Oregon Conservation Partnership launches four affinity groups to support collaborative conservation across the state!
- Estuaries and Tide Gates
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice
- Protection of working lands and easements
About: Conservation/Restoration Affinity Groups were established by the Oregon Conservation Partnership (OrCP) in 2021, with the goal to increase connections, collaboration and conservation impact across Watershed Councils, Conservation Districts, and Land Trusts. OrCP members can “opt in” to groups relevant to their needs and interests. Each group has approximately 20 participants and is facilitated by a coordinator who offers regular meetings over remote meeting platforms, providing an opportunity for:
- Sustained, longer term conversations;
- Information and resource sharing;
- Collaboration incubation;
- Near-peer mentoring;
- Professional development.
Expectations for participation: The success of Affinity groups relies on group cohesion and consistent participation of affinity group members. These groups will meet no less than six times per year and participation includes:
- active participation, showing up, and joining conversation
- willingness to contribute your own stories and resources for peer learning
Estuaries and tide gates
To join, contact coordinator Cyndi Curtis at email@example.com
Cyndi serves as the Restoration Program Coordinator for the Coquille Watershed Association in Coquille, Oregon.
From a conservation perspective, existing tide gate infrastructure and upstream drainages pose several limitations on fish passage and access to critical rearing habitat. Failing tide gates can threaten agricultural and municipal operations and infrastructure. There is growing momentum to address the suite of issues related to tide gates so that infrastructure can be improved to meet both environmental needs and the needs of coastal communities. Many conservation groups have been and intend to continue to play a key role in supporting solutions that include tide gate replacements and working lands restoration actions to improve habitat, fish passage, and water quality. These efforts require significant capacity and expertise to shepherd these complex projects through the development, implementation, adaptive management and monitoring phases of work. This group is intended to support local Watershed Councils, Conservation Districts and Land Trusts in sharing lessons learned, receiving up-to-date information on late breaking updates, and identifying potential areas for collaboration or partnership across the coast.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Led by Alexis Barton, Tryon Creek WC, & Jack Halsey, Oswego Lake WC
The purpose of this group is to provide an opportunity for those of us who are working to advance justice & equity issues in the context of our organizations, to be in community with one another. The goal of this group is to to work and learn together, and to share ideas, resources, and lessons learned. We welcome people whose organizations are in various stages of practicing equity work to better advance environmental justice with our communities (whether that’s early DEIJ planning and learning, transforming organizational culture, or decolonization efforts).
In contrast with much of what we do that we’re able to leave “at work”, justice-driven work is inextricably linked with our interpersonal relationships and personal lives, and our emotions and perspectives. This opportunity for cross-organizational and interpersonal collaboration around justice and equity work is responsive to the needs of staff at Watershed Councils, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, and Land Trusts.
To join, contact coordinator Andony Melathopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andony is an Assistant Professor of Pollinator Health Extension in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.
The goal of this group is to to work together, learn together and share ideas and resources so that we can collectively support the great diversity and abundance of native pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats and more). Proposed focus areas include:
- Highlight monarchs and the work we’ve been doing to help conserve this rapidly declining species; (Lead by Amanda Egertson);
- Highlight bees and what land trusts are doing to help restore habitat and survey for native bee populations;
- Create a summit/meeting, likely connected to another conference;
- Strategies for restoration;
- Strategies for community engagement.
Meetings: Xerces and NRCS Pollinator Affinity Group featuring Corin Pease, October 27 at noon. View recording.
Protection/restoration of working lands and easements
To join, contact Kelley Beamer at email@example.com
Kelley is the Executive Director of the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts based in Portland, Oregon.
This group is comprised of land trusts, SWCDs, agency partners, and other conservation practitioners working in the realm of agricultural/working lands easements and discusses grant applications, funding opportunities, best practices around conservation management plans, and generally provides a forum to hear from peers and colleagues about direct experience in the field.
By bringing all of the best minds together, we can creatively brainstorm solutions to some of the barriers that have hindered working lands easements in Oregon, foster and enhance relationships with agencies like NRCS, and generally advance the pace of agricultural conservation in Oregon that also benefits fish and wildlife habitat and considers climate change impacts.