Why We Exist

What’s special and distinct about the District

In sum, the District is the only local entity working in voluntary, non-regulatory conservation, restoration, and stewardship, which is eligible to go for a tax-base. Because of its history, the District is uniquely positioned among the local conservation organizations to work with farmers, foresters, landowners, and urban residents.

  • The District can leverage federal and state programs and connect those programs to local conservation and restoration work.
  • The District works closely with local farmers and foresters to plan and implement voluntary improvements that often exceed legal requirements; it provides advice and funds to improve local water quality, food production, and forest health.

We look forward to expanding our mission into urban areas. And by working with conservation partners and providing them with financial support, we can leverage our funds for maximum effectiveness. Furthermore, the history and the mission of the District make it uniquely positioned in the Upper Willamette to work across watershed boundaries and the urban-rural divide.

This is not new territory. Thirteen Oregon Conservation Districts have passed similar tax-base measures to support their important work. In these districts, new, stable funding has been used to increase engagement with local residents and landowners to improve ecological conditions in their districts. These districts have increased their own services and provided support to partner organizations through grants and other collaborative efforts.

Most importantly, 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: