2015 Gathering for Conservation

The 2015 Gathering for Conservation was held November 2-4 at the Valley River Inn located in Eugene, OR. A fully integrated event planned by the Oregon Conservation Partnership (OrCP), the conference offered programming for councils and districts over three days. Highlights included an opening keynote by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, an evening on the town with a showing of UPRIVER, an awards banquet featuring a talk by Don Stuart, a poster session, and three afternoon field tours. Attendees also had opportunities to participate in interviews with agency leaders, as well as panel discussions about statewide issues. The agenda included four tracks with robust training sessions focused on restoration, organizational management, outreach & partnership, and board administration. Our sincere thanks to all the speakers, the volunteer planning team, our vendors and sponsors, as well as our attendees, for making the event such a success! Archived details include the following:

View the Full Conference Program or a Summary Schedule (pdf)

2015 Vendors & Sponsors


2015 Session Archive

Below are postings of sessions from the 2015 Gathering for Conservation Conference organized by tracks. Descriptions are provided and links to materials are posted where available.

Plenary Sessions | Restoration | Outreach, Partnership, & Funding
Planning, Management, & Monitoring | Organizational & Board Administration
Conservation Easements & Working Lands | New Staff | Special Sessions


Plenary Sessions (Willamette Ballroom)

Conference Keynote – The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco

U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, Department of State
University Distinguished Professor in Marine Biology, OSU
Dr. Jane Lubchenco opened the conference with a keynote focusing on her experience as a world-renowned environmental scientist and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She drew on a number of poignant, and sometimes humorous, personal anecdotes highlighting some keys to success for those working at the interface between society and natural resources. Her talk, which was well received by all, touched on climate change, the role of science in decision-making, and the important niche councils and districts play in implementing conservation.

View more details at http://gordon.science.oregonstate.edu/lubchenco/

Q&A with NRCS

Tom Watson, NRCS
Jerry Nicolescu, Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
Presentation – PDF (1.0 MB)

Q&A sessions with ODA, NRCS, and OWEB offered agency leaders an opportunity to provide frank, high-level updates about program direction and field live questions from conference participants.

Panel Discussion: Forest Collaboratives

Emily Jane Davis, OSU Extension
Andrew Spaeth, Sustainable Northwest
Courtney Shaff, OWEB
Kirk Shimeall, Cascade Pacific RC&D
Chandra LeGue, Oregon Wild
Presentation – PDF (2.4 MB)
Presentation – PDF (0.4 MB)

The Forest Collaboratives panel featured a broad presentation that highlighted the structure and funding sources of Collaboratives statewide, as well as the ground-level work of groups in the Willamette Valley. Participants included representatives from OSU Extension, Sustainable Northwest, OWEB, Oregon Wild, and Cascade Pacific RC&D.

Q&A with OWEB

Meta Loftsgaarden, OWEB
Ryan Gordon, Network of Oregon Watershed Councils

Q&A sessions with ODA, NRCS, and OWEB offered agency leaders an opportunity to provide frank, high-level updates about program direction and field live questions from conference participants.

Banquet Keynote – Why Farmers and Environmentalists Need Each Other

Don Stuart
Principal, Stuart Consulting
Presentation – PDF (3.0 MB)

Don Stuart delivered a timely and poignant talk about the importance of Environmentalists and Farmers coming to the table together to develop workable solutions to environmental issues. He contends both groups should work together to present solutions to policy makers at the state and federal levels.

View more details at http://donstuart.net

Q&A with ODA

John Byers, OWEB
Jerry Nicolescu, Oregon Association of Conservation Districts

Q&A sessions with ODA, NRCS, and OWEB offered agency leaders an opportunity to provide frank, high-level updates about program direction and field live questions from conference participants.

Panel Discussion: Sage Grouse

Paul Henson, USFWS
Kevin Conroy, NRCS
Jerry Nicolescu, SDAO

Join us for a discussion of the importance of Sage Grouse to conservation and the economy of Eastern Oregon. Combined efforts to protect sage grouse habitat and prevent listing have resulted in a model for change that would be applicable to other situations where threatened and endangered species issues arise. The close knit partnership between landowners, local, state, and federal agencies was a large factor in the decision not to list sage grouse.

Field Tours

Afternoon field tours were available to attendees each day of the conference. Tours took participants to view trout friendly landscapes in the urban environment on Monday afternoon, to Berggren Farm on Tuesday afternoon, and to Kewanu Acres & Coyote Oaks to view wetland and oak prairie restoration sites on Wednesday afternoon. Full details are available online.

