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How do current TRENDS impact WATER use?

Please join the
2021 Annual Meeting 
Free & Virtual!!

Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021  –  1:30 PM – 3:30 PM


Water issues in Oregon are becoming more and more critical not only due to changes in the weather, but also because the state population has increased by 400,000 people since 2010. Based on US Geological Survey data, the additional 400,000 Oregonians use 42.8 million gallons of water a day — 107 gallons per person per day — for a total of 15.6 billion gallons of water annually.

Population growth is just one of the current trends that impact Oregon’s water use.

Three presentations!

Sarah Zwissler, Trout Unlimited, Salmon SuperHwy Coordinator

Travel the Salmon SuperHwy, a partnership-driven effort to remove fish passage barriers and reconnect habitat over the six river-landscape of the Nestucca & Tillamook Bay watersheds.



Aaron Shaw, Tualatin SWCD, Director of Natural Resources

Discover how partnerships support the TSWCD habitat program and learn about plans to mitigate for predicted impacts of climate change.



Jeffrey Steiner, Global Hemp Innovation Center, Associate Director

Look at hemp and ways to imagine this new crop fitting into Western U.S. agricultural landscapes. After being locked in a time capsule for more than  80 years, there is a lot that needs to be discovered about where different hemp essential oil, grain, and fiber market classes should be grown and how to sustainably manage these in light of changing availabilities of natural resources.

More information?
Please contact Dan Zinkand, Oregon Chapter President



Jackson SWCD

one month post fire
Obenchain Road one month post-fire. South Obenchain Fire. 10.09.20


Visit the Wildfire Recovery webpage.






Burned area along tributary to Bear Creek. Almeda Fire 10.23.20


Read Almeda Obenchain Fire Response Summary








Burned field near Bear Creek. Almeda Fire 10.23.20


Read Almeda Obenchain Fire Response Site Visit






For more information on Jackson SWCD work:
Karelia Ver Eecke
Education and Outreach Coordinator

Tualatin SWCD

Tualatin SWCD’s Forest Conservation Specialist has been working with several landowners to improve forest understory health, remove invasive species, introduce a diversity of native species, and expand forest habitat. Visit the story map

Our Rural Conservation Program worked with the owner of Sparrowhawk Farm to install native shrubs to block wind, dust, and pesticide drift, increase wildlife/pollinator habitat, and prevent trespass on the farm fields. Read more about the hedgerow along the farm perimeter.

Mud and Manure Management Project – Read more

Restoration of Glencoe Swale – Read more

For more information on Tualatin SWCD work:
Charlotte Trowbridge

East Multnomah SWCD

Headwaters Farm is the site of EMSWCD’s Headwaters Incubator Program which helps new farmers by providing affordable access to land and farm resources. Explore Headwaters Farm in these two videos and learn about the farmers’ experiences as they grow their farm businesses!

How the Headwaters Incubator Program Helps Beginning Farmers  – video
Why the Headwaters Incubator Program Helps Beginning Farmers – video

EMSWCD offers free workshops for urban and rural residents on topics ranging from naturescaping and rain gardens to attracting pollinators, and livestock management. Our classes help people care for land in ways that benefit people, water, and wildlife. Watch as our Urban Lands program supervisor, Kathy Shearin, talks about how we’ve adapted this year by transitioning to online workshops and by offering a new community “virtual yard tour,” in this interview with MetroEast Community Media!

For more information on East Multnomah SWCD work:
Alex Woolery
(503) 935-5367

Eagle Valley SWCD

Eagle Valley SWCD
Eagle Creek Irrigation







Eagle Valley pivot line






Eagle Valley intake






Eagle Creek Irrigation Project – Large OWEB Grant #220-5015

This irrigation project in the Eagle Valley SWCD partnered with NRCS to install one subsurface drip system, one 6-tower pivot, and two wheel lines, effectively converting 191 acres between two individual
landowners to a more efficient irrigation system. Before project install, irrigation water for these properties was diverted from Eagle Creek, a native fish-bearing stream, to an earthen ditch to be distributed via flood irrigation; tailwater runoff would return to the same system, carrying excess sediment, nutrients, debris and organic matter a short half mile before entering the Powder River and Brownlee Reservoir, further impacting water quality concerns in the watershed.
One powered, self-cleaning, screened headbox was installed in the ditch to provide gravity pressurized water to 2,100 feet of 12 inch mainline, 1,560 feet of 8 inch mainline, and 3,420 feet of 6 inch mainline that conveys water to the sprinkler and center pivot systems as well as the subsurface drip system. One 1,000 foot and one 640 foot wheel line were installed in the north and south west corners of the project site to irrigate acres that the pivot will not reach. Fourteen culvert crossings were installed and one power drop was completed as part of the project, as well as 1,700 feet of cable in conduit to provide power from an existing line. The completion of this irrigation system will provide an estimated water savings of 1.1 CFS, benefitting aquatic species and habitat in Eagle Creek while also eliminating irrigation tailwater from entering the Powder River Watershed.

