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Stewardship Plan Executive Summary

The Vandevert Ranch Stewardship Plan for natural resources is written for the owners of the ranch and their governing association.  The plan addresses the management of the common area woodlands, the riparian areas, the meadow, and wildlife on the ranch.  Private owner lots are addressed in the CC&R’s.  Roads, structures, fences, paddocks, the pasture, the riding arena, and landscaped areas will be addressed in the Operations section of the ranch web site (under Owners).  Rainbow Lake, being manmade, is also addressed under Operations rather than in the stewardship plan.

This plan was substantially updated in the spring of 2008 from the plan originally developed by the ranch foreman in 2004.  Further improvements will continue to be integrated into the plan on the ranch web site.  The plan provides information and recommendations to the Vandevert Ranch Association and has not been officially adopted by the Association in whole or in part.

Purposes of the Plan

1.      To present the natural resource mission and objectives of the Vandevert Ranch Association (the owners’ association).

2.      To describe the natural resources of the ranch, past actions taken to protect and enhance the resources, and organizations that can assist in managing them.

3.      To describe best practices and recommend future actions.

4.      To present issues, challenges, and choices to be made by the ranch

Stewardship Mission

The mission is to protect and enhance the natural resources of Vandevert Ranch for the enjoyment of current and future owners.

Owners value the ranch natural resources for providing natural beauty, opportunities for recreation, a sense of privacy and remoteness, and the sense of living in and being in touch with nature.

Stewardship Objectives

1.  Protect the natural resources against the primary threat of fire and secondary threats of disease, insect infestation, damage by animals and humans, and theft of forest products.

2.  Minimize erosion in the Little Deschutes River and enhance the river as a trout fishery.

3.  Enhance the beauty of the ranch while making the natural areas appear to be untouched by man. 

4.  Restore the diverse plant communities, especially grasses, that were once prevalent on the ranch.  Favor ponderosas over lodgepole pine.  Discourage invasive species (e.g. mullein). 

5.  Maintain and enhance wildlife habitat.  Favor elk, birds, and trout.  Control populations of sage rats, gophers, and tree frogs.   

6.  Enhance recreational access and experiences (especially visual) for owners - including horseback riding, hiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. 

7.  Comply with state and federal law.  Participate with government and non-governmental organizations in programs that serve the objectives of the ranch and the surrounding community. 

8.  Respect the needs and desires of ranch neighbors.

9.  Support owner understanding and appreciation of the natural resources on the ranch.


Forestlands require the most management attention because they cover more than half the ranch.  Left unattended, their health and appearance will deteriorate and they will eventually burn.  Forest fires are natural occurrences.  They would burn the understory about every twenty years and kill all the lodgepole pine in a crown fire about every hundred years.  The most critical tasks for the ranch are to reduce fuels, thin forest stands, and build shaded fuel breaks to minimize the potential for fire damage.  At the same time, trees must be protected from the spread of disease and damage from pests. 

Riparian Area

The two miles of the Little Deschutes River on the ranch are a unique asset that will largely sustain itself.  The most significant risk to the river is bank erosion and, ultimately the changing of the course of the river.  The greatest opportunity for the river is to enhance it as a habitat for trout.  The most effective action the ranch can take to both decrease the risk and enhance the habitat is stream bank restoration using pine trees anchored along the shore.  Under grants administered by the Oregon Water Enhancement Board (OWEB) the ranch has accomplished significant restoration and plans to proceed with more.


The meadow east of the river and north and south of the Homestead Road once grew rye, now grows weeds, and will eventually  become a lodgepole forest if left unattended.  The ranch would prefer to keep the meadow as open space and has the opportunity to make the meadow more attractive by planting native grass and wildflowers that do not require irrigation.


The variety of wildlife enhances the experience of living on the ranch.  The ability of the ranch to control wildlife populations is limited but the ranch has taken steps to improve the habitat for favored animals (elk, duck, bluebirds and other birds).  Though the ranch can temporarily decrease the population of undesirable animals (sage rats, tree frogs, and gophers) the population will inevitably rejuvenate itself.  Fortunately the few problems are not severe and wildlife populations seem likely to retain a reasonable balance. 

Government Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations

The ranch is in continuous contact with agencies and organizations that, by and large, favor and assist in maintaining the natural environment of the ranch.  The impact of government agencies is specifically addressed in the Forestland and Riparian sections of this plan.  Appendices briefly summarize the roles of the most relevant government agencies and non-governmental organizations.


The highest natural resource management priority for the ranch is fuels reduction in the forest, including the creation of shaded fuel breaks, clearing bitterbrush, and thinning trees.  The next highest priority is planting new trees, predominantly ponderosa, in selected areas.  The “Plan” pages in the Forestland section provide more specifics.  The third highest priority is stream bank stabilization and habitat improvement in the river.  Wildlife requires little management and can best be supported by maintaining and enhancing the woodlands and riparian areas.  Enhancing the meadow is a project that the ranch can take up at any time.

The Future of the Stewardship Plan

The 2008 Stewardship Plan addresses all areas of natural resource management on the ranch as thoroughly as current knowledge and thinking will allow.  The plan is intended to be updated as new knowledge and experience is gathered – and as the owners continuously reconsider their preferences and priorities.

Continue to Plan Introduction
Return to Stewardship Plan Table of Contents


Copyright 2004-2010 The Vandevert Ranch Association Neither the Association nor its members guarantees the accuracy or completeness of information or representations on this Web Site. Buyers should obtain definitive information from their real estate agent.