Poster Session

An evening poster session and reception included over ten entries from councils, districts, students at OSU, UofO, & LCC, and other professionals. The event was well attended and also facilitated the conference’s first opportunity for informal networking.


Both individuals and organizations were honored for their partnership and dedication to statewide conservation throughout the conference. Awards were given by NOWC, OACD, OCEAN, OWEB, ODA, and NRCS.

UPRIVER: A Film for the Willamette

On Monday evening, conference participants had the option to attend a showing of UPRIVER: A Film for the Willamette. Produced by Freshwaters Illustrated with support from Meyer Memorial Trust and OWEB, UPRIVER documents restoration along the Willamette – from the headwaters to Portland – and features key partners from state and federal agencies, land trusts, councils, and districts.


Restoration (Columbia North Room)

Instream and Floodplain Habitat Restoration: Lessons Learned from the Coast to Eastern Oregon

Michael Lambert, The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Scott Bailey, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership
Presentation – PDF (7.8 MB)
Presentation – PDF (8.1 MB)

Meacham Creek Floodplain Restoration and In-stream Enhancement Project: Meacham Creek is a tributary to the Umatilla River. Primary impacts to the creek were disconnection from its floodplain and shallow groundwater table, exposed and unstable stream banks, simplified in-stream aquatic habitat, and degraded water quality. Restoration was implemented in multiple phases to restore, enhance and protect 62 acres of floodplain habitat and 3.5 miles of instream habitat for ESA listed bull trout and steelhead.

Restoration and Monitoring at the Miami River Wetlands: This presentation will describe a 58-acre tidal wetland restoration project constructed in 2010 at the confluence of the Miami River and Tillamook Bay. Restoration included overhead utility system removal, ditch filling, stream re-meandering, tidal channel excavation, in-stream and floodplain large wood placement, non-native plant removal, and native plant establishment. To evaluate project effectiveness, TEP is collecting pre and post-project data on a variety of physical and biological attributes. Monitoring results and lessons learned will be the focus of this presentation.

Innovative Restoration Strategies in Whychus Creek

Marc Thalacker, Three Sisters Irrigation District
Ryan Houston, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (6.1 MB)
Presentation – PDF (4.9 MB)

Whychus Creek has been the focus of very intensive restoration efforts for the past 15 years and served as a test case for innovative strategies in streamflow restoration, irrigation efficiency, stream habitat restoration, and land conservation. This session will explore the successes, failures, and lessons learned from these experiences.

Streamflow Improvements in the Walla Walla Valley

Brian Wolcott, Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (8.6 MB)

This presentation will describe water conservation, groundwater recharge, and other water management projects the Watershed Council has implemented over the years in cooperation with irrigation districts and landowners. Brian will show how the resulting improved stream flows have benefited fish habitat and water quality in the Walla Walla Valley. Brian will also describe a bi-state Walla Walla Stream Flow Enhancement Study, Point of Diversion change projects, and possible above and below ground water storage projects currently being assessed for feasibility.

Restoring Watersheds the Lake County Way

Marci Schreder, Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (2.1 MB)

Lake County is blessed to have a strong partnership among the Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council, Lakeview SWCD and ODA. Crooked Creek is a great example. The Council selected this as a priority area. They hired River Design Group to evaluate the watershed and prioritize projects. Council and SWCD staff divvied up projects. When ODA asked the Lakeview SWCD for a Focus Area, they selected Crooked Creek. SWCD staff used the assessment to classify functionality of riparian vegetation. They and the Council will finish work this fall, ending with 30 projects with 12 landowners. Because of this success, the SWCD selected Thomas Creek as a new Focus Area. SWCD work will complement ongoing Council work so this watershed can get ‘wrapped up’ too. The two organizations will begin a stream reconnaissance of the Goose Lake Watershed in 2016. Over 180 miles of stream will be evaluated, prioritized, and an action plan will be developed. Many new projects will result from these joint efforts.

Oak and Prairie Habitat Restoration: Lessons Learned

Tom Kaye, Institute for Applied Ecology
Matthew Gibbons, The Nature Conservancy
Presentation – PDF (4.4 MB)
Presentation – PDF (2.5 MB)

Native prairie, oak savanna, and oak woodland are endangered ecosystems that face many challenges associated with urbanization, fire suppression, and invasive species. Recent advances in native prairie habitat restoration methods, as well as individual rare species reintroduction practices, have improved restoration outcomes substantially. Even so, many challenges remain particularly around control of specific weeds and maintaining species diversity. Tom Kaye’s talk will review recent research in the Willamette Valley and current best practices for upland and wetland prairie restoration. The Nature Conservancy and the City of Eugene have enhanced thousands acres of oak habitat on their preserves and parks over the past decade. Matt Gibbon’s presentation will describe lessons learned from their oak habitat restoration work, including restoration techniques and ecological goals for plant communities and target wildlife species.

