What is a watershed council?
Watershed councils are locally organized, voluntary, non-regulatory groups established to improve the conditions of watersheds in their local area. Watershed councils create a forum that brings local property owners and residents, concerned citizens, and private land managers together with local, state, and federal land management agencies to form a common vision for the ecological and economic sustainability and livability of their watershed.
Who is The Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council?
Our purpose is to serve "...as a volunteer-based partnership of diverse watershed stakeholders that focuses on promoting sustainability and making the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed a better place to live, work, and visit; for now and future generations." We work together as a community to restore and sustain the ecological integrity and economic viability of the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed and to promote local control of our future by providing effective voluntary solutions to watershed issues. Our origins date back to early 1998, when community members interested in establishing a watershed council within the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed began meeting. The movement gradually grew and led to support funding being secured from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) in January of 2000. A council operating charter was developed during the summer and fall of 2000, and the Lane County Board of Commissioners formally recognized the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council on November 21, 2000.
In July 2006, Steering Committee and general council members voted to pursue 501c(3) status for the organization. We hired the professional services of a non-profit attorney to work with the organization to establish bylaws, articles of incorporation, conflict of interest policies and on August 1, 2007 the MFWWC was incorporated with the State of Oregon as a non-profit organization. Substantial organizational development has occurred since the initial formation of the stakeholder group and since incorporation in August 2007. The Steering Committee formally became the Board of Directors and the Coordinator of two and a half years became the Executive Director in January 2008. We are now recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3). Contributions or bequests to the MFWWC are tax deductible effective August 1, 2007.
The Middle Fork Willamette Watershed is a 4th-field watershed and consists of roughly 865,000 acres. The communities of Oakridge, Westfir, Lowell, Dexter, Fall Creek, Jasper, and portions of south Springfield and Pleasant Hill all lie within the watershed, as does the wild and scenic North Fork of the Middle Fork Willamette River and the remarkable, pristine Waldo Lake.
The Council generally meets every other month on the third Wednesday, and meeting locations rotate amongst the communities in the watershed. Please refer to our council calendar for a list of upcoming council meetings and events. For more information about the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council, please contact the Council. Thank you for visiting us!
To serve as a volunteer based partnership of diverse watershed stakeholders that focuses on promoting sustainability and making the Middle Fork Willamette watershed a better place to live, work and visit, for now and future generations.
To work together as a community to restore and sustain the ecological integrity and economic viability of the watershed, and to promote local control of our future by providing effective voluntary solutions to watershed issues, to include:
- Maintain and enhance overall water quality.
- Gather, verify, and share information on present and historical watershed conditions.
- Protect and advocate for healthy riparian habitat.
- Conserve and restore native fish, wildlife, and vegetation throughout the watershed.
- Promote awareness, communication, education, learning, and participation among all people and interests within the watershed.
- Serve as a technical, financial, and educational resource for individuals and groups who wish to get involved in restoration and enhancement of the watershed.
- Develop an integrated and comprehensive watershed management program, which includes biennial Work Plans focused on maintaining, enhancing, and monitoring watershed health.
- Advocate for the social and economic stability of the communities within the Middle Fork Willamette watershed.
- Promote the mission, purpose, and goals of the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council to regional, state, and national officials.