The John Day Basin Tribal Native Plant Nursery is located on the tribally owned Forrest Conservation Area in Prairie City, Oregon. The Tribal Nursery operates under the Department of Fisheries Habitat Program with the mission to “propagate native plants of cultural and ecological importance for use in riparian restoration projects that aim to protect, manage, and enhance habitat that support culturally significant fish populations for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Spring Reservation of Oregon”. Locally adapted native plants are propagated for use in riparian re-vegetation and restoration projects on the Tribes’ ceded lands throughout the John Day River Basin. Riparian vegetation plantings are an important component of riparian restoration/re-vegetation efforts; riparian vegetation stabilizes stream banks and prevents stream bank erosion and sedimentation, traps sediments, increases in-stream shade, produces in-stream woody debris, and increases wildlife and aquatic habitat.
To propagate locally adapted native plants, nursery staff members collect seeds and other plant materials from healthy sites near future re-vegetaion or restoration projects; these site sourced plant materials are adapted to local conditions and help maintain local biodiversity of restored sites.A variety of riparian and upland native plants are propagated including Black Cottonwood, Blue Elderberry, Chokecherry, Golden Currant, Red Osier Dogwood, White Alder, sedges, various willow species, Mock Orange, and other species.The Program grows a variety of container sizes for plants depending on the restoration site demands.In 2018, we started transplanting some species into five-gallon-sized pots for quicker growth response at restoration sites in need of immediate stream shade. The Native Plant Nursery propagates up to 40,000 plants per year.