The Progression of Large Wood Techniques and Methodologies

Greg Robertson and Brian Bair, USFS
Presentation – PDF (5.3 MB)
Presentation – PDF (3.5 MB)

Worldwide, forested riverine systems have been heavily manipulated for centuries, including stream channels being cleared, straightened, and levied for navigation, and riparian areas harvested and salvaged. In 2012, the Mt. Hood National Forest, USFS TEAMS Enterprise Unit, and the Freshwater Trust implemented a stream channel and floodplain restoration project on Still Creek, Clackamas County, Oregon. Past channel and habitat modifications had left the aquatic habitat within the project area in a degraded state. Efforts to restore stream habitat within the basin started in the 1980’s. Since that time the science, technologies and methods for stream rehabilitation have evolved. The Still Creek Rehabilitation project presents the latest methods in restoration, as well as exploring how our society’s approach to streams has changed and how the science of river rehabilitation has evolved and progressed.

Farming Practices for the Benefit of ESA Listed Steelhead Trout

Derrek Faber, ODFW
Shilah Olson, Wasco County SWCD
Presentation – PDF (3.0 MB)
Presentation – PDF (1.6 MB)

Recent changes in farming practices have improved stream conditions in Fifteenmile Creek, near The Dalles Oregon, to the benefit of native species that reside within the creek including ESA listed steelhead trout. Conversion to ‘no-till’ wheat production and programs to curtail irrigation withdrawal based on critical biological criteria are central to this endeavor.

The Art and Science of Dam Removal

Scott Wright, River Design Group, Inc.
Brian Barr, Rogue River Watershed Council
In the past decade, multiple dams have been removed on Oregon rivers to improve natural river processes and restore volitional fish passage. This type of river restoration has garnered national attention and the results have shown multiple benefits for watershed health. Although each dam removal is a unique endeavor with site specific issues and constraints, many common threads have emerged to help plan and implement successful projects. Our presentation will focus on several dam removals throughout Oregon with special emphasis on recent dam removals in southern Oregon’s Rogue River basin. Guidance for setting dam removals up for success and lessons learned from project initiation through construction and monitoring will be provided. A question and answer session for participants will follow the presentation.

Riparian Restoration: Lessons Learned Over the Last Decade

Jon Souder, OSU Extension
Sarah Dyrdahl, Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (1.6 MB)

Riparian restoration is a core program for most Councils and Districts, but one that has numerous challenges to effectively implement. Riparian restoration mostly involves private landowners, many small, whose objectives and opinions may limit how much setback they’ll provide and how the project is designed. Skepticism about government programs, maintenance needs, and property sales all may affect the project before restoration benefits are achieved. Even with these challenges, many Councils and Districts have successfully implemented and sustained riparian restoration programs. Join Sarah and Jon as they relate the factors that they feel influence the success or failure of both restoration projects and programs.

Conservation in the Context of Climate Change, Part 1: Identifying Resilient Terrestrial Landscapes in the Pacific Northwest

Steve Buttrick and Ken Popper, The Nature Conservancy
As the climate changes, species are moving and shifting ranges to stay within their preferred temperature and moisture conditions. How can land managers plan for the conservation of biodiversity at a site when those species might not be there in 50-100 years? Current conservation approaches often focus on predicting where species will move to in the future. This is a reasonable approach but fraught with uncertainty and dependent on a variety of future-climate models. The Nature Conservancy has developed a different, but complementary approach that aims to identify key areas for conservation based on stable land characteristics that increase diversity and resilience, and will not change in a changing climate.

Conservation in the Context of Climate Change, Part 2: Watershed Planning Efforts in the Rogue Basin

Kendra Smith, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Presentation – PDF (7.1 MB)

Adapting watershed planning efforts to account for climate change can be a challenge for local entities with limited access to information and scientific expertise. Fortunately, there are a variety of landscape scale analyses that have been conducted across the Pacific Northwest that can be utilized to assess the climate resiliency potential of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, as well as water quality and quantity. Eco-regional climate resiliency data were overlayed with local partners’ knowledge of habitat conditions, as part of the Rogue Restoration Action Plan. See how this approach might be useful for your region.

Beavers and Stream Restoration: Partners or Adversaries?

