Jenne Reische is the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District Conservation Planning Program Manager. She oversees and coordinates the efforts of five conservation specialists as well as manages her own conservation projects. She is a valued member of the District’s Leadership Team.
Reische took over as the Conservation Planning Program Manager in 2020. “This was right before the pandemic started,” she observes. “There were a lot of challenges.” Fortunately, she is close to her team, having been a planning specialist herself for the previous fourteen years. “We were quick to adapt to meet our customers’ needs. Conservation projects took off as people decided to work on their properties since it was hard to go anywhere,” she said.
New Delivery of Valued Content
“One of the ways we accommodated our landowners during the pandemic was to provide new video content that addressed their conservation concerns,” Reische stated. People couldn’t got to workshops, so we created a selection of farm demonstration videos, including three videos for horse properties.”
Reische herself has a horse property which she recently purchased. “The property needed a lot of work and I was excited to do it. “It’s been a real passion for me because I wanted to walk the talk.” She added “I want to turn my place into a demonstration destination. We can showcase proper pasture management, heavy use areas, and more. I’ve implemented all of these conservation practices in a property that was in poor condition, so I know it can be done.”
A Career in Conservation
Reische officially joined District staff in 2008 after working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service where she provided technical support to conservation district staff. She developed expertise in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), that helped landowners establish riparian buffers on agricultural land. Her first CREP project in Clackamas County helped the landowners earn recognition as Cooperators of the Year in 2012 by the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts.
In her tenure with the District, Reische has worked with many landowners within Clackamas County. Some notable projects include streambank restoration in the Molalla River Watershed and the removal of an old agricultural in-stream dam that blocked fish from reaching 2.5 miles of high quality habitat on Milk Creek. She is recognized as an expert in her field and often provides technical support to watershed councils, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
While cross-trained and experienced in many areas of conservation resource planning, Reische has a particularly well-regarded talent in riparian restoration. She has worked with many landowners in Clackamas County who have rivers or streams on their property. Her work in this area earned her statewide recognition in 2014!
As program manager, Reische attends site visits, trains new staff, oversees CREP projects, and consults on bank erosion. She helps with the monitoring of the District conservation easement at Camp Adams. Reische is also the District lead on the Clackamas Partnership. This partnership is a collaboration of Portland metropolitan area watershed councils, government agencies, tribes, and other organizations. They are all committed to improving the health of the Clackamas Watershed.
Reische grew up in Michigan where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry from Michigan State University. Her family placed a high value on being outdoors, enjoying hunting, fishing, and hiking. For many years, her uncle was a lead naturalist at Hartwick Pines, an old growth pine forest in Michigan. “I loved it there,” said Reiche. “Ever since I could walk, I spent weekends visiting a family farm with my dad and going hunting with him every fall. I loved walking in the woods. Forestry was the way to go — that was my happy place.”
After graduation, Reische worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. After getting involved in the Michigan Envirothon, she realized she was deeply interested in environmental education, so she moved to Oregon and obtained her Masters Degree in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University.
While in graduate school, Reische worked with the U. S. Forest Service conducting stream surveys and assisting a technical team in the Rogue Basin. When her husband, who worked for the Bureau of Land Management, took a new position, the family moved to the Portland metro area.
Reische “Walks the Conservation Talk”
Reische’s extensive background in forestry, rivers and streams, wildlife habitat, and biology makes her a valuable member of the District’s management team.
“One of the things I like most about my job is helping landowners realize their stewardship and conservation goals,” says Reische. “I really love working with rivers, but I enjoy conservation work in the uplands as well.”
“I have a lot of empathy for people who are doing this work. It is hard,” she said. “We’re 2 years in and our 1-2 year plan has now changed to a 5-10 year plan. It’s a process.” Reische has set up a low tech compost facility on her property to manage the manure of her three horses. “Managing manure is an important part of having horses, especially in the winter. You don’t want it to leach into the ground or run off into ditches and streams,” she said, noting that it’s also important not to have too many horses on small acreage.
Reische is also interested in restoring oak woodland habitat, an important type of habitat that is quickly disappearing from the Willamette Valley. Reische notes, “Oak woodland and savannas in the Willamette Valley have been an undervalued habitat for many years. Oregon white oak habitat has recently gained more attention and has become a conservation priority with the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department. We have lots of wonderful opportunity to work with landowners in Clackamas County to restore this habitat on private land.
Our Planners Can Help You With Your Property
Are you interested in helping improve your horse property or oak habitat in Clackamas County? Give us a call at 503-210-6000!