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Pure Water Partners

If you own land along the McKenzie River you may be eligible to receive annual payments, technical assistance or other incentives through participation in the Pure Water Partners (PWP) Program. This Program aims to protect existing healthy riparian areas along the mainstem McKenzie River and its tributaries through voluntary actions.  For landowners with properties that are >3 acres and within the PWP boundary, the program has two pathways: protection and/or restoration.

Option 1: Protection Pathway

Landowners who have healthy riparian forests on their properties can enroll in the protection pathway, where they receive a lump sum or annual payments to keep their land in good condition over the length of the agreement. The PWP offers technical assistance to help with this work. Landowners can either sign an agreement that goes with the property (is recorded with Lane County) or one that is not recorded. Agreements that are recorded give landowners a larger, lump-sum payment up front. Agreements that are not recorded give landowners smaller payments on an annual basis. PWP partners will be responsible for helping landowners to maintain their properties in good condition through contracted invasive species removal work and possibly native planting work.

Option 2:Restoration Pathway

Landowners with properties that do not qualify for the protection pathway can enroll in the restoration pathway, where PWP partners help landowners to obtain funding to do restoration projects on their property. PWP staff still develops a management plan for the property, but funding is not guaranteed. Rather, PWP partners seek to match up funding opportunities with the landowner’s property and work commences once funding is secured.

How do I enroll in the Protection or Restoration pathways?

1) Contact PWP partners.
2) PWP field analysts conduct a quick site visit and obtain a signed access agreement for performing an assessment. (IS THIS A PROPERTY ASSESSMENT?)
3) PWP field analysts perform a riparian assessment on the property.
4) PWP field analysts put together an assessment report and score, and meet with landowner to discuss results.
5) If landowner agrees to move forward, PWP field analysts will work with the landowner to develop a management plan for the property.
6) Landowner signs an agreement for long-term protection and/or restoration of their property. The agreement is between the landowner and EWEB and is ideally 20 years in length.

Option 3: Water quality and Wildfire mitigation

The McKenzie Watershed Council or Upper Willamette Soil & Water Conservation District will contact you to schedule a property assessment to look at invasive vegetation, fuels accumulation, potential replanting needs, and erosion issues. You will need to sign an access agreement with EWEB in order to allow project partners to visit your property

Fire-damaged trees

EWEB and  Pure Water Partners (PWP) are offering free site assessments to identify hazard trees as part of an integrated approached to erosion control on private properties impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire.

Retaining fire-damaged trees that are likely to live will help mitigate for erosion, as well as preserve natural forest processes and critical habitat. However, trees impacted by fire can also be classified as hazards and in some cases should be removed to reduce the risk to life and property. 

As part of the site assessment, PWP can work with landowners to fell hazard trees that:

1. Are located within the riparian area or connected upland areas that are in danger of significant erosion, AND

2. Can be used for erosion control measures or create an immediate safety threat to workers implementing erosion control measures

Trees that are outside the identified erosion control areas will NOT be assessed through the Pure Water Partners program. Property owners should consult a licensed arborist to determine stand health and guide decisions to either remove or retain fire-damaged trees that are not addressed by PWP.

To sign up for a site assessment, please complete the online application. Within a few days of completing the application, you will receive an access agreement via email and will sign and submit electronically, giving Pure Water Partners permission to be on your property. McKenzie Watershed Council or Upper Willamette Soil & Water Conservation District will then contact you to schedule your site visit.

Option 4: Naturescaping Pathway

For landowners with a small amount of acreage within the PWP boundary and adjacent to a stream, the program offers a third option for participation referred to as Naturescaping. Within this pathway, landowners can sign an informal agreement in which they agree to apply naturescaping principles on their property over the length of the agreement (7 years). The PWP Program offers the following incentives under the naturescaping pathway:

  • Free naturescaping classes, which explain basic naturescaping concepts and how to apply these concepts on-the-ground;
  • Up to 2 hours of funding for an initial consultation with the McKenzie Watershed Council around developing a naturescaping plan.
  • Reimbursement for 50% of the cost to develop an implementation-ready naturescaping design for a landowner’s property, up to $250. The landowner can use the McKenzie Watershed Council or other qualified landscape designer to accomplish the naturescaping design.
  • Up to 2 hours of funding for the landowner to receive technical assistance from the McKenzie Watershed Council during or following implementation of the naturescaping design, if needed.
  • One-time access to free invasive removal or planting assistance using the Northwest Youth Corps (NYC) during the initial two years of the agreement, as funding allows. EWEB will coordinate the use of the NYC teams as part of its contract with NYC.

Landowners are responsible for implementing (or paying a contractor to implement) plantings on their properties but would not be subject to any detailed planting or maintenance requirements. By agreeing to this pathway, landowners are considered Pure Water Partners and would receive the same discounts on products and services from businesses (such as native plants and landscaping services) as other participants in the protection and restoration pathways.