Chris Jordan, NOAA
Presentation – PDF (25.0 MB)

Researchers and stream restoration practitioners have been studying the restoration potential of beaver for decades, yet in just the past few years, beaver have gained broad acclaim and some much deserved credit for restoration of aquatic systems in North America. The newly released Beaver Restoration Guidebook addresses the use of beaver in stream, wetland, and floodplain restoration and discusses the many positive effects of beaver on fluvial ecosystems. The guidebook is a scientifically rigorous, yet accessible, practitioner’s guide that provides a synthesis of the best available science for using beaver to improve ecosystem functions with common emerging restoration techniques and methods for mitigating unwanted beaver effects, including case studies of these beaver restoration techniques applied in the field. In this session, we will provide an overview of lessons learned and the insights into beaver based restoration we developed while assembling the guidebook.


Outreach, Partnership, & Funding (Columbia South Room)

Partnerships for Watershed and Drinking Water Protection

Jacquie Fern & David Waltz, DEQ
Jan Wellman, City of Cottage Grove
Pam Reber, Coast Fork Watershed Council
Alex Sifford, Sifford Energy Services
Guy Sievert, E-Systems Services
Melissa Newman, Lincoln SWCD
Presentation – PDF (8.0 MB)

This session will highlight successful drinking water protection projects that would not have been possible without partnerships among soil and water conservation districts, watershed councils, cities, and consultants. These projects utilized innovative tools and approaches for assessing watershed impacts and developing strategies for long-term drinking water protection. Funding opportunities will also be discussed, including source water protection grants through Oregon Health Authority.

Innovative Funding for Watershed Projects

Julie Harvey & Evan Haas, DEQ
Presentation – PDF (2.5 MB)
Resources – PDF (0.2 MB)

DEQ has various funds available for water protection and restoration projects. Section 319 Grant fund is perhaps the most familiar to local groups, but unfortunately the funding level has been declining over the past decade. This presentation will highlight DEQ’s other funding sources that are also suitable for addressing water quality issues, such as Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF loans/grants as well as Supplemental Environmental Projects funds from enforcement cases. DEQ contacts for these funding sources will explain what the districts and councils need to know to explore the possibility of accessing these funds.

The Salmon Super Highway: Building Connectivity at a Sub-basin Scale

Ken Bierly, Salmon Super Highway
Alex Sifford, Nestucca, Neskowin, & Sand Lakes Watersheds Council
Scott Bailey, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership
Presentation – PDF (1.9 MB)
Presentation – PDF (2.3 MB)

A conversation about a sub-basin approach to optimize habitat connectivity: building from watershed scale inventory and prioritization to sub-basin optimization. The local watershed inventory, analysis and prioritization of fish passage barriers in the Nestucca Neskowin drainages and the five rivers tributary to Tillamook Bay has provided the basis for expanding habitat connectivity. Analysis using network optimization modeling has helped identify a portfolio of projects that optimize effects with the least cost. The modeling has shown that 95% of historic connectivity can be accomplished with 25% of the cost of full replacement. The Salmon SuperHWY builds on local capacity and partnerships to assure implementation. What the Salmon SuperHWY brings is an advertising approach to raise funds to accomplish the goal of 95% connectivity. The Salmon SuperHWY is a marketing tool for the partnership with a focus on habitat connectivity.

Engaging Youth in Watershed Restoration and Conservation

Alexis Brickner & Alexa Carleton, Coos Watershed Association
Presentation – PDF (5.4 MB)

At the Coos Watershed Association, we approach youth programs in a way that will suit the diverse needs of our youth by providing a diversity of programs. While each program is set up differently, the end goal is the same: to provide youth with opportunities to learn about and work in their natural environment while fostering a sense of stewardship for their watershed. These programs offer a step up for all members involved in terms of experience and education, whether or not they go into the field of natural resources. And these programs are not exclusive; members of a school year program may be recruited for the summer work program or vice versa. We call this the “arc of engagement” which provides students from high school to college and beyond continued opportunities to learn from and work with CoosWA. In this presentation we will discuss these programs in greater detail as well as lessons learned over the years.

2015 Legislative Session Overview: A Review of Key Issues, With Emphasis on Impacts for Organizational Management

Ryan Gordon, Network of Oregon Watershed Councils
Jerry Nicolescu, Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
Eric Hartstein, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
Join us for an informal overview of the key legislative issues we followed during the 2015 session, including the OWEB and ODA budgets. We’ll also address some new state and federal laws that may impact councils and districts.

