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In Fiscal Year 2020-2021, the Marion SWCD took on the ambitious task of working with the Oregon Department of Agriculture on a Strategic Implementation Area in the Howell Prairie Creek/ Pudding River Watershed. This initiative is funded by ODA to concentrate technical and financial resources into a specific geographic area to address agricultural water quality concerns.
The selected Strategic Implementation Area (SIA) includes 17,397 acres of the Howell Prairie Creek-Pudding River Watershed. The watershed is located 7 miles east of Salem and encompasses the Pudding River and 3 major tributaries: Howell Prairie Creek, Kraus Creek, and Walker Ditch. The SIA includes lands within the watershed upstream of the confluence with the Little Pudding River, including most of the town of Mt. Angel and a small sliver of Silverton.
For this project ODA has identified properties we may be able to provide resources to. A campaign is underway to reach these property owners and provide them with the resources they need to reach compliance with AG Water Quality area rules.
Part of this project involves a water quality monitoring plan. Working with local partners and other agencies such as DEQ and the ODFW we will submit a proposal to monitor for water quality parameters relative to the work we are doing in the watershed, such as sampling for turbidity to see if the best management practices we are implementing for erosion control are having a positive impact on water quality. This multi-year project runs through 2025.
Having roots in Marion County agriculture, I am excited to join Marion Soil and Water Conservation District as the Ag Conservation Planner. I grew up on a hobby-farm that has been in my family for over a century where we raised sheep and rabbits, and baled hay for ourselves and others. I look forward to helping you with your projects to keep Marion County an agricultural powerhouse long into the future!