Water Distributors

ORS 541.932
Watershed enhancement project assistance

  • criteria for funding approval
  • acquisition of interest in land or water


(a) The following entities may submit a request for funding for, or for advice and assistance in developing, a project under ORS 541.890 (Definitions for ORS 541.890 to 541.969) to 541.969 (Report to Legislative Assembly by state agencies receiving subaccount moneys):


A person;


An Indian tribe;


A watershed council;


A soil and water conservation district;


A community college;


A public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities);


An independent not-for-profit institution of higher education; or


A political subdivision of this state that is not a state agency.


A state agency or federal agency may apply for funding under this section only as a coapplicant with an entity described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.


The request under subsection (1) of this section shall be filed in the manner, be in the form and contain the information required by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, regardless of the anticipated funding source for the project.


The board may establish a grant program through soil and water conservation districts organized under ORS 568.210 (Definitions for ORS 568.210 to 568.808 and 568.900 to 568.933) to 568.808 (Taxing district to file legal description and map) and 568.900 (Definitions for ORS 568.900 to 568.933) to 568.933 (Civil penalties) that provides funds for local implementation of watershed enhancement, education and monitoring efforts.


The board may fund implementation of action plans based on a watershed assessment that addresses water quality and aquatic resources of the watershed.


A project may use mechanical, vegetative or structural methods including, but not limited to, management techniques, erosion control, streambank stabilization, forest, range or crop land treatment, site specific in-stream structures, acquisitions or leases of land or water rights from a willing owner, watershed assessments, landowner incentives and action plan development, implementation and monitoring.


The actions of a soil and water conservation district carried out pursuant to a grant program established by the board under subsection (3) of this section shall not be subject to review and approval by the Natural Resources Division under ORS 561.400 (Natural Resources Division).


If a project or a portion of a project is not subject to the funding criteria described in ORS 541.958 (Criteria for project receiving moneys from Watershed Conservation Grant Fund) and applies to receive funding from the board, the board may approve the project or portion of a project for funding only if the project or portion of a project:


Is based on sound principles of native fish or wildlife habitat conservation or watershed management;


Uses methods most adapted to the project locale;


Meets the criteria established by the board under ORS 541.906 (Rules); and


Contributes to either:


The improved health of a stream, lake or reservoir and toward the achievement of standards that satisfy the requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (P.L. 92-500), as amended; or


The conservation or restoration of habitat for, or of watershed or ecosystem function for, native fish or wildlife.


The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board may fund a project for the restoration of a riparian area or associated upland that is carried out in conjunction with a storage structure. However, the board shall not approve funding for any proposed project that consists solely of construction of a storage structure for out-of-stream use.


The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board may fund projects involving the acquisition of lands and waters, or interests therein from willing sellers, for the purpose of maintaining or restoring watersheds and habitat for native fish or wildlife. Interests in these lands and waters may be held by local, state and federal agencies, tribes, not-for-profit land conservation organizations and trusts, public universities listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities), independent not-for-profit institutions of higher education or political subdivisions of this state, as long as the entity continues to use the land or water for the purposes specified under section 4b, Article XV of the Oregon Constitution.


If the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board approves funding for a project under this section, the board may not disburse funds to the applicant for any part of the project that requires the applicant to obtain a permit or license from a local, state or federal agency or governing body until the applicant presents evidence that the agency has granted the permit or license. [Formerly 541.375]
Note: See note under 541.890 (Definitions for ORS 541.890 to 541.969).
§§ 541.890 to 541.969

(formerly 541.351 to 541.395)

Law Review Citations

26 EL 175 (1996)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021