The maps of the forage species suitability zones are based on the concept that new GIS (Geographic Infomation Systems)-based mapping technologies and information systems can aid in developing agricultural and natural resource management systems that are economically sustainable.
This project is based on a collaborative effort to create a web-based, comprehensive knowledge resource to assist land managers and other decision makers in choosing forage and conservation species that are optimally matched with their environment.
The overall goal has been to improve agricultural productivity, natural resource management, environmental protection, and urban beautification using advanced computer technologies.
To develop the species suitability maps, climate and soil factor maps including the Plant Zone Maps, 30-year January and July long-term average and annual precipitation maps and soil pH, soil drainage, and soil salinity maps were developed and used independently and in combination in the various species suitability map segments. 
Primary funding for the mapping and species information work has been provided by the AFRI Sustainable Agricultural Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project (SAS-CAP) grant no. 2021-68012-35917 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  Prior to this project, funding for marketing grass and clover seed was provided by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service Emerging Markets and Market Access Programs, the International Cooperation and Development's Research & Scientific Exchanges Division, the Oregon Seed Council, Oregon Tall Fescue Commission, Oregon Clover Commission, and the Oregon Economic & Rural Development Department.