Columbia River Gorge

ORS 196.681
Duties of department

  • standards for approval of plan
  • conditions for approval
  • order


In accordance with rules adopted pursuant to this chapter, the Department of State Lands shall:


Review any proposed wetland conservation plan or proposed amendment to an approved wetland conservation plan against the standards in this section;


Prepare a proposed order that approves, approves with conditions or denies the proposed wetland conservation plan or proposed amendment to an approved wetland conservation plan;


Provide notice and the opportunity for public hearing and comment on the proposed order;


Consult with affected local, state and federal agencies; and


Consider the applicable findings made in the order of acknowledgment issued by the Land Conservation and Development Commission.


The Director of the Department of State Lands may approve by order a wetland conservation plan that includes the necessary elements of ORS 196.678 (Wetland conservation plans) (2) and meets the standards of subsections (3) and (4) of this section.


A wetland conservation plan shall comply with the following standards:


Uses and activities permitted in the plan including fill or removal, or both, conform to sound policies of conservation and will not interfere with public health and safety;


Uses and activities permitted in the plan including fill or removal, or both, are not inconsistent with the protection, conservation and best use of the water resources of this state and the use of state waters for navigation, fishing and public recreation; and


Designation of wetlands for protection, conservation and development is consistent with the resource functions and values of the area and the capability of the wetland area to withstand alterations and maintain important functions and values.


Wetland areas may be designated for development including fill or removal, or both, only if they meet the following standards:


There is a public need for the proposed uses set forth in the acknowledged comprehensive plan for the area;


Any planned wetland losses shall be fully offset by creation, restoration or enhancement of wetland functions and values or in an estuarine area, estuarine resource replacement is consistent with ORS 196.830 (Estuarine resource replacement as condition for fill or removal from estuary); and


Practicable, less damaging alternatives, including alternative locations for the proposed use are not available.


Approval by the director of a wetland conservation plan shall be conditioned upon adoption by the affected local governments of comprehensive plan policies and land use regulations consistent with and sufficient to implement the wetland conservation plan. Appropriate implementing measures may include the following planning and zoning requirements regulating:


Adjacent lands or buffer areas necessary to maintain, protect or restore wetland functions and values, including riparian vegetation, and the uses to be allowed in those areas;


Sites for mitigation of impacts from development activities;


Upland areas adjacent to wetlands; and


Activities or location of buildings, structures and improvements which may affect wetland values or functions, such as storm water runoff.


The director shall issue an order approving, approving with conditions or denying a wetland conservation plan, including a clear statement of findings which sets forth the basis for the approval, conditioning or denial. The order shall include:


A clear statement of findings that the elements specified in ORS 196.678 (Wetland conservation plans) (2) have been developed;


The findings in support of the determination of compliance or noncompliance with the standards in subsections (3) and (4) of this section; and


The conditions under which fill or removal or both may occur.


The director may, as a part of an order approving a plan, authorize site-specific fill or removal without an individual permit as required by ORS 196.810 (Permit required to remove material from bed or banks of waters) provided that:


The director adopts findings demonstrating that fill or removal for any proposed project complies with ORS 196.682 (Permits required for removal or fill) (1)(a) to (e); or


The director adopts findings that specific areas of fill or removal within areas designated as development in the plan meet the following standards:


The fill or removal approved by the order will result in minimal impacts to the wetland system in the planning area;


The public need for the proposed area of fill or removal outweighs the environmental damage likely to result from full development;


The director conditions any such order as necessary to ensure that the fill or removal, or both, is designed to minimize impacts from implementing the project; and


Full replacement of wetland losses is provided through creation, restoration or enhancement of wetlands with comparable functions and values.


Upon a finding by the director that a fill or removal, or both, authorized under subsection (7)(b) of this section has caused or is likely to cause more than minimal adverse impact to the wetland system considering required mitigation conditions, the director shall revise the order to require individual permit review according to ORS 196.682 (Permits required for removal or fill) or provide additional conditions to ensure that adverse impacts are minimal. Such revision shall not be subject to ORS 196.684 (Amendment of plans). [1989 c.837 §11; 1999 c.59 §52]


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021