Drop-in Tech Support / Q&A – Parts 1 & 2

Jason Faucera, Oregon Conservation Partnership
In past years I have addressed computer technical questions by presenting on a specific topic, a model that allows for very narrow coverage of the digital challenges we encounter. As an alternative this year we set aside 1.5 hours at the conference in an open format to address some of the more common issues for which people are seeking help. We’ll start with general questions early and transition to one on one time shortly thereafter to address more specific needs. Here are some of the topics that we might discuss: Email services, websites (including WordPress), servers, software, hardware, cameras, video, among others. If I can’t answer your specific question I will do my best to get you moving in the right direction on your own.

Willamette Valley Restoration Prioritization

Scott McCarthy & Kevin O’Hara, USFWS
Presentation – PDF (6.2 MB)

The Willamette Valley Conservation Study is a collaborative study of land-based conservation needs and opportunities in the Willamette Valley. Building upon existing planning efforts, the study identified areas with multiple habitat values in the valley. The presentation will briefly describe how areas with overlapping conservation benefits were identified and how the study could be used by partners, followed by questions and discussion. The intention is to better understand how this type of planning approach could complement on-going conservation efforts in the valley. Come prepared to engage in a conversation and provide feedback on this new planning tool.

Communications Planning and Outreach for Conservation Programs

Tracy Robillard, NRCS
Eric Hartstein, OWEB
Presentation – PDF (2.4 MB)
Presentation – PDF (0.9 MB)
Sample – DOCX (0.1 MB)
Sample – DOCX (0.1 MB)
Template – DOCX (0.1 MB)

This session will provide an overview of the communications planning process for developing a local outreach plan for conservation programs. Topics include identifying audiences, identifying program barriers and challenges, crafting messages, and developing communications tactics and products to address communications goals. Examples of outreach products and templates, including sample press releases for funded projects will be shared and discussed.

Racial Equity and Inclusive Community Engagement: Sharing Stories and Resources for Supporting Diversity Work – Parts 1 & 2

Danielle Miles, Johnson Creek Watershed Council
Corinne Handelman, Sandy River Basin Watershed Council
Hanna Davis, Columbia Slough Watershed Council
Adra Lobdell, Tryon Creek Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (0.8 MB)
Resources – PDF (0.1 MB)

Reflections and resource sharing from three Portland area watershed councils working to build more equitable and inclusive programming with communities of color. Why is the work important? Where did we begin? What are the inherent challenges associated with this work? How can we support each other in the development of more equitable programming?

Water Resources Development Program Funding Opportunities – Place-Based Planning, Feasibility & Implementation

Jon Unger & Harmony Burright, OWRD
As recommended in Oregon’s 2012 Integrated Water Resources Strategy, the Oregon Water Resources Department is launching the Water Resources Development Program to help individuals and communities address instream and out-of-stream water needs now and into the future. This presentation provides an overview of the program and provides information about current funding opportunities for: piloting a place-based integrated water resources planning approach; assessing the feasibility of a water conservation, reuse or storage project; and, implementing water projects.


Planning, Management, & Monitoring (McKenzie North Room)

Using Policies to Improve Legal Compliance, Consistency, and Minimize Risk

David E Atkin, Nonprofit Law Attorney, Director of Center for Nonprofit Law
This workshop session will help nonprofit leaders, including Executive Directors, Officers, and Directors, better understand what policies their organization should have, and how to best develop, adopt, and implement those policies. Adopting and following good policies is the best way to ensure that your organization is operating in a professional, legal, and efficient manner. These policies are critically important to your organization because they: (1) Improve compliance with State and Federal laws and regulations; (2) Support better risk management; (3) Enhance quality control; (4) Provide consistency; (5) Ensure fair and equal treatment; (6) Set clear organizational expectations; and (7) Pass your organization’s best thinking on to future Board members and staff.

OWEB Effectiveness Monitoring Initiatives for 2015-2017 Biennium

Ken Fetcho, OWEB
Presentation – PDF (0.5 MB)

This session will provide an overview of OWEB’s Effectiveness Monitoring initiatives for the 2015-2017 biennium. Ken will describe ongoing effectiveness monitoring projects, highlighting the CREP Effectiveness Monitoring Project that was recently initiated. He will also introduce new effectiveness monitoring projects that will begin this biennium.

Estimating the Cumulative Effective Shade and Stream Temperature Response from Riparian Restoration Projects

Ryan Michie, DEQ
Have you ever wondered how much riparian restoration has occurred in the Southern Willamette Basin, and what the cumulative shade or stream temperature response will be from these projects? This pilot project attempts to answer those questions. The presentation will provide an overview of the data, analysis methods, and some initial results.

