The Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council is a locally organized, voluntary, non-regulatory group established to improve the conditions of our watershed. We aim to bring local property owners, residents, concerned citizens, and private land managers together with local, state, and federal land management agencies to form a common vision for the ecological and economic sustainability and livability of our watershed.

You will find watershed councils across the state of Oregon, all with different demographics, missions, and topography. But they all share the goal of bringing their communities together to help steward our waters and protect salmon habitat. The system of watershed councils in Oregon was created in 1995 with House Bill 3441 which called for the creation of local non-regulatory groups to help address a crisis in our waterways. Salmon populations were at an all time low and many of our waterways were below the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. Oregon decided that rather than utilizing a top-down regulatory approach, they would let communities decide what best fit their needs, and out of this were born watershed councils. 

Our work as a watershed council is guided by our volunteer Board of Directors who represent the diverse interests and perspectives found throughout our geography – local landowners, land managers, businesses, recreation enthusiasts, timber and environmental advocates. Together, these talented individuals direct the strategic vision of our programs for the benefit of our local communities.  

Our small yet passionate staff relies on a robust network of partners, community members and volunteers to design, implement and evaluate our programs. Below you can find our mission, land acknowledgment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion statement – all of which guide our work everyday.

Our Mission

We work with communities for a healthy Middle Fork Willamette watershed through environmental education and habitat restoration.

Our Land Acknowledgment

The area we know as the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed covers land and water that is honored and stewarded by the Winefelly, Molalla, Yoncalla, Tenino, and Klamath nations. The US Government forcefully removed them from this land following treaty negotiations between 1851-1855, culminating with the signing of the Willamette Valley Treaty in 1855.  Now, many descendants of these nations are citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, and Klamath Tribes and continue to make important contributions in their communities and across the land we now refer to as Oregon. This acknowledgement demonstrates our commitment to a process of dismantling ongoing colonialism. We strive to uplift Indigenous voices and honor Indigenous values and history through our evolving work in habitat restoration, youth education, and community engagement.

Our Statement on diversity, equity and inclusion

We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is essential to the success of the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council. We recognize that we are working within an inherited system built and founded on colonization and systemic racism. This system does not benefit everyone equally, so we are committed to doing the work of DEI every day. We strive to build relationships and understanding by connecting to communities, which include Indigenous peoples, People of Color, LGBTQ+, and different socio-economic groups. We believe that these relationships will build co-created values, beliefs, ideas, & leadership that will help the watershed & communities become more resilient and able to adapt to changing environments.