The District will address the following resource concerns between 2016 and 2020 under our current business plan.
Every water body in the Tualatin River watershed is contaminated at some level. Every area of human activity contributes to the issue, from urban development to farming and forestry. Temperature and nutrients are significant problems.
If landowners don’t address non-point sources of pollution, business as usual will continue and water quality will decline.
Over the next five years, we will work to install streamside buffers to filter pollutants and shade stream waters. We will help more landowners adopt nutrient management plans and pesticide reduction practices.
By achieving our goals in water quality, the Tualatin SWCD will protect and improve the water quality for drinking, recreation, farming, and business use.
Having either too much or too little water can be bad. Everyone is affected by its supply, accessibility and cost. Unpredictability of water resources is rising and fight for water is coming.
If no action is taken to reduce water consumption, population growth will drive demand for water far above supply and drive up the cost of water.
Over the next five years, we will work to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems through voluntary conservation projects by landowners, as well as educate the entire county on water use reduction strategies.
By achieving our goals in water quantity, the Tualatin SWCD will ensure that individual demand for water is kept low, helping reduce the affect of population growth and stretching available water further.
Development, agriculture and forestry have compacted and exposed soils to erosion, as well as robbed them of organic matter.
If no help is offered to landowners to fix this, we will lose the valuable top soil our food systems and economy depend on, leaving only less fertile soils.
Over the next five years, Tualatin SWCD will help more farms plan and implement soil health practices such as cover cropping or reduced tillage. We will teach the public about this important resource and create new programs to address this issue in forested and urban areas.
By achieving our goals in soil health, the Tualatin SWCD will protect and improve our economy, our food systems, and the health of both people and natural areas.
Weeds reduce productivity, destroy helpful native species, threaten human health, poison livestock, are unsightly and use up valuable resources.
If no action is taken to stop their spread, the cost of control will rise and the problem will eventually become unaffordable to fix. The problem spans the county and requires a watershed-wide solution.
Over the next five years, we will increase surveying and treatment of the worst weeds. We will educate the public to help report and stop planting them.
By achieving our goals in water quantity, the Tualatin SWCD will ensure that we stop the spread of invasive weeds, and that landowners who need help controlling these weeds receive it, so that they do not inadvertently help spread them.
In addition to their intrinsic value, fish and wildlife in the county support recreation and tourism. Yet some development, farming and forestry practices affect their natural range and function negatively.
If no action is taken to support fish and wildlife habitat, the decline of these species due to human population growth, land-use conversion and pollution will continue, perhaps to a point of no return.
Over the next five years, we will increase the acres improved or protected for fish, wildlife and pollinator habitat using traditional conservation tools, as well as raise public awareness.
By achieving our habitat conservation goals, the Tualatin SWCD will ensure that a diversity of native species thrive in Washington County, preserving our regions heritage, supporting the local economy, and fostering recreation and human health.
Management of small private forests and large commercial operations has changed disease and pest cycles, and introduced new disturbance.
If no action is taken to improve the health of forests, diseases and pests will continue to spread, and fire-related risks will rise.
Forest health is a new resource concern for Tualatin SWCD. We will work over the next five years to develop plans and practices to manage this resource as well as raise awareness about issues facing our forests.
By addressing forest health for the first time, Tualatin SWCD will bring new resources and effort to solve these long-standing problems.
Most Washington County residents live in cities. This dense land use affects each of these resource concerns, often for the worse. Urban development generates polluted rainwater runoff, fragments wildlife habitat, reduces tree canopy, and compacts soil, to name a few.
If no action is taken to foster conservation practices in urban areas, the positive impact of our work elsewhere may be diminished.
This is also a new resource concern for Tualatin SWCD. We will work over the next five years to develop new management plans and practices for managing and raise awareness. We will work to bring existing successful programs like the Backyard Habitat program to our county.
By addressing urban conservation for the first time, Tualatin SWCD will better serve all residents of the county, regardless of location.
Conservation education, from cradle to grave, shapes how we understand and protect our world. Expanding our programs to reach a wider diversity of residents across the county is critical. The District will work over the next five years to provide better services to Spanish speakers, culturally appropriate education to diverse audiences, and new workshops addressing the needs of urban and rural residents, including landowners and renters.
Imagining a world without agriculture is difficult. Farmers supply the food we eat and contribute to many products we use daily. The number of products everyone uses made from corn alone is amazing. The land farmers use to grow products is under constant pressure to be converted to residential or commercial uses. Once this land is converted to non-farm use, it will likely never return to farm production again. The loss of farmland is an extremely important issue globally, but at the local level as well — one the District feels strongly about. We will work to maintain the agriculture industry in Washington County to be as strong as or stronger than it was in 2015. In order to achieve this goal, the District will communicate to the urban population about agriculture life and the importance of maintaining a “critical mass” of farm land in the county.