Benton County, Oregon

Making Benton County a Better Place to Live

http://www.co.benton.or.us/cd/riparian/index.php?
Printed on Apr 15, 2014 @ 9:10 PM

Benton County Voluntary Program for Riparian Resources

Welcome to the Benton County Voluntary Program for Riparian Resources Website

 

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Supporting and Informing Actions to Conserve a Valuable Resource and Help Avoid Regulations

 

Detailed Riparian SchematicOregon Wetlands

Updated, July 2013

What is the Benton County Voluntary Program for Riparian Resources ?

Throughout Benton County there are hundreds of stream miles and wetlands.  Numerous high quality streams, riparian corridors and wetlands within the County are still around because of residents' and visitors' values for planning and management of our shared water resources.  Since 2009, Benton County has worked to develop a program to help keep the natural functions of these vital areas while working to meet local Comprehensive Plan Goals for these natural resources. 

See Video 

Looking for resources to plan, conserve or restore
riparian area and wetlands?

Riparian and Wetlands Project Updates

Voluntary Program for Riparian Resources Approved: The Benton County Board of Commissioners approved implementation of the 'Voluntary Program for Riparian Resources'. The program will begin providing education and outreach for streamside landowners, in addition to monitoring riparian vegetation cover.

Voluntary Program Update (4/25/13):  Review the Benton County Riparian Corridors Monitoring Protocol Outline (DRAFT)

Voluntary Program Update (2/27/13):  Review the February Community, and Stakeholder Input Update and proposed "Benton County Voluntary Program for Riparian Corridors" Outreach and Education. 

Voluntary Program Update (1/9/13):  Summary of Non-Regulatory Riparian and Wetlands Program for the Willamette Basin portion of Benton County ; Final program methodology forthcoming with assurance letter provided by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Review Inventory Report: Benton County Riparian and Wetlands Inventory Report (5/8/11) (PDF)

The first Draft Benton County Riparian and Wetlands Inventory Report was released for public review on 12/17/10.  Public comments were provided by county landowners and residents, Riparian and Wetland Advisory Group participants, State/local government, and many others.

Why are Riparian and Wetland Areas Important to Residents of Benton County?

Riparian areas can improve property values, stabilize eroding banks, enhance fish and many other wildlife habitat, improve water quality by filtering runoff/contaminants, and can protect against flood damage of property.

Wetland areas can improve property values, increases water quality, store flood water, provide fish and wildlife habitat – many species rely on remaining wetlands for survival.

Did you know: From 2004-2007 Benton County residents engaged in the Comprehensive Plan development with County Staff, Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners adopted a policy to undertake a “Goal 5 process and adopt a protection program for significant riparian areas within 18 months of adoption of the plan amendments.” Starting in 2009, county staff began working to develop a program to meet Comprehensive Plan Goals and achieve state water quality requirements.

What are the Goals of this Project?

What are the Riparian and Wetlands Project Goal and Outcomes?

Riparian and Wetlands Advisory Group (RWAG) (diverse landowners, scientists, residents, and County staff)

Goal: Create a plan to support and improve natural function of streams, riparian areas and wetlands within the unincorporated areas of Benton County, to comply with State planning rules and Benton County's Comprehensive Plan.

1. Outreach and incentives to gain project involvement from local residents and to protect and enhance riparian and wetland areas.

2. Create a Benton County Riparian and Wetland Inventory and update the Benton County Riparian and Wetlands Maps to inform program development. 

3. Develop a Regulatory, Voluntary, or Alternative program for Planning Commission review and recommendation to the Board of Commissioners for improving and maintaining natural functions of riparian and wetland resources (updated goal 2012-2013).

Latest News

*  The Benton County Board of Commissioners approved implementation of the 'Voluntary Program for Riparian Resources' at the July 16th public meeting.  The voluntary program will work to provide education and outreach to streamside landowners and others, in addition to monitoring riparian and wetland resources

*  Benton County and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Willamette Basin water quality division staff have developed a non-regulatory riparian program option and will be finalized by January 2013.  For more information contact Project Coordinator, Adam Stebbins; (541) 766-6085.

* Oregon Department of Agriculture released a report that details the 19-year history of the Agricultural Water Quality Program, its accomplishments, its strengths, and its current day challenges, setting the stage for a strategy aimed towards the future. From the report: "Agricultural load allocations in temperature TMDLs will be achieved when streamside vegetation conditions meet the site capability or provide water quality protection consistent with site-capable vegetation."

*  Project staff is working to develop a Voluntary Stream and Riparian Corridor Protection Program that includes monitoring riparian vegetation changes over the next five years while providing outreach and education to riparian corridor landowners. Program development is being formally reviewed by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Willamette Basin water quality division staff to ensure the compliance with State and Federal water quality regulations.

* Update Presentation provided for Soap Creek for area residents (see PDF of presentation slides); provided guest presentation to Americans for Prosperity, local residents coordinated event.

* The Alsea Basin portion of Benton County will NOT be included in any current project work.  Due to the ongoing Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Total Maximum Daily Load development for the Mid-Coast Basins (including Alsea), Benton County has chosen to delay any program that would apply to the Alsea Basin.