Every day we meet people who aren’t familiar with the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District. But that’s okay! We are always excited to meet new neighbors. And we certainly 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 don’t know us yet, let us introduce ourselves! Here is a quick overview of the District and how we connect with members of our community.
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 find ways to protect, restore, and conserve our shared natural resources. These shared resources – soil, water, air, wildlife, habitat, and more – are vital to all of us.
Many people ask if we are part of, or affiliated with, Clackamas County government. The answer is no. Our District is a completely different organization led by an elected board of directors. All of the work that we do in our community is cooperative and voluntary. Our work is science-based and our staff is trained in the latest conservation practices.
The District’s goal is to help people maximize their goals for their land while still being the best land stewards possible. We achieve this by providing free technical services, educational programs, resources, and, where possible and appropriate, funding in the form of grants or loans. 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.
The Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District has five directors who are elected by voters in our community from specific zones (see Google map of director zones to find your zone) and two directors who 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.
Member of the public are invited to attend board meetings and make public comment. We also hold listening sessions on important conservation topics where public input is highly welcome.
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?
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, however, that have skills and access to resources that complement the work that 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 projects 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.
The District has federal partners like the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Some of our local partners include OSU Extension and the Backyard Habitat Certification Program. Review a list of our partners, which is always growing!
We Believe in Transparency – Review our Meeting Minutes
All of the District monthly Board of Director meetings are open to the public. They 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 usually 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 11 years. 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?
Are you interested in:
- Controlling invasive weeds?
- Improving your soil quality?
- Reducing erosion or pesticide use?
- Increasing wildlife, native oak, or pollinator habitat?
- Managing mud and manure?
- Streambank restoration?
- Other natural resource concerns?
We are here to help!
Check out our “Getting to Know Us” Video!