Irrigation Modernization: Benefits to Farmers & Fish in the Hood River Basin and Beyond

Cindy Thieman, Hood River Watershed Group
Julie O’ Shea, Farmers Conservation Alliance
Presentation – PDF (1.8 MB)

How will climate change impact water availability for agriculture and fish habitat? Can we find solutions to maintain or improve water levels instream while increasing security and drought resilience for agriculture? How can irrigation districts and their partners plan and implement projects that will benefit both farming and the environment? This session will provide answers to these questions and more. It will include highlights from a study completed in the Hood River Basin on future water availability for farms and fish under three different management scenarios. It will also describe a recent program launched by Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA), in partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon, to assist irrigation districts in Oregon with comprehensive system assessments and irrigation modernization plans.

OCS Online and ODFW Compass: Revising and Web Enabling the Oregon Conservation Strategy

Arthur Rodriguez, ODFW
Presentation – PDF (4.8 MB)

In 2006 ODFW released the Oregon Conservation Strategy, a comprehensive, overarching vision for the long-term conservation of Oregon’s native fish and wildlife. In 2015, ODFW underwent a comprehensive 10 year review and revision of the Strategy, working extensively with a variety of partners and stakeholders to incorporate updated science, tools, and resources. All Strategy content was updated, including Strategy Species and Habitats, Key Conservation Issues, and Conservation Opportunity Areas. ODFW has also worked to increase accessibility by developing an online application to allow users to more easily navigate between Strategy components, link to important tools and resources, and step down into on-the-ground actions. An upgrade to the ODFW Compass mapping application was also undergone, seamlessly integrating Strategy components with Compass mapping layers. This presentation will provide an overview of the update process and preview the upgraded Strategy and Compass websites.

Time Tracking Tools

Elaine Eisenbraun, North Fork John Day Watershed Council
Brian Wolcott, Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council
Kristen Larson, Luckiamute Watershed Council
Debra Bunch, Wheeler SWCD/Mid John Day-Bridge Creek Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (1.3 MB)
Presentation – PDF (1.3 MB)
Presentation – PDF (1.0 MB)

A discussion of time tracking tools in use by districts and councils, pros and cons and other possibilities. Includes Clicktime, Wrike, Toggl and custom tools. The Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council has been using the online tool, Clicktime for tracking staff hours among various projects and subtasks within projects. The Clicktime tool is also used by staff to track expenses and mileage and assign costs to the appropriate funding source.

Fiscal Management: Streamlining Systems to Improve Efficiency and Understanding

Amanda Wilson, McKenzie River Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (1.7 MB)

Fiscal management is a complex and sometimes confusing area. Multiple funders, grants, and program requirements can add to the complexity. This session will focus on streamlining process to allow for better understanding of staff and boards alike. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the session. If you have specific questions please bring enough information/documentation to be able to answer them fully.

Haiku for Indirect

Tara Choate, OWEB
Presentation – PDF (2.3 MB)

Administration / Now indirect OWEB says / This seminar helps – If you find administration as cryptic as Haiku, with phrases like cost allocation and indirect cost rate floating around like so much confetti, this seminar may be right for you. While the focus will be on how OWEB is interpreting and applying the OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, and how that affects our grantees, we’ll also explore common errors and misconceptions about administration, indirect, and how it applies to your agency.

Financial Management for Councils and Districts

John Amoroso, OWEB
Tanya Graham, Lincoln SWCD
Molly Davis, Cascade Pacific RC&D
Presentation – PDF (0.2 MB)
Presentation – PDF (0.9 MB)
Presentation – PDF (1.0 MB)

This session will look at the basic building blocks of effective Financial Management for Councils and Districts. We will cover understanding basic financial documents, creating understandable financial statements, and adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Suggested resources will be discussed.

Fiscal Sponsorship for Watershed Councils and other Organizations

Kirk Shimeall & Molly Davis, Cascade Pacific RC&D
Fiscal Sponsorship provides an opportunity for groups such as Watershed Councils to focus on expanding their capacity, attract funding, and accomplish their work on the ground instead of being responsible for all of the details of fiscal management. In this session, we’ll explain what fiscal sponsorship is, look at the costs and benefits, and help you determine if it is an appropriate fit for your organization.


Organizational & Board Administration (McKenzie South Room)

Are You Prepared for Your Next Emergency?

