Council of Councils Deepens Watershed Partnerships

Johnson Creek Watershed is one of nine watersheds represented on the Council of Councils.

Johnson Creek Watershed is one of nine watersheds represented on the Council of Councils.

Clackamas County is home to nine different watershed councils. These councils exists wholly or partially within the Clackamas SWCD service area and they are highly valued partners. Directors and coordinators representing all nine watershed councils in Clackamas County attended a Council of Councils meeting on January 5, 2023.

District staff member Cathy McQueeney represented the Clackamas SWCD. The event was organized and facilitated by Daniel Newberry with the Johnson Creek Watersheds Council.

What is the purpose of the Council of Councils?

The Council of Councils provides the group with an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues who represent watersheds in all areas of the District. Additionally, participants have the chance to get acquainted with new leaders and discuss creative opportunities to partner together to achieve shared goals.

Pudding river watershed near Aurora

Pudding river watershed near Aurora

What Was the Outcome of the Meeting?

Attendees were brought up to date on the current status of the Sandy River Watershed Council which was dissolved at the end of 2021. Former board member Matt Stine shared “lessons learned” and encouraged council leaders to help develop better financial literacy among their board members. Stine and two other former board members will be meeting with a consultant to resurrect the Sandy River Watershed Council with a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) focus.

Other topics of discussion included:

  • the value of fiscal oversight by an unbiased, outside accounting firm or bookkeeper
  • in depth quarterly reporting
  • new developments in accounting software
  • board insurance


The key word of the day was “partnership.” Cathy McQueeney, with Clackamas SWCD, shared that annual Watershed Council Support Grants had been awarded at the District’s December board meeting and that the councils could expect to receive checks in the coming week. These unrestricted funds are used for staffing, training, education and outreach, and other needs the councils might have that are not covered by grant funding for specific projects that the councils receive from other sources.
Council leaders also shared other ways in which they have developed or strengthened partnerships with one another, including:
  • joining forces to apply for grants
  • sharing staff
  • serving together on regional projects like the Clackamas Partnership
  • collaborating on Watershed Wide events like plantings, clean-ups, and weed pulls
  • providing education and outreach resources
There were many examples shared over the course of the meeting that proved the old adage “Together We’re Better!”
2019 OWEB Map for Clackamas County

2019 OWEB Map for Clackamas County

Our Watershed Council Partners Include:

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Clackamas SWCD