Oregon Statutes - Chapter 541 - Watershed Enhancement and Protection; Water Development Projects; Miscellaneous Provisions on Water Rights; Stewardship Agreements - Section 541.388 - Voluntary local watershed councils; protection against liability.

(1) Local government groups are encouraged to form voluntary local watershed councils in accordance with the guidelines set forth in subsection (2) of this section. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board may work cooperatively with any local watershed council that may be formed. Requests from local watershed councils for state assistance shall be evaluated on the basis of whether the requesting organization reflects the interests of the affected watershed and the potential to protect and enhance the quality of the watershed in question.

(2) Local watershed councils formed under subsection (1) of this section shall consist of a majority of local residents, including local officials. A watershed council may be a new or existing organization as long as the council represents a balance of interested and affected persons within the watershed and assures a high level of citizen involvement in the development and implementation of a watershed action program. A local watershed council may include representatives of local government, representatives of nongovernment organizations and private citizens, including but not limited to:

(a) Representatives of local and regional boards, commissions, districts and agencies;

(b) Representatives of federally recognized Indian tribes;

(c) Public interest group representatives;

(d) Private landowners;

(e) Industry representatives;

(f) Members of academic, scientific and professional communities; and

(g) Representatives of state and federal agencies.

(3) If more than one watershed council exists in a county, each watershed council shall periodically report the activities of the council to the county governing body.

(4) The Oregon Department of Administrative Services may provide to voluntary local watershed councils and their officers, employees and agents acting within the scope of their employment or duties, protection against liability as part of the insurance provided to the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board pursuant to ORS 278.120 to 278.215. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, after consulting the Oregon Department of Administrative Services and local watershed councils, shall establish guidelines for liability coverage and limits of coverage. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services shall determine any additional contributions to be apportioned to the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board for extending insurance to voluntary local watershed councils, and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board shall pay the assessments from such moneys as may be available for those assessments. [1993 c.601 §3; 1995 c.187 §7; 1999 c.300 §1]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008