opsw_color.jpgOregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds

2011-2013 Biennial Report

This report on the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds (Oregon Plan) provides an update on the accomplishments and continuing efforts of Oregonians to protect and improve clean water and maintain and recover healthy populations of fish and wildlife and their habitats.
The Executive Summary (PDF) provides a high-level overview of the report, describes OWEB Board observations and recommendations, and highlights key accomplishments of the past two years.
The Oregon Plan is an initiative where all Oregonians join in to help restore healthy watersheds that support the economy and quality of life in local communities. The Oregon Plan has a four-legged foundation attained only through the implementation of all elements:
  • Voluntary restoration actions by private landowners - individuals and industry, rural and urban - with support from citizen groups, businesses, and local government.
  • Coordinated state and federal agency and tribal actions to support private and voluntary restoration efforts, effectively implemented regulatory programs, soundly managed public land, and promoted public education and awareness about watersheds and salmon.
  • Monitoring of watershed health, water quality, and salmon recovery to document existing conditions, track changes, and determine the impact of programs and actions.
  • Scientific oversight by the Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team, an independent panel of scientists who evaluate the plan’s effectiveness, identify needed changes, and guide research investments.

More information about the history of Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds can be found on the Oregon Plan web site

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board Funds Awarded 2011-2013

The Oregon Plan Funding diagram is a comprehensive view of all grants awarded by OWEB from January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2012.  The data includes all grant types and grant statuses (i.e., includes grants that have not yet been completed).  Match funding to OWEB grants from all sources is also shown in the diagram.  Funding to watershed restoration projects in 2011-2013 exceeds $150 million.  These data were pulled from the OWEB Grant Management System (OGMS).  OGMS is an online grant management system and provides instant, real-time information about OWEB grants.  

2011-2013 Investments and Accomplishments

While overall revenues declined this biennium, total funding for watershed restoration projects in Oregon exceeded $154 million.  This includes grant funds awarded through OWEB and other contributions from partner organizations.  Partners under the Oregon Plan are as important and diverse as the actions that they undertake to benefit salmon and watersheds.  The partners include landowners, non-profit organizations, local businesses, individuals and all levels of government all of whom worked together the last two years to expend resources on priority actions across the state. Total funding for each major watershed in Oregon can be found here.
While funding was more limited this biennium, the accomplishments under the Oregon Plan remain impressive.   In 2010 and 2011, restoration work resulted in  the improvement of more than 2,900 road/stream crossings and the removal of 180 push-up dams in streams to allow fish to access  4,500 miles of stream habitat.  Other projects addressing the loss of streamside vegetation included livestock fencing and planting of native species over 6,000 miles of stream. This work would not have been possible without the more than 70,000 hours of time dedicated by local volunteers. 
Some watershed restoration actions are focused on issues unique to each region of the state such as wetland loss and estuary degradation on the coast and western juniper expansion on the east side of the Cascade Mountains.  Others actions occur across regions such as removing barriers to fish migration and reestablishing forested river banks. More information about restoration issues and accomplishments can be found here.   

A Boost to the Oregon Plan

In November of 2010, Ballot Measure 76 was passed by voters to make the portion of Lottery funds dedicated to parks and natural resources permanent.  The measure received more than 69% of the vote statewide and passed in every county of the state. The overwhelming support of the measure reaffirmed the goals and intent of the Oregon Plan.  At the same time, Governor John Kitzhaber—who championed the Oregon Plan during his first term initiated the Governor’s 10-Year Plan for Oregon.  The Governor’s plan ties state investments to specific outcomes, including those implemented under the Oregon Plan that will address goals for a healthy environment.  

