Range and Meadow Forage Management Research
The Range and Meadow Forage Management Research Unit of the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, is located at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, Burns Oregon. The Center serves two major cattle-raising environments of the region: the Great Basin sagebrush-steppe, and the inland coniferous forests. The Unit’s mission is to develop agricultural and natural resource strategies that maintain or enhance intermountain forest and shrub steppe ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations. The current program includes research on invasive species; ecology and management of sagebrush range, juniper dominated sites, and riparian zones (stream sides); livestock behavior; management of flood meadows; and traditional livestock management.
The Center's research program is unique in the integration of research about beef cattle, rangeland, wildlife, and watersheds. Scientists and staff at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC) provide information and research services for ranchers, public land managers, hay producers, environmental groups, and the general public. Dissemination of information is achieved via journal publications, tours, field days, public presentations, and individual contacts.
The Burns location, established in 1912, was first called the Harney Branch Station. The Squaw Butte Range Livestock Station was subsequently created by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in 1935. It was merged with the Harney Station in 1944 to form the Squaw Butte Harney Range and Livestock Experiment Station. The Harney Branch Station added an additional section of meadowland (Section 5) south of Burns in 1948. Today the federal property is known as the Northern Great Basin Experimental Range (NGBER) and encompasses over 16,000 acres. Several large exclosures were established at NGBER in 1936, and have been left untreated since that time. They provide a significant historical resource spanning almost 60 years.