Every day we meet people who have not yet heard of the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District. But that’s okay! We are always excited to meet new faces and enjoy the exclamations of surprise when people learn who we are and what we do! We build many of our relationships via word-of-mouth.
If you’ve worked with us, you know what a “best kept secret” we are. If you haven’t had the chance to interact with our amazingly helpful staff, here is a quick overview of how we connect with you and all of the other members of our community here in Clackamas County.
What is the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District?
The Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is a special district, much like a school or fire district. We are a non-regulatory agency supported by a property tax levy that Clackamas County voters approved in 2006. We work with property owners and many partners to help find ways to protect, restore, and conserve our shared natural resource. These shared resources are vital to us all — soil, water, air, wildlife, habitat, and more.
We believe in assisting people in maximizing their goals for their land while still being the best land stewards possible. This is good for land owners, but it improves all of our lives both today and into the future.
Read more about the history of conservation districts in the United States and learn more about what we do.
How Does the District Represent My Interests and Concerns?
In Oregon, Soil and Water Conservation Districts are local units of government with elected boards of five or seven directors.
Here in Clackamas County, five directors are elected from specific zones (see Google map of director zones to find your zone) and two directors are elected “at large” from anywhere in the District.
Each of our seven directors serve four-year terms. Take a look at the current list of Clackamas SWCD board directors to learn more about the elected citizens who represent you.
If you do not happen to live in Clackamas County, you can find your local Oregon Conservation District by using this map.
With Whom Do We Partner, and Why?
While the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District has a talented staff with a wide assortment of technical expertise, there are many other organizations within Clackamas County and in our region who have skills and access to resources that complement the work we do.
Our watershed council partners are highly effective in planning, developing, and implementing on the ground projects. They draw on a powerful volunteer base to tackle project large and small within their watersheds. Their varied education programs make a significant positive impact on the local environment, economy, and community.
Our farmers market partners provide a valuable outlet for local agricultural producers to sell their products. We believe successful farmers can be our best land stewards since their livelihood relies on the quality and quantity of their soil, water, and wildlife natural resources.
You can review a list of our partners, including watershed councils, farmers markets, and others.
We Believe in Transparency – Review our Meeting Minutes
All of the District monthly Board of Director meetings are open to the public and are typically held on the third Tuesday of the month. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, these meetings are held virtually. The meetings begin at 4:00 p.m. and typically end by 6:00 p.m. Public comments are taken at the beginning of the meeting. Check out our calendar to see when our next public meeting is scheduled.
Minutes from every regular and special meeting are posted monthly on the District website. We believe in making sure all of our transactions are available to the citizens we serve. Browse our library to review meeting minutes from the past 9 years and while you’re there, take a look at the many free publications we have made available for you to download.
How Do I Get Help With My Conservation Concerns?
If you are a landowner who is interested in controlling invasive weeds, improving your soil quality, reducing erosion or pesticide use, increasing wildlife, native oak or pollinator habitat, streambank restoration, or addressing a host of other natural resource concerns, we’re here to help!
For more information about any of our many programs, please give us a call at 503-210-6000 or contact us at [email protected].
Check out our “Getting to Know Us” Video!