For more information on Eagle Valley SWCD work:
Whitney M Collins, Baker County SWCD’s Districts Manager
Whitney Collins
541-519-2496 Cell
541-523-7121 X 109 Office

Keating SWCD

Keating SWCD
Big Creek Stockwater







Keating rubber tire watering trough






Keating fence






Big Creek Stockwater Project – Large OWEB Grant #218-5003

Water source locations greatly affect grazing distribution across the rangeland. Oftentimes livestock will congregate in the low benches along perennial streams or existing springs; without other off-channel watering sources available, these areas will become trampled and degraded from overuse. At this particular project site within the Keating SWCD, a tributary to Big Creek was the only watering source for livestock, apart from one antiquated spring-fed trough and one small pond located in a small 21 acre pasture. Livestock would primarily gather around this stream, underutilizing the other three pastures, and adding excess sediment, nutrients and organic matter into the stream, a tributary to the Powder River which runs 153 miles, almost entirely in Baker County, before draining into the Snake River.

This project developed one spring and installed a solar pumping station to provide livestock water to two 2,000 gallon storage cisterns and three new rubber tire watering troughs. This project also installed 2,000 feet of wildlife friendly riparian fencing along the perennial stream that feeds into Big Creek. This off-channel watering system, along with implementing a rotational grazing plan, will reduce grazing impacts throughout the 125 acres at the project site, better utilizing all four pastures while improving water quality in Big Creek and the Powder River Watershed.

For more information on Keating SWCD work:
Whitney M Collins, Baker County SWCD’s Districts Manager
Whitney Collins
541-519-2496 Cell
541-523-7121 X 109 Office

Burnt River SWCD

Sinker Creek spring






Burnt River SWCD
Sinker Creek aluminum trough







Sinker Creek troughs







Creek Water Line Project – Large OWEB Grant #217-5007
The establishment of this off-channel watering system provides the only livestock water in the large east pasture of BLM’s Cave Creek allotment, effectively distributing livestock across 2,273 acres of rangeland, as well as allowing the use of this pasture during  fall grazing months when perennial streams have gone dry. Using 5,035 feet of 2” HDPE pipe, the BLM used a cat ripper to replace the antiquated pipeline from the springs on site to five separate trough locations. Once the pipeline was installed in its entirety, the permittees of the Cave Creek allotment installed new 4×10 aluminum troughs at four of the five locations (one existing trough remained as part of the project). The new troughs were placed on railroad ties, anchored with T-posts, and tied together with barbless wire. The troughs were also equipped with float systems and wildlife escape ramps. This off-channel watering system will encourage livestock to distribute across the landscape, improving grazing management and rangeland health throughout this vast piece of land within the Burnt River SWCD.

For more information on Burnt River SWCD work:
Whitney M Collins, Baker County SWCD’s Districts Manager
Whitney Collins
541-519-2496 Cell
541-523-7121 X 109 Office

Baker Valley SWCD

Baker Valley pond pump






Baker Valley SWCD
Crop Circle Irrigation







Crop Circle Irrigation Project – Large OWEB Grant #219-5001
Flood irrigation has been used in the Baker Valley for centuries as an effective method of distributing water. However, when applied to annual crops, the soil erosion rates can double, increasing sediment and organic matter inputs through tail water runoff returning to the streams. Sediment entering our fresh water rivers and streams increases the embeddedness of the channel, increases the pH level of the water and supports algae growth due to the high level of readily available nutrients, thus damaging habitat and impairing the survival of native aquatic species. Because so much flood irrigation runoff returns to surface receiving waters, the link between soil erosion and surface water contamination must be addressed.

This large-scale irrigation project improved 517 acres of previously flood irrigated ground through the installation of five center pivots (purchased and installed by the landowners as
project match); 9,440 feet of mainline; 5,728 feet of cable in conduit to provide three-phase power to the pivots; and one pumping station, installed in an existing irrigation pond at the project site, equipped with a debris screen. In addition to the center pivots’ capability to measure and provide the exact amount of water that can be held by the soil and used to support the crop being irrigated, thus eliminating irrigation runoff from entering the watershed, there is also a flow meter installed in the mainline to provide accurate water
measurements to each of the five pivots. Any unused irrigation water will now remain in the North Powder River for aquatic habitat and fish passage.

For more information on Baker Valley SWCD work:
Whitney M Collins, Baker County SWCD’s Districts Manager
Whitney Collins
541-519-2496 Cell
541-523-7121 X 109 Office

Share Your Conservation Story!!

in T's garden
Fava bean cover crop

Hello Conservation Partners!

It is me, Teresa Matteson, secretary of the Oregon Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Usually around this time of year, the OR SWCS hosts our annual meeting with a tour to some project in the state. Due to COVID, this year we will create a virtual tour to share a variety of Oregon conservation stories.

If you have a story to share that features a project or educational theme in your area, please email me a brief description of the project/story/article and/or the link to the video/story on your website. A photo with caption would be most excellent, too. Also include contact name and email address.

We are open to all your creative ways of sharing, so don’t feel restrained by our suggestions.

In summary, to share your stories through OR SWCS, please email the following items to

  • Brief description of project/story
  • Story (Word, pdf or PowerPoint) with photos OR video OR link to an article, PowerPoint, or video on your website.
  • Photo with caption (optional but very cool) for the OR SWCS landing page
  • Your contact name and email address

The deadline to submit content in time for the Annual Meeting is Dec 7th. We will continue to add items that are received after that date. There is no deadline for telling Oregon’s conservation stories.

Visit the OR SWCS webpage to tour the stories that have been shared!

Thanks for your input and participation as we battle COVID and keep the Oregon conservation network alive.

Teresa Matteson