Oregon Statutes - Chapter 541 - Watershed Enhancement and Protection; Water Development Projects; Miscellaneous Provisions on Water Rights; Stewardship Agreements - Section 541.353 - Legislative findings; principles of Oregon Plan; policy.

(1) The Legislative Assembly finds that:

(a) The long-term protection of the water resources of this state, including sustainable watershed functions, is an essential component of Oregonís environmental and economic stability and growth;

(b) Each watershed in Oregon is unique, requiring different management techniques and programs;

(c) Management techniques and programs for the protection and enhancement of watersheds can be most effective and efficient when voluntarily initiated at the local level;

(d) Cooperative partnerships between affected private individuals, interested citizens, tribes and representatives of local, state and federal agencies may improve opportunities to achieve the protection, enhancement and restoration of the stateís watersheds; and

(e) The establishment of such cooperative partnerships should be encouraged by local individuals, local organizations and representatives of state agencies.

(2) The Legislative Assembly declares that the Oregon Plan for integrating regulatory efforts while fostering incentives and voluntary action for environmental stewardship should be founded upon the following principles:

(a) Promoting collaboration and partnerships among local, state, regional, tribal and federal governments and private individuals and organizations;

(b) Establishing clear, technically defensible, practicable and achievable recovery and restoration objectives;

(c) Assessing the conditions in each watershed to determine the quality of the existing environment, to identify the causes for declines in habitat, fish and wildlife populations and water quality, and to assist with the development of locally integrated action plans for watersheds that will achieve agreed-upon protection and restoration objectives;

(d) Coordinating implementation of integrated watershed action plans;

(e) Monitoring and ensuring implementation of the integrated watershed action plans using adaptive management to make appropriate changes in action plans and goals as needed; and

(f) Establishing funding priorities across basins based on the value of programs and projects for watershed and habitat recovery.

(3) It is the policy of the State of Oregon that:

(a) Voluntary programs initiated at the local level to protect and enhance the quality and stability of watersheds are a high priority of the state and should be encouraged;

(b) State agencies are encouraged to respond cooperatively to local watershed protection and enhancement efforts and coordinate their respective activities with other state agencies and affected local, regional, tribal and federal governments and private landowners to the greatest degree practicable; and

(c) State agencies responding to local watershed protection and enhancement efforts are encouraged to foster local watershed planning, protection and enhancement efforts before initiating respective action within a watershed. [1999 c.1026 §4 (enacted in lieu of 541.347)]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008