Columbia River Gorge

ORS 196.805


The protection, conservation and best use of the water resources of this state are matters of the utmost public concern. Streams, lakes, bays, estuaries and other bodies of water in this state, including not only water and materials for domestic, agricultural and industrial use but also habitats and spawning areas for fish, avenues for transportation and sites for commerce and public recreation, are vital to the economy and well-being of this state and its people. Unregulated removal of material from the beds and banks of the waters of this state may create hazards to the health, safety and welfare of the people of this state. Unregulated filling in the waters of this state for any purpose, may result in interfering with or injuring public navigation, fishery and recreational uses of the waters. In order to provide for the best possible use of the water resources of this state, it is desirable to centralize authority in the Director of the Department of State Lands, and implement control of the removal of material from the beds and banks or filling of the waters of this state.


The director shall take into consideration all beneficial uses of water including streambank protection when administering fill and removal statutes.


There shall be no condemnation, inverse condemnation, other taking, or confiscating of property under ORS 196.600 (Definitions for ORS 196.600 to 196.655) to 196.921 (Applicability) without due process of law. [Formerly 541.610 and then 196.675; 2003 c.738 §16; 2012 c.108 §7]

(formerly 541.610)

Notes of Decisions

In denying petitioner's application for a permit, the director did not have authority to order petitioner to remove fill material and install a culvert. Opperman v. Div. of State Lands, 20 Or App 73, 530 P2d 526 (1975)

This section, together with [former] ORS 541.625 and rules of Division of State Lands, established identifiable standards for determining best use of land affecting waters of the State. Saxon v. Division of State Lands, 31 Or App 511, 570 P2d 1197 (1977)

This section does not confer authority or jurisdiction upon a state agency to determine legal issue of whether denial of permit constitutes condemnation. Saxon v. Division of State Lands, 31 Or App 511, 570 P2d 1197 (1977)

Legislative intent is that Director of Division of State Lands, in determining whether to issue land fill permit, weigh public need for fill against public interest in preservation of water for navigation, fishing and public recreation. Morse v. Oregon Division of State Lands, 285 Or 197, 590 P2d 709 (1979)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Conservation of resources as criteria for issuance of permits, (1971) Vol 35, p 844

§§ 196.800 to 196.905

(formerly 541.605 to 541.695)

Notes of Decisions

These sections, regulating landfills, are codification of common law public trust doctrine that public use of lands underlying navigable waters may not be substantially modified except for water-related purposes. Morse v. Division of State Lands, 34 Or App 853, 581 P2d 520 (1978), aff'd 285 Or 197, 590 P2d 79 (1979)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Right of private owner and ports to fill tidelands as subject to public rights, (1971) Vol 35, p 844; state's authority to prevent or control removal by dredging of a privately owned island in a navigable river, (1972) Vol 36, p 285; authority of the legislature to extinguish public rights in navigable waters and to charge a fee therefor, (1973) Vol 36, p 348; authority to issue permit for removal of ocean shore natural products from state recreation areas, (1974) Vol 36, p 807; authority to pay for Removal and Fill Permit Program administration out of Common School Fund, (1980) Vol 40, p 190

Law Review Citations

4 EL 351-355 (1974); 10 EL 675 (1980); 61 OLR 523 (1982); 19 EL 637 (1989); 21 EL 152 (1991)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021