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Natural Resource Program Area
Natural Resource Program Area
The Natural Resource Program Area's mission is to conserve, protect, and develop natural resources on public and private lands so agriculture will continue to be productive and economically viable in Oregon. Primary program areas include: water quality, confined animal feeding operations (CAFO), smoke management, land use, soil & water conservation districts (SWCD), and shellfish.

Confined animal feeding operations (CAFO)
Confined animal feeding operations (CAFO)
 
The confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) permit program was developed to assist operators and producers with managing their waste so as not to contaminate ground or surface water. In the early 1980s, CAFOs have been registered to a general Water Pollution Control Facility permit designed to protect water quality, while allowing the operators and producers to remain economically viable. In 2001, the program was converted to a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. It is recognized that a properly maintained CAFO is protective of ground and surface water.

Smoke management
Smoke management
 
The smoke management program is responsible for overseeing open field burning, propane flaming, and stack burning of all perennial and annual grass seed residue, and cereal grain residue within the Willamette Valley. The program administers open field, propane flaming, and stack burning rules.

Water quality
Water quality
 
The agricultural water quality management program is responsible for developing and implementing agricultural pollution prevention and control programs to protect the quality of Oregon's waters. The agricultural water quality management program has evolved in response to water quality programs and requirements under various state and federal laws, such as the Clean Water Act and Senate Bill 1010, passed in 1993 by the Oregon State Legislature.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD)
Soil and Water Conservation Districts
 
The Soil and Water Conservation District Program provides support to 45 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) throughout the state. SWCDs serve as local coordinators, and provide assistance to landowners and managers interested in conservation and watershed enhancement. SWCDs help landowners identify, plan, and implement conservation measures that reduce soil erosion, protect and improve water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and address other natural resource concerns. The SWCD Program provides administrative oversight for SWCD programs, provides SWCD director and employee training, and promotes cooperation among all SWCDs.

Shellfish program
Shellfish program
 
Oregon's coastal waters are prime locations for commercial oyster, clam and mussel production. The shellfish program provides management and oversight for shellfish cultivation on leased state owned lands.