Dedicated to the protection and restoration of       the ecosystems of the Umpqua Watershed and beyond through education, training, advocacy and ecologically sound stewardship.

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Umpqua Watersheds was first formed in 1986 and has been doing citizen monitoring of public forest projects since that time. This was done with volunteer “free-time” efforts until 1997. In 1995, Umpqua Watersheds became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With the help of W. Alton Jones Foundation and the Brainerd Foundation –– Umpqua Watersheds was able to employ a full time forest monitor.

The Umpqua Watersheds staff and volunteer Board of Directors have been actively involved in building the foundation of this grassroots organization for many years. Currently, the staff and board represent the organization’s mission in their everyday life, as well as officially in public agency and conservation partnerships.

The Conservation Program monioring work has resulted in the modification or halting of destructive logging and other projects in our watershed. The tactics that Umpqua Watersheds employs to reach our protection and restoration goals are: public comments, appeals, protests, litigation, education, campaigns, collaboration, negotiation, media, and strategic plan development.

The Community Outreach Program was developed in 1997 from ForestWater Alliance funds. Today we continue this valuable program from memberships, donations, event revenue and grant funds. The outreach program sponsored its first annual banquet in February 1997; opened its downtown office in May of 1997; published its first quarterly newsletter in December 1997; and designed, constructed and displayed its educational outreach booth for community activities in 1998.

The constant visibility of the organization and community awareness of the issues that Umpqua Watersheds is working on have been easy to measure since this program began. In 2005, the Outreach program founder retired and we hired a new staff person to fulfill the program’s activities. Volunteers continue to contribute hours and in-kind resources to fulfill support staff needs.

As of 2006, 600 hundred households support Umpqua Watersheds. Paid membership, both individual and business, has grown since 1996.

In 1999, Umpqua Watersheds hired an executive director to manage the rapid growth and development of the organization and its partnerships throughout the northwest and the nation. Umpqua Watersheds moved into a larger office in 2005 and celebrated its 10th anniversary banquet in 2006.

Umpqua Watersheds' growth has resulted in increased public input for forest and watershed management problems and solutions. This increased visibility has also produced a greater understanding within the community of what it means to be a conservationist. This is not to say that those in the public eye are without risk for speaking out. Threatening incidents are less common but still a concern. What it does demonstrate is that the brave vocal position of Umpqua Watersheds in the community gives others the avenue they need to speak out.

The pressures brought on by the timber industry to deforest this old growth region and to encroach into unprotected roadless areas have been significant. The decline of salmon, the Northern Spotted Owl and the Marbled Murrelet have been unprecedented. This climate has motivated Umpqua Watersheds to continue to take the next step required to reach for its goals of protection and restoration of watersheds in the Umpqua River basin and beyond. By the hard work of so many from the past, present and those to come in the future, UW is now a living organization with the ability to survive and benefit our region.

Umpqua Watersheds is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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