Skip Navigation

News Release

Financial Assistance Available to Address Water Quality in Priority Oregon Watersheds

Private Landowners in Three Priority Watersheds are Eligible


Release No. 2014.3.007


Loren Unruh, State Programs Leader

Sara Magenheimer, State Public Affairs Officer

Portland, Ore. (Mar. 18, 2014) – State Conservationist, Ron Alvarado, announced the continued commitment to work with landowners in two priority Oregon watersheds, through the support of the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will continue to manage the initiative by making funds available to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in these selected watersheds.  

NRCS will accept applications for the NWQI on a continuous basis.  However, for this year’s funding applications must be received by April 18th.

“This is the third year NRCS Oregon has worked with landowners in these watersheds to improve and protect their water resources,” said Alvarado.  “Selected applicants will receive conservation payments to reduce the flow of sediment, nutrients and other runoff into impaired waterways. This benefits farmers and ranchers by lowering input costs and enhancing the productivity of working lands in addition to providing cleaner water to local communities.”

Through this initiative, eligible producers in the selected watersheds in Malheur and Marion Counties can invest in voluntary conservation actions such as planting cover crops, filter strips, riparian buffers, implementing irrigation and nutrient management, and other practices.  The two NWQI watersheds in Oregon are (see maps below):

·         The adjoining Little Willow Creek and Poison Creek watersheds in Malheur County

·         Brandy Creek-Pudding Riverwatershed in Marion County

The NWQI is designed to build on ongoing collaborative conservation efforts to accelerate the improvement of water quality on impaired waterways across the nation. The watersheds initially selected in Oregon were identified with help from state agencies, partners, and the Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (OTAC).  OTAC is a consortium composed of individuals and groups representing a variety of natural resource, agricultural and wildlife issues, who provide technical advice regarding implementation of USDA conservation legislation.   

Interested landowners should check with their local NRCS office to see if they are located in a selected watershed or to answer other specific questions. All applications for funding consideration, during this fiscal year, must be received by close of business on April 18, 2014 to meet the respective application deadlines. This summer, NRCS will notify all applicants of the results and begin developing contracts with selected applicants.

Brandy Creek—Pudding River Priority Area, Marion County Poison Creek-Willow Creek Priority Area, Malheur County

Brandy Creek—Pudding River Priority Area, Marion County

Poison  Creek— Willow Creek Priority Area, Malheur County

For more information about NRCS and other programs please visit the NRCS website at



The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

Local contact information is located in the telephone book under the federal government listing or can be found online at: