May 4, 2015 – weekly land trust news

Hi folks,

First of all, three quick OWEB-related items:

1) OWEB Focused Investments: At their April 29th meeting, the OWEB Board approved a set of Focused Investment Partnership Priorities. The April 2015 staff report contains information about these priorities. Based on Board feedback at the meeting, staff are making minor refinements to the draft priorities, which will be posted online by May 8.

The Focused Investment Partnership Priorities adopted by the Board for the 2015-2017 biennium are:

  • Sagebrush/Sage-steppe Habitat
  • Oregon Closed Lakes Basin Wetland Habitats
  • Dry-Type Forest Habitat
  • Oak Woodland and Prairie Habitat
  • Coho Habitat and Populations along the Oregon Coast
  • Aquatic Habitat for Native Fish Species
  • Coastal Estuaries in Oregon

Rapidly approaching deadline.  Partnerships intending to apply for implementation funding are required to complete a pre-application consultation with OWEB staff by May 20, 2015.  Click here for information about setting up a consultation. Additional information is available online.

2) OWEB Relocation policy: At their July 2014 last year, the OWEB Board adopted a policy requiring any relocation of a displaced person to be addressed by an organization before it submits a land acquisition grant application to OWEB. Since then, COLT and a number individual land trusts have spoken with OWEB leadership a number of times about this policy, as it could potentially impose significant costs on a grantee before they could apply to OWEB for funding either a fee acquisition or easement.

Fortunately, at this past board meeting in April, the OWEB Board rescinded the relocation policy. Since last fall, information gathered by OWEB board, staff, and the Department of Justice indicated that the Board’s policy on relocation could indeed have potentially resulted in applicants addressing legal requirements that were best addressed by, and most directly applicable to, OWEB — not the applicant.

We are grateful for OWEB staff for seeing this matter through to a positive resolution. You can read the Director’s staff report on the issue here.

3) OWEB-funded acquisition grants at their April meeting:

We were happy to see the following applications receive OWEB funding at the recent board meeting:

  • Kilchis Wetlands (The Nature Conservancy)
  • Tillamook Head-Boneyard (North Coast Land Conservancy)
  • Lower Fivemile Creek (McKenzie River Trust)
  • Scholfield Creek (McKenzie River Trust)
  • Mill Creek Ridge-Paintbrush Meadows (Columbia Land Trust)

And now on to the regularly scheduled news items from this week…


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