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Restoration Best Practices: Developing an Ecological Restoration Plan

Are you planning on engaging in ecological restoration on your land? If so, an important first step is to develop a plan. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it is important to outline your plans, methods, and timeline so that you can keep on track and do the best you can for the area to be restored. Another reason to have an ecological restoration plan in place is to be able to share information with any agencies that you might be looking for support from. Additionally, the Rogue Native Plant Partnership’s annual native seed sale (next occurring in Fall 2020) requires seed buyers to have a basic restoration plan in place so that we know the hard-to-come-by seed is going to be used productively. 

Below we have laid out the information that is useful to have in your restoration plan. We encourage you to use this opportunity to learn as much about your land as you can – about the soil, plants, historical impacts, wildlife habitat potential, and anything else you can dive into – it’s a great way to get more connected to your land and be able to do your best in enhancing plant and wildlife biodiversity. You can also download an example restoration plan here (Word document).

Introduction to the land:

  1. Location of land – the address, and the location on the landscape (hill slope, valley floor, wetland, etc)

  2. Size of restoration site

  3. Soil type (read our guide: How to Find Your Soil Type)

  4. Habitats present (eg. riparian, woodlands, grasslands) and other main features (house site, road, pasture)

  5. Map showing land (eg. screenshot from Google Maps, MyMaps, hand drawn map)

  6. Relevant land use history

  7. Brief description of specific area to be restored

Details of area/s of land to be restored (if more than one area, write up each set of details separately):

  1. Location of area to be restored within land parcel (add a map if possible)

  2. Current condition of area to be restored

  3. List weed and native plant species – you can use apps like Google Lens and iNaturalist to help with identification.

  4. List current and potential impacts on area to be restored (eg. weed drift from neighbors, too much sunlight on riparian zone) 

  5. Describe restoration goals (eg. I want to remove the weeds from the creek banks and replant with natives to create shade for the water, or, I want to remove invasive grasses from my woodlands and increase the number of native grass and herb species that will benefit native pollinators)

  6. Describe methods to be used in restoring area & timeline for each part of the process. Click on the links below for more information on each process. 

  7. Weed removal methods

  8. Sourcing of seeds and plants to be installed

  9. Planting / seeding methods

  10. Monitoring methods (photos, plant lists etc)

  11. Timeline for every restoration phase

Any special considerations that need to be accounted for, eg.:

  1. Oregon Dept. Fish & Wildlife plans required for certain riparian zones

  2. Historical sites that may require protection


  1. Include list of observed native and weed plant species

  2. Include list of observed wildlife on land

  3. Include any relevant photos – eg. photos of area to be restored. Make sure to take after photos! 

Useful Documents: the Rogue Native Plant Partnership Resources Library is a fantastic place to learn more about a range of topics related to ecological restoration, from weed removal to harvesting native seed to growing native plants in containers, and much more. Here are a few documents we thought might be particularly useful for when you are writing an ecological restoration plan:

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