- About ORBIC
- Rare Species
- Invasive Species
- Natural Areas Program
- Data Requests
- Submit Data
A draft of the 2020 Natural Areas Plan has been completed, and is out for review. Also available is a spreadsheet of Natural Areas names, status, and acreage. Please send comments to Jimmy Kagan at [email protected]. An updated Oregon's Natural Areas 2020 geodatabase contains a spatial layer of sites.
The 2015 Oregon Natural Areas Plan lists the rare species, ecosystems, and geological features present in Oregon and where they are represented by protected lands.
In preparation for the 2015 Plan update, an Oregon's Natural Areas Geodatabase (2015) was produced. This spatial layer contains all registered and dedicated sites and those natural areas included in the Oregon Natural Areas Plan as conserving rare species, habitats, or geological features. If you find errors or omissions in this geodatabase please contact Lindsey Wise with updated information.
The Oregon Legislature established the Oregon Natural Areas Program in 1979 as a way to protect high quality native ecosystems and rare plant and animal species. The program is managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and is guided by the Oregon Natural Area Plan, a document that describes the natural areas program in Oregon. The plan lists the ecosystems and species that drive the program, guides the selection of priority areas for the establishment of new natural areas, and assists researchers, educators, and the public in learning about or managing designated natural areas. INR's Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (ORBIC) helped develop the Oregon Natural Areas Plan and assists the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department by maintaining natural areas records, providing scientific advice and coodinating with regional and national natural areas programs. ORBIC has a long history working with the Natural Areas Program and has helped guide it since 1979, when ORBIC was called the Oregon Natural Heritage Program.
The goals of the Oregon Natural Areas Program are to:
The Oregon Natural Areas program collaborates with regional and national natural areas programs, including an interagency Natural Areas Committee, that is overseen by the U.S. Forest Service. This committee meets twice a year, and has representatives from the federal land management agencies, state agencies, The Nature Conservancy, and others interested in Natural Areas. The Natural Areas Association helps coordinate efforts throughout the U.S. and the world, and promotes information exchange regarding the management and establishment of natural areas.
Federal, state, and private organizations have interests in preserving Oregon's natural areas for the benefits these areas provide. To researchers and educators, natural areas provide a relatively undisturbed setting in which to study native ecosystems and species. To resource managers, natural areas can provide a setting for understanding important statewide land management issues. To the public, natural areas provide access to native forests, grasslands, tide pools, bogs, and sagebrush communities. Natural areas also provide habitat for Oregon’s rarest plants and animals like the Fender's Blue Butterfly, the emblem of INR's Natural Areas Program.
Designating natural areas requires sound information regarding characteristics of potential sites, and maintaining areas requires knowledge of proper management techniques. The Natural Areas Program supports the work of agencies and organizations throughout the state by providing such information. INR is part of the Natural Areas Committee, an interagency effort to establish natural areas led by the US Forest Service.