Central Point, Ore. – ODFW is giving away free wildlife forage seed to southwest Oregon area landowners on Friday, Oct. 1. The free seed is made possible because of donations from the Rogue Valley Oregon Hunters Association matched with federal funds granted to ODFW.
Interested landowners are eligible for one 15-pound bag of seed, which can cover one acre of habitat. Seed can be picked up from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the driveway at the ODFW Denman Wildlife Area Office, 1495 E Gregory Road, Central Point. The front gate will be open and staffed. Bags are first-come first-served and are often gone before the end of the day. Please follow all social distancing guidelines when picking up seed.
The forage mix includes a blend of species selected to attract watchable wildlife, game birds, and mammals. The seeds can grow without irrigation and should be planted in the fall to sprout with fall rains.
Forbs and grasses are an important part of healthy wildlife habitat. This mix includes non-native grasses and herbaceous species that provide critical food resources for animals during the fall and winter when native forage starts to become less nutritious as it matures and deteriorates.
These pasture-adapted species can out-compete other invasive non-native plants such as yellow star-thistle, which provides very little forage value for wildlife. Understory plants are also useful for stabilizing soils and providing ground cover to control dust and reduce erosion.
The mix is not suitable for healthy habitats such as woodlands and grasslands dominated by native species as these areas already provide suitable wildlife forage.
Productive habitat on private lands is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to ODFW’s mission of protecting and enhancing Oregon’s native wildlife populations.