The Oak Accord

About

The Challenge: 

This map series shows the decline of oak habitat in the Willamette Valley from 1938 (far left) to 2013 (far right) with oak habitat displayed in orange. Map: Laura Wood, Willamette Partnership (with data by Esri, DeLorme, USGS, NPS, USFWS, NWHI, and OSU).

Despite their cultural and biological value, oak habitat in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is declining at an accelerated and concerning rate. Estimates put the remaining amount of native oak woodlands in Oregon’s Willamette Valley at less than 7% of its historic range. Loss and fragmentation of oak habitat can be attributed to several factors including fire suppression, urban and rural residential development, and conversion of native habitat to support agricultural production. Currently, there are no legal protections for oak trees or oak habitat in Oregon. 

The Solution: 

With 98% of remaining oak habitat found on private lands, landowners and managers are critical to the long-term sustainability of these important ecosystems. To restore a network of native oak woodland capable of supporting wildlife, landowners will need to work together. Each property with existing oak woodland or savanna can be thought of as a single pearl. To form a necklace, they’ll need to be strung together and connected across the region.

Willamette Partnership’s Oak Accord is a pact by landowners in the Valley to protect and restore the oaks on their property and be part of a collective effort to replenish this native habitat. In exchange for signing the voluntary agreement, landowners receive a certificate recognizing their conservation commitment, guidance on restoration, science-based assessments of the results of their efforts, and tools to communicate the conservation good work they’re doing to customers, colleagues, regulators, and others.

Results: 

Work is underway to officially launch the Oak Accord. Already, 30 groups have signed the voluntary Oak Agreement

National eco-friendly wine labels are jumping on board. Salmon-Safe is integrating an oak conservation requirement into their Farm Certification Standards, widely used in the wine industry, while LIVE is determining what role oak restoration efforts can play in meeting requirements for the Ecological Compensation Area.

The Grande Ronde Tribe is expressing support by featuring Oak Accord wines in their Spirit of the Mountain restaurant.

Follow The Oregon Oak Project on Instagram and #showusyouroaks. Tag your picture of a beautiful oak wherever you are to support the movement.

Project Docs

Website Resources/Links