Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Watershed Councils prohibits discrimination against its employees, partners and participants for services and employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, and sexual orientation. Wasco County SWCD is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Wasco County SWCD
2325 River Road Suite 3
The Dalles, OR 97058
Open Monday -Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Under Construction. Some links might not be active.
Working collaboratively with communities and landowners to develop and
carry out voluntary watershed protection, restoration, enhancement and
stakeholder engagement activities across all land uses.
Wasco County Area Watersheds
Watershed Coordinator: Abbie Forrest
The Watershed Council 19-20 Annual Report is now available.
Click the link below to review accomplishments and highlights on Watershed council activities from the last fiscal year including: successful grants, completed projects, monitoring efforts and watershed enhancement happenings.
Watershed Council Happenings:
January Minutes - COMING SOON
January Minutes - COMING SOON
The Wasco County Area Watershed Councils were invited to be a panelist for "OrCP Webinar: Organizational Collaboration in many forms, a panel discussion". Abbie represented Wasco County Watersheds, and shared alongside four other entities who have been recognized by the state of Oregon for having strong partnerships. Collaboration among organizations can come in many forms and offer a diversity of individual and collective benefits. However, collaboration also takes a lot of work and deciding on a collaborative approach that is the right fit for each organization and their partners can be overwhelming. Throughout this Webinar e discussed what structure works for our organization and the opportunities and challenges that come with a collaborative approach to conservation work.
A link to the slide that Abbie built to describe collaborations in Wasco County can be found at the link below.
FAST Signups are right around the corner. There have been some changes to the FAST program for the 2021 Irrigation Season. If you are an irrigator in the Fifteenmile and Eight Mile Watershed and are interested in the FAST program contact Drake Gilbert at 541-296-6178 ext. 117
FAST was developed as a pilot program back in 2014 where landowners volunteer to leave their water instream instead of pumping when stream temperatures are predicted to be over the threshold that is deadly to steelhead. There is an alert system which is sent out to irrigators warning them when a stream temperature alert is in place. If the irrigators choose to turn off their irrigation during the alert, the FAST program offers compensation for the sacrifice of their crop, to help protect the endangered species.
In previous years there have been 2 available options for irrigators to participate in. This year the council has decided to eliminate Option 2 and only offer Option 1. Option 1 is full commitment. Landowners receive upfront payment (per acre, depending on water right) for committing to curtail ALL water use for the specified water right(s) during a temperature alert.
Once again the Annual Tree Sale Event has been canceled. The SWCD is no longer taking individual tree sale orders, however there are a few leftovers. Contact the SWCD front desk to get a list of remaining plants. 541-296-6178 ext. 3
Next meeting is scheduled for March 11th, 6:00 PM via zoom. Contact Drake Gilbert for more information
Next meeting is scheduled for March 31st, 5:00 PM via zoom. Contact Drake Gilbert for more information
As of March 1st the local SWCD Cost Share Program, and OWEB Lower Deschutes Small Grant program have expended all grant dollars for this fiscal year and biennium. If you are a landowner interested in applying for cost share for a watershed enhancement project or interested in conservation practices on your property and feel like you have missed out, don't fret! A new round of money through the SWCD Cost Share program will become available July 1. The OWEB Small Grant Program is also anticipated to have a new funding for the 2021-2023 biennium available August 1. Contact Abbie Forrest at 541-296-6178 x102 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss you project proposal and to get in line for when money becomes available.
Next meeting is scheduled for April 7th, immediately following the SWCD Board meeting via zoom. Contact Abbie Forrest for more information.
Next meeting is scheduled for April 28th at 6:30 PM via zoom. Contact Drake Gilbert for more information
The Fifteenmile Watershed Council and the Wasco County SWCD were recently notified that the two grant proposals for the Fifteenmile Managed Underground Storage project had been approved through Oregon Watershed Enhancement Boards Technical Assistance and Resource Assessment grants! This project is looking at developing a pilot project to capture and store surface water during high flows in exchange for low flows during the hot summer months. Look back here for more information as the project breaks ground this Spring.
FAST Coordinator: Drake Gilbert
Cole Goodwin, writer at Columbia Community Connection, and longtime resident of the Gorge recently spotted SWCD Conservation Planner Karen Lamson, collecting water samples for the Watershed Councils Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP) Program. Cole later reached out to Watershed Coordinator, Abbie Forrest and DEQ's Kevin Masterson, to chat about the program. If you would like to read the full article click on the link below to be directed to the Columbia Community Connections webpage.