Soil and Water Conservation Commission

In 1981, the Oregon Legislature established the Soil and Water Conservation Commission under ORS 561.395, to provide for coordination between Oregon's Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the department. Prior to 1981, the commission was an independent agency with agency policy-making authority. When the commission was incorporated into the Department of Agriculture (ODA), its policy-making authority was changed to authority to recommend policy to the director of the department.

Purpose and function
The function of the commission is to advise and develop policy with the department in the administration of its duties. To assist with this advisory role, the chair of the commission, by statute, is also a member of the State Board of Agriculture. The commission also has a major role in overseeing the grant programs to districts, including the technical assistance and administrative assistive funds.

The commission provides assistance and direction to Oregon's 45 conservation districts and coordinates with the department, the Natural Resources Program, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Oregon State University (OSU), the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts (OACD), and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB).

The commission consists of seven members appointed by the director of ODA. Each member must be a citizen of the state of Oregon and a director of a conservation district board at the time of appointment. Commission members serve staggered four-year terms.

Commission members each represent different regions of the state and often times a specific natural resource expertise. Commission member are not salaried and serve as volunteers. In addition to per diem, they receive reimbursement for actual and necessary travel expenses as a result of the performance of their official duties.

The commission has non-voting advisory members, who represent various state and federal agencies, and other organizations. Current advisors represent NRCS, the National Association of Conservation Districts, OSU Extension Service, OACD, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and OWEB. The Natural Resources Program provides staff support for the commission.

Contact Soil and Water Conservation Commission

Barbara Boyer
Phone: 503-472-5974


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Oregon

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