Natural Resources

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Maintenance of channels used for agricultural drainage is critical to the viability of Oregon’s farms and ranches. Because of legislation passed in 2019 (HB 2​437) ​specific maintenance activities may be eligible for a Notice (ORS 196.906 – 196.919​, OAR 603-095-4000 to 603-095-4060), from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) instead of a Removal-Fill Permit from the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL).

  • The Notice provides a streamlined process by which landowners and water districts may, without paying a fee, maintain eligible agricultural channels.
  • Maintenance must:
    • Protect, maintain, or improves ecological functions of the channels;
    • Uphold state objectives for fish recovery; and
    • Protects wetlands, waterways, and fish and wildlife habitats.
  • ​Once validated by ODA, a Notice ​is good for five years.

You must have a validated Notice or a DSL permit prior to maintaining channels.

See the Agricultural Drainage Channel Maintenance Program Before You File document for information about eligible channels as well as what you need to know before you file a Notice.

Validated ODA Notices

Forms

Submission of forms does not guarantee validation or approval.

Notice of agricultural channel maintenance form:​ 

​​​​Submit your Notice at least 60 days before you want to start work.

  • ODA has 45 work days in which to validate your notice.
  • Both ODA and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will review the notice for eligibility and to determine if any additional conditions are needed to protect water quality, fish, and/or wildlife.
  • ODA and ODFW may contact you to schedule a site visit.
  • ODA and ODFW may consult with staff from DSL to determine final project conditions or prohibitions.

Variance request form:

  • At times a landowner or water district may need a variance from the default mandatory conditions in the Notice.
  • Once a complete variance request is filed, ODA will consult with ODFW to consider the request and determine if work may proceed beyond the regional dry maintenance time period.
  • The variance form must be approved by ODA before that work begins.
  • A variance form may be filed with a Notice when you anticipate the need for a variance.

Expedited review request form:

  • When an emergency occurs and you require a quick review of the Notice, you may use the Expedited Review form. An emergency is a natural or human-caused circumstance that poses an immediate threat to public health, safety, or substantial property.
  • If an emergency is not eligible for this notification process, you must contact DSL for an emergency permit.​

ESH (Essential Indigenous Anadromous Salmonid Habitat) review request form:​  

  • If you do not agree with the ESH designation, you may submit the ESH review request form to ODA.
  • ODA will coordinate with DSL and ODFW during the review. This process will take some time, and a decision may not be made until the nex​t maintenance season. See map at https://maps.dsl.state.or.us/esh/.​

Resources

Agricultural Drainage Channel Maintenance Memorandum of Understanding

ODA-DSL-ODFW Memorandum of Understanding

Agricultural Drainage Channel Maintenance: Manual of Best Management Practices

Manual of best practices handout

Guidelines for Stream and Ditch Maintenance

Stream and ditch maintenance handout

Stream and Ditch Maintenance Regulations: Oregon departments of Agriculture, State Lands

Streamside areas handout

Waterways and Wetlands: Department of State Lands Permits and Authorizations

Information regarding removal-fill permits. Waterways & Wetlands webpage

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​ODA contact​

Ellen Hammond
Monitoring and Implementation Lead
Phone: 503-931-6689

General Program Information

Email ODA

Phone: 503-986-4700

ODFW contact

Nancy Taylor

Agricultural Drainage Channel Maintenance Coordinator
Phone: 503-947-6099
nancy.c.taylor@state.or.us

DSL contacts

Aquatic Resource Coordinator (by county)
Phone: 503-986-5200
Staff contact directory

Email notifications​

To receive updates via email, sign up for the Ag Channel Maintenance subscription list​.