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Council Capacity Grants
 
Purpose of Council Capacity Grants

Council Capacity Grants help support the operations of effective watershed councils that engage people and communities in their watershed to participate in collaborative, voluntary restoration and protection of native fish or wildlife habitat and natural watershed functions to improve water quality or stream flows.  

 
Future Vision for Council Capacity
OWEB envisions a statewide watershed restoration system that is resilient, sustainable and achieves ecological outcomes.   Experience gained from supporting watershed work since 1997, and studies of successful watershed groups, demonstrate this vision can be achieved with watershed councils that:
  • Are strong organizations with access to diverse skillsets.
  • Have broad and deep support from local and regional communities.
  • Engage a balance of interested and affected people, businesses, and communities in their watershed to participate in voluntary, cooperative conservation.
  • Secure  diversified funding and/or build strategic collaborations with other councils and/or organizations to increase collective local capacity. 
 
July 29-30, 2014 OWEB Board Meeting
At the July 29-30, 2014, OWEB Board meeting in The Dalles, staff will request Board approval of proposed administrative rules and implementation guidance for Outcome-Based Watershed Council Operating Capacity Grants (Council Capacity Grants).  Staff will also request the Board establish deadlines for the 2015-2017 Council Capacity Grant cycle.  The staff report summarizes the program review, rulemaking process, changes to the proposed rules and guidance, next steps, and staff recommendations to the Board.  
July 2014 Agenda Item E: Staff Report to the Board: Council Capacity Rules and Guidance Adoption 
Attachment A: Rulemaking Advisory Committee
Attachment B: Council Capacity Grant Rulemaking Response to Public Comments
Attachment C-1: Proposed Rules (redlined)
Attachment C-2: Proposed Rules (clean)
Attachment D: Proposed Guidance
Attachment E: Council Capacity Grant Process
Attachment F: Eligibility and Merit Criteria Overview
Attachment G: June 2014 Map of Locally Recognized Watershed Councils
Attachment H: 2015-2015 Council Capacity Grant Schedule

Additional documents not included in staff report
Summary of guidance document changes

How to provide comments
Comments will be accepted on:
  • Proposed rules, however stakeholders may only comment on sections of the proposed rules that were revised after the close of the public comment period.  Review the redlined version of the proposed rules to see what sections have been revised.
  • Proposed implementation guidance and associated implementation materials.

Written Comments
Deadline: July 22, 2015 at 5pm.
How to submit: Email to Courtney.Shaff@state.or.us or mail to OWEB, Courtney Shaff, 775 Summer Street NE, STE.360, Salem OR 97301.

Public Testimony at the Board Meeting
When: July 29, 2014 Agenda Item E
The Board will accept public testimony on:  
  • Proposed rules, however stakeholders may only comment on sections of the proposed rules that were revised after the close of the public comment period.  Review the redlined version of the proposed rules​ to see what sections have been revised.
  • Proposed implementation guidance and associated implementation materials.
 
Questions?
Please contact Courtney Shaff, 503-986-0046 or Lauri Aunan, 503-986-0047.
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Highlights of Program Changes
  • Funding criteria are performance a​nd outcome-based, and contain high standards for eligibility, reporting and accountability. 
  • Streamlined evaluation and award process.
  • Policy direction to build capacity through resource sharing and strategic collaboration, not through trying to fund all needs for all individual councils.  Councils need more funding and resources than OWEB alone can provide.
    • Strategic collaboration is not one-size-fits-all; it needs to work for your council.
    • Offer technical assistance grants for new strategic collaborations that are likely to build collective local capacity.
    • Develop merit criteria to recognize strategic collaboration that builds collective local capacity.
    • Geographic Area Eligibility Criteria:  Cap eligibility for individual capacity grants at no more than 64 (based on watershed areas for councils that previously received an individual Watershed Council Support Grant).   
      • Geographic areas can change.  However,  OWEB wants to see stronger, collective local capacity instead of “splitting” and “subdividing” into smaller areas resulting in more competition for limited resources and duplication of administrative infrastructure.
      • To be eligible, OWEB must determine that a council or group of councils serve an area:
        • In which a council or group of councils previously received a Watershed Council Support Grant or Council Capacity Grant; and
        • Which is the same or larger than the geographic area served by a council or group of councils as of July 1, 2013.  
      • In addition, for the purposes of this eligibility criteria:
        • The geographic area must include a minimum population of 500 individuals within its designated boundary or boundaries; and
        • No more than one applicant is eligible for the same geographic area.
    • If a council is considering changes in its watershed area coverage, organizational structure or operations, contact OWEB as early as possible to discuss the reasons and goals of these changes and whether the changes might affect eligibility to apply. 
 

Watershed Council Forms and Guidance Documents

 Self Evaluation, Liability Coverage and other forms for managing a Council Support Grant

Additional resources for watershed councils (more).
 
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