than $1.4 million, with other sources of funding or support coming from private landowners and government agencies, including the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Klamath Watershed Partnership.

The project took place within the Lost River watershed. Contract crews used heavy equipment to cut junipers and pile them for burning at a later date.

In addition to improved watershed conditions, conservation district officials hope the juniper thinning will improve wildlife habitat and forage for livestock. Sites will be monitored for early detection of invasive weeds that might spread following the treatment.

“We’d like to invite anyone who is interested in watershed health, or who might be considering this type of project for their own property, to join us on the tour,” Quick said.

The Klamath Soil and Water Conservation District works to promote sound management of natural resources for the benefit of landowners and other residents of Klamath County. For more information contact the district at 541-883-6924 or 541-892-1151