Troy DeYoung, SDAO
Presentation – PDF (2.3 MB)

This session is designed to give the attendee an overview of emergency and disaster preparedness. Most of us think of high impact events such as the one Oregon just experienced at Umpqua Community College when we think of emergency and disaster preparedness. Although this session will touch on some high impact scenarios, we will also be discussing practical approaches we can take to mitigate risks related to smaller emergencies that can affect our staff and district property. We will review what risks conservation districts are typically exposed to that could lead to an emergency. These will include natural disasters like wildfires, and the risks of working alone in the country often without cell service. We will also review ways to mitigate these risks.

Lessons from the Sandbox, Board Leadership 101

George Dunkel, SDAO
Presentation – PDF (0.6 MB)

This presentation will examine components of effective Boards of Directors and how Boards work with Staff in providing positive direction for an organization.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Insurance and Risk Management

Lynn Omey, WSC Insurance
Presentation – PDF (0.7 MB)

Conference attendees will learn simple solutions for risk management assessment. We will also review various types of insurance; what protections they provide; and, why they are important to consider.

We’ve Always Done It That Way: How to Overcome Organizational and Individual Stagnation

Jay Udelhoven, East Multnomah SWCD
Presentation – PDF (3.6 MB)

Change is hard, but not changing is impossible. Everyday our organizations evolve, grow, morph, and adapt. We’re not the same people or organizations from one day to the next. Sometimes we purposefully drive change in a predetermined direction and sometimes we let the winds of change blow us in a myriad of directions all at once. And while there is great value in experience, things tried-and-true, and the “wisdom of the elders,” these things should inform and help guide purposeful change, not hinder or prohibit it. “We’ve always done it that way” (WADITW) should not be the reason purposeful and meaningful change cannot help improve your organization. Boards, managers, and staff supervisors are all responsible for assessing and improving the goals, strategies, and performance of their organizations. This session will explore how to balance the existing culture and practices of organizations with the ever present need to improve.

An Engaging Strategic Planning and Annual Planning Process To Ensure Success, Part 1 of 2

Derek Godwin, OSU Extension
An introduction to a strategic planning process that engages and aligns your board members and staff on your highest priorities.

An Engaging Strategic Planning and Annual Planning Process To Ensure Success, Part 2 of 2

Derek Godwin, OSU Extension
An annual planning process that builds effective teams, sets clear expectations and outcomes, and helps you get the most out of your strategic plan.

Millennials vs. Boomers – How Do We Work Together?

Spencer Rockwell, SDAO
Presentation – PDF (2.1 MB)

The age/generation gap in our workforce is growing each day. As managers and supervisors, it is important to understand the differences, both strengths and weakness of generations as the combine in the workplace. This session will focus on how to identify the differences between the work and communication styles of different generations and how to utilize the strengths of these groups to best serve the needs of your organization.

Public Contracting Review

Eileen Eakins, Law Office of Eileen Eakins, LLC
Presentation – PDF (0.6 MB)

This brief seminar addresses specific questions relating to public contracting. The agenda will include a review of basic contracting principles, updates on recent legislative changes, and answers to your specific questions on such things as grant-funded projects and spending public monies on private property.

Managing District-Owned Properties and Conservation Easements: Conservation Partnering and Lessons Learned

Larry Ojua, Yamhill SWCD
Owen Wozniak, Trust for Public Land
Presentation – PDF (1.9 MB)

This session will focus on lessons learned from a local conservation district that holds several conservation easements and owns and manages conservation properties In the Willamette Valley. The Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District (district) agreed to hold its first conservation easement on 720 acres of working lands in 2002, supporting the objectives of local landowners to protect farm and forest lands in perpetuity. In 2004, the district was fortunate to receive its first property ownership through the bequeath of Miller Woods, a 130 acres of forest land set aside for sustainable forestry, conservation education, wildlife habitat, and for the public’s enjoyment of nature and the outdoors.

Appropriate Use of Media, Social or Otherwise

Eric Nusbaum, ODA
Presentation – PDF (0.1 MB)

Using social media for communication is all the rage, but is it appropriate for your district or watershed council? We will discuss strategies to determine what type of media is most useful and efficient for your organization and for particular purposes. We will also discuss methods for the effective use of different types of media and the need for organizational policies.

Update and Q&A with ODA

John Byers, Manette Simpson, & Eric Nusbaum, ODA
Presentation – PDF (3.1 MB)

Updates in the ODA water quality and SWCD world, including Focus Areas, Strategic Implementation Areas (SIAs), grant funding for SIAs, and staff changes. There will be time for Q & A – bring your questions!