Coordinated Agency Actions

The 2011-2013 biennium was a time of challenge with state agencies attempting to retain core Oregon Plan elements such as salmon recovery, and water quality monitoring while revenues continued to decline.  Through the use of federal funding provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service and state funding, a renewed emphasis on coordinated program implementation was a major area of focus.  Agency accomplishments include the development and adoption of the State’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy and the implementation of high priority actions called for in salmon Recovery Plans, Total Maximum Daily Load plans, and Agricultural Water Quality Plans.   Looking ahead, the agencies intend to capitalize on the momentum of the last two years to further an integrated approach to natural resource monitoring, known as Enterprise Monitoring, and to expand the strategic approaches to implementing water quality programs. More information about agency actions and accomplishments can be found here.

From the OWEB Board

The Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds is in the strongest position it has ever been. With more than 10 years of experience and accomplishments recognized nationally and internationally, and permanent watershed improvement funding approved by Oregon voters with the passage of Ballot Measure 76, opportunities abound for the Oregon Plan.
Recognizing this, the OWEB Board is crafting a Long-Term Investment Strategy focused on core elements of the Oregon Plan infrastructure as the cornerstone of its funding portfolio.  The Board also believes the Governor’s 10-year vision for a healthy environment dovetails nicely with investments centered on ecological outcomes over the coming 10 years. 
The Board anticipates adopting the strategy by the end of the 2011-2013 biennium.  Central themes include: 
  • continued economic investment in local communities through, among others, watershed councils and soil and water conservation districts;
  • nurturing and strengthening strategic partnerships and grant opportunities; and
  • an increased opportunity to implement proven methods of watershed restoration.

All of these elements will be framed in an adaptive management architecture to allow performance and effectiveness to guide future decisions.  Balancing revenue fluctuations and increasing demands for grant opportunities while maximizing the return on restoration investments will remain an important challenge for the Board.

From the OWEB Board’s perspective, the Oregon Plan is alive and thriving! 

Board Opportunities and Recommendations

Build on accomplishments – The commitment and work of all Oregon Plan partners has resulted in a nationally recognized approach with unmatched environmental accomplishments.

Invest in local groups – The Oregon Plan has resulted in a strong and vibrant network of restoration practitioners throughout the state.  Ongoing support for this restoration infrastructure, including watershed councils and Soil and Water Conservation Districts, is critical to the future effectiveness of on-the-ground implementation.  

Improve effectiveness monitoring and reporting – Investments in conservation and restoration must result in demonstrable benefits to Oregon’s watersheds.  Monitoring of the ecological outcomes of Oregon Plan activities is foundational to guarantee a positive return on these restoration investments and to inform adaptive management that increases the effectiveness of conservation and restoration into the future.

Support the economies of Oregon’s local communities – Investments in watershed restoration have the additional benefit of contributing to local economies.  Every $1 million invested in restoration generates 15-24 jobs.  Additionally, OWEB’s grants leverage matching funds to increase investments in watersheds throughout the state.

Continue to support high-quality conservation and restoration – Funding from OWEB supports ecological priorities based on local, state and regional conservation strategies and plans.  In addition, the funding increasingly enables focused investments over multiple years to achieve specific priority ecological outcomes in conjunction with other funding partners, thereby leveraging OWEB funding and bringing greater certainty about progress toward ecological outcomes. 
Striving to meet demandIn recent years, revenues that support restoration and conservation have declined.  This shift from the plentiful resources that marked earlier years of implementation under the Oregon Plan elevates the need for a Strategy that ensures OWEB maximizes the return on its restoration investments and the effectiveness of its grant making. 

Accomplishment Highlights - Videos, Region Summaries, and Online Tools


 Oregon Plan Videos


  Click on the statewide map below to view a short video about Oregon's unique regions of the state and to view Oregon Plan Reporting Basin descriptions, reports, and restoration issues.


 North CoastWillamette BasinCentral OregonMid Columbia BasinEastern Oregon 

Data Sources and Acknowledgements

Oregon Plan Data Sources
Oregon Watershed Restoration Inventory​  - To report a project to OWRI click here.

OWEB Grant Management System​

Biennial Report Production Acknowledgements

Wahoo Films - Video production

John Ame - Executive Summary graphic layout


Ken Fetcho, Monitoring and Reporting Program
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
(503) 986-0035