An evaluation of agricultural lands for acquistion and consolidation : the Umatilla Indian Reservation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cv43p0150

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  • The Farm Enterprise Committee of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation requested that an evaluation be made of the Reservation land resource for the purpose of acquisition by the Tribe as a part of a study of the feasibility of an expanded farm enterprise. The Committee's primary goal is to regain control of Reservation lands for Indians, but they realize that the economic success of the farm enterprise will determine the ability of the Tribe to buy more land. The first step in satisfying the Committee's request was to determine the kinds of information necessary to an evaluation of the land resource and the availability of information compiled by public and private agencies to satisfy these information needs. Specific information needs included owner and operator data, land and improvements costs, and agricultural characteristics such as soil, slope, precipitation, productivity, potential crops, and irrigated agriculture potential. Where possible, information was collected on a parcel by parcel basis. Where parcel by parcel data were not available, information was developed for each of 11 regions into which the Reservation was divided. The data were analyzed and organized into forms that would convey to the Committee the information collected and the understandings formed. Two forms of descriptive analysis of the variation in land quality were produced to form a backdrop for evaluating individual parcels. In one analysis, the spatial variation of each variable was described verbally and cartographically. The second analysis describes the agricultural characteristics and potential of each of the 11 relatively homogenous regions. The economic analysis of the larger study characterizes the economic potential of the typical parcel in each region. The information collected on individual parcels is organized into a set of index files of owners and parcel codes, a map which locates parcels by their codes, and a set of parcel data cards on which all the information on each parcel is recorded. Finally, each parcel is ranked on a scale of 1-100 by means of a parcel rating scale which integrates the parcel characteristics of nine different variable categories into one ranking. This ranking is then used to differentiate between poorer than average, average, and better than average parcels within each region. The information collected in the land resource analysis can thus be integrated with the economic analysis of each region.
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