Willamette Partnership Gets Nod From President Obama: Annual Report

The Willamette Partnership, formed in 2004 but originating from the 1996 Governor’s Willamette Basin Task Force, released its 2011-2012 Annual Report last week—and the conservation group’s achievements during the year include a nod from President Obama.

The source of presidential praise was a water temperature trading program in the Rogue Basin led by the Freshwater Trust and Willamette Partnership. Programs like this and other ecosystem markets and conservation incentive programs are key to the Partnership’s mission “to increase the pace, scope, and effectiveness of conservation.”

During the fiscal year ending in June 2012, the Partnership received over $400,000 in federal grants, $20,000 in other grants, $26,000 in contributions/donations, and $250,000 in other revenue. Its expenses were in four areas: Ecosystems Markets (29% of total expenses), Counting on the Environment Extension (65%), Opportunities/Education (2%), and management and general (4%).

Major projects and collaborations from the year include a new Klamath basin conservation program, a report on water-trading, a multi-year EPA grant award, and an $8 million restoration project by the City of Medford along the Rogue River.

Also in 2012, the Partnership published In It Together: A How-to Reference for Building Point-Nonpoint Water Quality Trading Programs, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Pinchot Institute, and the World Resources Institute.

Notably, the Partnership won a multi-year EPA Wetlands Program Development grant in 2011 that will support the development of tools and program policy for stream mitigation in Oregon, in collaboration with the EPA, U.S. Army Corps, and Oregon Department of State Lands.

For more information on the many achievements of the Willamette Partnership, or to download the annual report, visit http://willamettepartnership.org.

by Lana Jones