Protecting Natural Resources at NWSTF Boardman
The U.S. Navy and Oregon National Guard are committed to protecting the environment as they train service men and women to defend the United States. As good stewards of the military lands they own, these agencies recognize that Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility (NWSTF) Boardman is part of a diverse and functioning environment.
Collaborating and Partnering to Protect the Environment
Under the Sikes Act, the Navy is required to implement an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) and has done so in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. As a stakeholder in the management of natural resources at NWSTF Boardman, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife works closely with the Navy on various wildlife conservation issues, including:
  • Protecting on-site habitat
  • Controlling invasive species
  • Developing and conducting wildlife and habitat research and surveys

The Nature Conservancy co-manages three Research Natural Areas at NWSTF Boardman, which are areas set aside for education and research purposes. Established in 1978, the NWSTF Boardman Research Natural Areas are part of a federal program and preserve high-quality areas of Columbia River Basin vegetation and associated wildlife.
Natural Resources at NWSTF Boardman
NWSTF Boardman is located in the Snake-Columbia shrub steppe ecoregion, a vast, arid region of about 84,000 square miles extending from eastern Washington through southeast Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, northeast California and western Wyoming.

In the term shrub steppe ecoregion, “shrub” refers to the abundant woody plant species present at NWSTF Boardman, such as big sagebrush and rabbitbrush. “Steppe" is a Russian word that means a vast treeless plain.

In Oregon, much of the ecological integrity of the Snake-Columbia shrub steppe has been lost or degraded by conversion of land to irrigated agriculture and livestock grazing. This ecoregion is considered to be endangered from a conservation perspective.

NWSTF Boardman contains 11 habitat types, which support a variety of plant and animal species, including:
  • Three species of snakes
  • Three species of lizards
  • More than 20 species of mammals
  • More than 80 species of birds

NWSTF Boardman contains several species with high conservation concern, including:
  • Northern sagebrush lizard
  • Sage sparrow
  • Ferruginous hawk
  • Burrowing owl

Currently, there are no federally listed threatened or endangered species known to occur at NWSTF Boardman, but the installation is an important population center for the Washington ground squirrel, which has been listed as endangered by the state of Oregon.