Conservation Easements & Working Lands (Umpqua Room)

Conservation Easements & Working Lands – Part 1: Conservation Easement Nuts and Bolts

Paul Majkut
Presentation – PDF (0.2 MB)

Part 1 will provide an overview of conservation easements, including organizational requirements for holding easements, tax benefits, IRS requirements, water rights and easement drafting. Led by Paul Majkut, a recently retired attorney who practiced environmental law in Oregon and Washington for over 40 years.

Conservation Easements & Working Lands – Part 2: Examples in Oregon – Opportunities and Challenges

Claire Fiegener, Greenbelt Land Trust
Presentation – PDF (0.7 MB)

Claire Fiegener, Conservation Director for Greenbelt Land Trust, will talk about the process of working with a landowner to draft a conservation easement. Participants will learn the key issues to consider when working with a landowner to draft an easement.

Conservation Easements & Working Lands – Part 3: Interactive Case Study: Big Diamond Ranch and Easement Program Overview

Kelley Beamer, Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts
Claire Fiegener, Greenbelt Land Trust
Paul Majkut
Presentation – PDF (1.2 MB)
Case Study – PDF (0.1 MB)
Case Study Questions – PDF (0.1 MB)

Participants will be led through a case study of a 15,000-acre ranch in Oregon where the landowners are considering selling or donating a conservation easement. Facilitators will break participants into groups to determine risks and costs, conservation values, permitted uses and restrictions, and long term opportunities and challenges. Kelley Beamer will end with an overview of federal and state easement programs.


New Staff (Umpqua Room)

Council Capacity Grants 101

Courtney Shaff, OWEB
Presentation – PDF (5.8 MB)

OWEB adopted new rules and guidance for Council Capacity grants in July 2014. The 2015-2017 grant cycle is the first cycle under these new rules and guidance. Come hear about Council Capacity grant agreement reporting requirements and the required work plan update. There will be time for general Council Capacity questions.

Watershed Council Contracting – One Council’s Solution

Eric Riley, Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers
Presentation – PDF (1.3 MB)

This session will cover the basics of how the Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers works its contracting. It will cover contracting law, requirements, partner relationships, and “one council’s solution” to making contracting simple.

Project Management – Lessons from the Field

Denise Hoffert, Confluence Consulting
Presentation – PDF (3.8 MB)

Project management is not something most watershed council staff studied in college. People are expected to learn these skills on the job or intuitively know how to bring projects to completion on time and on budget. This session will provide an overview of elements of successful project management styles, help you identify strategies to use in your next project and provide opportunity to learn from other participants.

Navigating the Ins and Outs of Project Reporting – You have a Lifeline

Bobbi Riggers & Sue Greer, OWEB
Presentation – PDF (6.2 MB)

After projects are completed, it’s time to tell the story. This session will be an interactive discussion on the topic of project reporting. You will learn the importance of reporting project accomplishments, how to document projects in the Oregon Watershed Restoration Inventory (OWRI), OWRI Online helpful hints, reporting metrics and deliverables from proposed to actual, why metrics should support the final summary in the completion report and vice versa, and how data are used.

Essentials of Developing a Compelling Grant Proposal

Daniel Newberry, Johnson Creek Watershed Council
Presentation – PDF (0.5 MB)

The term “Grant Writing” is a misleading description of the process of developing an effective grant proposal. Most of the work should be completed in the weeks or months before you begin filling out / writing the application. In this session we will discuss developing partnerships, seeking letters of support, securing matching funds—both cash and in-kind, and tips for writing compelling applications. Please come prepared with an idea for a grant proposal and we will complete an exercise to get you moving forward to securing those funds!


Special Sessions (Rogue Room)

OWEB Fiscal Sponsorship Discussion

Courtney Shaff & Tara Choate, OWEB
Courtney Shaff and Tara Choate from OWEB will review and answer questions about the new grant agreement and fiscal reporting requirements for grantees that are not a legal entity.

Project Permitting

Heidi Hartman, DSL
Judy Linton, USACE
Amy Simpson, DEQ
Greg Apke, ODFW
Presentation – PDF (0.7 MB)
Presentation – PDF (0.3 MB)
Presentation – PDF (8.1 MB)

This workshop-style session will provide an overview of ODFW’s Fish Passage Program, followed by an opportunity to work through a hypothetical permitting scenario with representatives from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon Department of State Lands, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The two-hour session will focus on both small and large project permitting. Agency representatives will provide an overview of the application process and agency coordination, talk through specific permitting requirements, discuss application evaluation, and share tips for navigating the process. Bring your questions!