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Plan calls for restoration of 500 acres at Buford Park

Lane County is poised to approve a habitat management plan for the county's largest and most popular park. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - Lane County is poised to approve a habitat management plan for the county's largest and most popular park.

Howard Buford Recreation Area is home to dozens of miles of trails and the Mount Pisgah Arboretum.

It's also a preserve for the endangered oak savanna ecosystem, once widespread in the Willamette Valley.

The county is completing work on a master plan in cooperation with partners like the Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah.

"This plan will help guide and provide a blueprint for the restoration projects," explained Chris Orsinger, director of the Friends of Buford Park. "It will help us more effectively raise grant funds."

A key provision of the plan: to restore 500 acres of prairie within the park boundaries.

"That plan calls for about 500 of the 2,215 acres to be actively managed and restored to enhance the habitat," Orsinger said. "Planting diverse mix of wildflowers and grasses - and then managing it with periodic prescribed fire."

The plan also calls for improving and maintaining hiking trails, as well as work benefitting side channels of the Coast Fork of the Willamette River.

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