EMSWCD permanently protects 16-acre property near Gresham

An aerial view of restoration efforts along Johnson Creek on the property

Sixteen acres of property along Johnson Creek in east Multnomah County are now forever protected thanks to a conservation easement agreement between the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) and property owner Lou Foltz.

“Our partnerships with private landowners are critical to protecting our natural and farmland resources” said Carrie Sanneman, board chair for the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. “It is heartening to know that EMSCWD’s decades long partnership with the landowner has now been secured for perpetuity thanks to his generosity and foresight,” Sanneman noted.

The property is adjacent to two working farms owned and operated by the conservation district – Headwaters Farm and Mainstem Farm. Preventing development on this property helps protect the rural character of the area, allows for farming to continue into the future and conserves important habitat for native fish, wildlife and plants.

“I’m pleased that we are restoring a variety of flora on the property while also maintaining the ability to designate a portion of it for farming,” said landowner Louis Foltz. “I’ve been partnering with the conservation district for many years to ensure that this acreage is a healthy environment for fish and wildlife, while contributing to a clean water environment in Johnson Creek. This relationship will allow future landowners to sustain the habitat while simultaneously providing an option for some farming.” Read more

EMSWCD Director Elections this November

Notice is hereby given that on November 3rd, an election will be held for the purpose of electing board directors to the following positions for the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District:

  • Zone 1 – 4 year term
  • Zone 2 – 4 year term
  • At Large 1 – 4 year term
  • At Large 2 – 2 year term

Zone boundaries, eligibility requirements, and links to the required elections forms may be obtained by visiting our Board Eligibility and Elections page.

Election forms and information may be found on the ODA SWCD Elections page.

Each candidate must file a “Declaration of Candidacy” and a “Petition for Nomination Signature Sheet” with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Division. The filing deadline is 5:00 p.m. on August 25th, 2020.

EMSWCD featured in COLT “State of the Lands” report

cover image for COLT 2020 report

EMSWCD’s Headwaters Farm and Mainstem Farm were both featured in the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) “State of the Lands” 2020 report! The feature covers our Headwaters Incubator Program, which leases land and equipment to farmers launching their new farm businesses, and details how a graduate of the program is now farming on the adjacent Mainstem Farm, which was acquired by EMSWCD through its Working Farmland Protection Program.

There are also ten other features in the report detailing the work and successes of land trusts and other organizations working to protect vital natural lands in Oregon.

Read the COLT report here.

We’re hiring for a new Executive Director!

EMSWCD office

Please not the application period for this position ended on July 11th, 2020, and applications will now be reviewed.

EMSWCD is excited to announce the recruitment for our next Executive Director. The ideal candidate will have a collaborative leadership style with experience working directly with an elected board or governing board of directors and a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. They will be a relationship-builder, a strong facilitator, and an expert synthesizer of information.

EMSWCD seeks a candidate who is passionate about conservation work and has the skills to inspire and align the staff and board toward common vision, goals and strategies. They will be professionally committed and embrace differing perspectives from their own, in recognition and to counterbalance structural bias and historic marginalization. Ideally, they will have experience leading ongoing equity-based transformation. They will be regarded as a leader in the community and be able to work effectively across a wide variety of organizations and individuals – both inside and outside the civic sector.

The staff and board are passionate about the mission, well established programs, and potential of the organization. The new Executive Director will have strong experience leading staff, facilitating strategic programmatic change, and coalescing culture by building trust.

The new Executive Director will have excellent communications skills, HR/personnel management, a firm understanding of conservation and experience in budget oversight. This region is known for its unique laws and progressive values. The ideal candidate will be comfortable and effective working in this type of culture and environment.

  • Click here for further information on the Executive Director position
  • Click here for the full job description and to submit applications

    A message from EMSWCD in Solidarity

    Dear partners and friends,

    At EMSWCD, we stand in solidarity with the movement striving to hold law enforcement accountable, and with the protestors demanding nothing less than a just, equitable, and inclusive society.

    On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd died at the hands of police, an institution meant to protect him. He was unarmed. His murder is among the latest in a long pattern of brutality and discrimination towards Black members of our community – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and too many others. The loss of their lives is an overwhelming tragedy.

    At EMSWCD, our mission is to help people care for land and water. We cannot care for land and water without caring for people. Throughout American history, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have been forcibly removed from and denied access to land. They have experienced significantly greater impacts from contaminated water and soils, polluted air, flooding, fire, and the increasing effects of climate change. We can do better. Until everyone has equal access to a safe and healthy environment, dismantling racism must be central to our work.

    When we are not actively fighting against racism, we are perpetuating it with our silence and inaction. We must be anti-racist. EMSWCD is committed to using our power and privilege to stand with the Black community and help dismantle the racist system. We are committed to listening, learning, and speaking out against injustice. We will make mistakes. We will build practices to check our privilege, but we know it may still sometimes obscure our view of what is right and urgent.

    We ask you to hold us accountable and we ask you to join us in this work.

    Stay safe. Take care of yourself. May you find the highest and best use of your voice, and be sustained on this long journey by love, hope, healing, and connection.

    Carrie Sanneman
    Board of Directors, Chair
    East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

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