Why We Exist

Our Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles

The Upper Willamette Soil & Water Conservation District works to encourage and promote the responsible stewardship of our natural resources through conservation, restoration, and protection, to enhance the health, economic benefits, and quality of life for the citizens within our watersheds.

We work closely with local farmers and foresters to plan and implement voluntary improvements and restoration projects that often exceed legal requirements, providing advice and funds to improve local water quality, food production, and forest health. We also work with conservation partners, providing them with financial support and working across both watershed boundaries and the urban/rural divide. Thanks to our tax base, we are able to reach out to urban residents and landowners to work on conservation within city limits.

We envision a future where our lands and waters are healthy and sustain farms, forests, wildlife and communities.

Our guiding principles:

  • We value the partnerships and working relationships we have with local conservation nonprofits and local, state, and federal agencies as we join together to protect and enhance the natural beauty, livability, and ecosystems of Lane County.
  • We uphold a locally-led, watershed-based, and voluntary approach to natural resource management to ensure the health and sustainable use of our water and other natural resources.
  • We respect private property owners’ rights and honor their wise and responsible stewardship of natural resources.
  • We seek participation of the residents of Lane County to establish local conservation priorities.
  • We will enhance our efforts on underserved populations and geographic areas and strive to provide equitable access for all to our services.
  • We will work to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness and practices into our work process and programs.
  • We will act with integrity and operate with transparency.

The District is a force for the spirit of conservation. We are the “carrot” side of land and water restoration and stewardship. Because our programs are voluntary, we work hard at building trust with the people in our communities. We share their aspirations and passions for the land they steward and protect. Our relationships grow out of shared values, and as we move from project to project, we and our partners strengthen the conservation culture in the watershed at large.

We have created and supported a variety of projects throughout eastern Lane County to conserve and improve livability. Some of these projects include: