- Native prairies, which once dominated the landscape of the Willamette Valley, are
considered among the rarest of Oregon's ecosystems and are in critical need of
conservation. One of the largest remaining parcels of native upland prairie, Butterfly
Meadows (Benton County), is being invaded by Brachypodium sylvaticum (false brome).
This site is one of three most important remaining habitats for the Fender's blue butterfly
and Kincaid's lupine, federally listed as Endangered and Threatened respectively. Most
of Butterfly Meadows is owned by Starker Forests (Corvallis) with a small portion owned
by Oregon State University.
A partnership was formed in 2002 of people and organizations interested in protecting
and restoring Butterfly Meadows:
Fred Pfund (Starker Forests)
Matt Blakeley-Smith (Institute for Applied Ecology)
Deborah Clark (Oregon State University, Biology Program)
Paul Hammond (Entomologist, Private consultant)
Debbie Johnson (Oregon State University, College Forests)
Tom Kaye (Institute for Applied Ecology)
Bruce Kelpsas (Helena Chemical Company)
In fall 2002, the partnership submitted a proposal (Control of Brachypodium sylvaticum
and Restoration of Rare Native Upland Prairie Habitat at Butterfly Meadows, Benton
County) and received funding from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
The project goal was and is to protect and restore rare Willamette Valley upland prairie
habitat at Butterfly Meadows (Benton County) from invasion by the noxious weed
Brachypodium sylvaticum (false brome).
Since receiving funding in 2002, the partnership has developed and implemented
herbicide treatments, beginning with small scale experiments, which control
Brachypodium sylvaticum without harming native prairie vegetation or the Fender's blue
butterfly. We used the results of these small-scale experiments to develop strategies for
restoration of larger areas of the Butterfly Meadows, which Starker Forests has
implemented at its own expense. These strategies have been relatively successful in
controlling false brome, but we are now at a time where we need to revegetate these areas
where false brome has been controlled. These areas are too large to quickly revegetate
with existing native herbaceous species, so we need to augment the site with additional
seed. Transplanting greenhouse grown plants is also an option but is much more costly.
We hope to apply for additional funding elsewhere for these transplants.