Governor Kate Brown has declared July "Water Awareness Month." With 20 counties under emergency drought declarations and approximately 98 percent of the state experiencing drought, Governor Brown is directing all state agencies to assist the Oregon Water Resources Department in increasing awareness about Oregon's water resources challenges.

"I am asking all Oregonians to do their part to use water wisely," said Governor Brown. "Water is the foundation for local economies and ecosystems, and essential to the health and well-being of Oregonians. Drought is a slow moving disaster, adopting responsible water use practices now will help reduce the impact of drought for years to come."

The proclamation cites as causes for concern the lowest statewide snowpack level on record; the third warmest average temperature from January to May in the past 121 years; and below normal rainfall. The proclamation also recognizes some climate scientists' prediction that over the next 50 years Oregon is likely to lose most of its snowpack and become a rain dominated system.

NRCS Plant Materials Center Cover Crop Field Day

Save the Date!

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 9am to Noon
NRCS Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, OR
Tentative agenda includes:
● Cover crop species/variety selection and seed sources
● Slug control, including organic options
● AIrrigation management in a time of drought
● Demonstration of seeder calibration
● Visit to PMC summer cover crop demonstration plots (12 species)

Detailed agenda coming soon.

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP appreciated!
For more information and to RSVP, please contact:
Teresa Matteson

2015-2016 Budget

The District held their annual budget hearing on June 10, 2015. Larry Ojua, Executive Director for the District, presented the 2015-16 budget as approved May 20th by the District’s Budget Committee. Following the hearing, having heard no recommended changes, the board voted to approve the proposed 2015-2016 annual budget.   

Director’s Budget Message
2015-2016 Budget Detail Sheets

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

Applications are now being accepted for the District’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  This new USDA program focuses on restoration and protection of critical oak and prairie habitat in Yamhill and Polk counties. RCPP funds will be available for the next five years, with the first application deadline of June 19th

Details about our Project

Woodland Tour Provides Education to Yamhill County Students

450 Yamhill County fifth grade students visited the Cruickshank Woodland School for the 54th annual Woodland Tour. Dave Cruickshank had the forest trails cleared and ready for the six educational stations placed along the trail. The stations included:

● Fire Prevention and Safety presented by McMinnville Fire Department
● Forest Management presented by OSU Extension Forrester
● Outdoor Behavior presented by Yamhill County Sheriffs
● Plants & Wildlife presented by Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District & Miller Woods
● Forest Harvest & Products presented by Talk About Trees
● Soils & Watersheds presented by US Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service

Many thanks to the volunteers and instructors who donated their time and talents to provide valuable education in a beautiful, fun and hands on learning environment. And thank you to the Cruickshank family for providing and preparing the woodlands for this annual event each year!

Take Mom to Miller Woods for a fun hike this Mother’s Day.

She’ll be surrounded by wildlife “moms” and their babies! Be sure and bring your camera for the many photo opportunities.  You will see and experience spring flowers in bloom and new life so you’re sure to capture some Kodak moment. This photo, of a Northern Pygmy Owl sitting in her oak tree nest at Miller Woods, was taken by Chemeketa Student Laura Willoughby. 

Yamhill SWCD Participates in Slug Summit Hosted by OSU

Crop damage or loss from slugs and snails has become a growing concern throughout the Willamette Valley for many agricultural sectors. Growers representing various seed crops, Christmas tree and nursery industries as well as agricultural consultants and representatives from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, USDA-ARS, Natural Resource Conservation Service, various SWCDs and the Farm Bureau all gathered to the discuss current state of the problem and potential strategies to develop university and field based research solutions. The group shared experiences, barriers and unknowns that concern them and the OSU Crop and Soil Science researchers communicated the current level of knowledge on this topic.  The group “brain stormed” and prioritized future actions that the university could take to guide the agricultural industry in finding promising solutions.  The Summit was sponsored by OSU Crop and Soil Science Department.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program Awarded to Yamhill and Polk Soil & Water Conservation Districts and Partners

The soil and water conservation districts serving Polk and Yamhill counties will share a $2 million prairie restoration grant awarded through the US Department of Agriculture’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The funds will be used to reimburse landowners for restoring endangered upland oak habitat at various sites over the next five years.

District Works with Yamhill-Carlton Winegrowers Association to Host Vineyard Development Tour

Over 35 people joined the Yamhill-Carlton Winegrowers Association and the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District (District) to discuss trends in vineyard development and erosion control.  The group visited Yamhella Vineyard to observe and discuss erosion control measures they’ve  implemented, including cover cropping, mulching, contour seeding and installing coir logs.   A special thank you to Ken Johnston for hosting us at the vineyard and sharing your experience from this past season.  If you would like more information, contact the District at 503-472-6403 or We’re here to help!