Priority Areas for Resource Concern Investment
Currently, Harney SWCD Priority Areas for Resource Concern Investment include: Range Health, Forest Health, Ecosystem Health, Ag Water Quality Management, and Ag Energy. Our individually staffed programs offer assistance to private landowners of Harney County who wish to voluntarily conserve and/or restore natural resources on their land by providing:
- Technical expertise – land management and conservation practices, soil and water
information, invasive vegetation control, improvements to wildlife habitat and water
quality, and fish habitat and population information.
- Funding opportunities – grants, programs, and coordinated efforts with other agencies
are available to assist with habitat restoration and other natural resource related projects.
Goals & Objectives
Goal 1: Sustain and enhance current programs that provide technical and financial
assistance to property owners, partners, operators and residents.
- Maintain current level of service of existing programs and adapt them to current needs.
Current Initiatives include:
- Greater Harney Basing Ag Water Quality Management Program
- Harney County Cooperative Weed Management Program (HCCWMA)
- Harney County Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurance (CCAA) for Greater sage grouse
- Ag Energy Rebate Program in partnership with Harney Electric Cooperative (HEC) Education and Outreach Activities
- Expand current existing program capacity as opportunities become available
Goal 2: Develop and maintain the political and organizational capacity to fully exercise Harney SWCD statutory and organizational responsibilities, while identifying areas to diversify funding opportunities.
- Identify how to accommodate growth within the footprint of the USDA Service Center
- Acquire the needed equipment to run programs efficiently and successfully
- Provide Harney SWCD vehicles for applicable staff
- Secure additional financial stability through grants, contracts, fundraisers, donations,
bequests, endowments, trust funds, gifts, and/or a tax rate
Goal 3: Continue to administer Harney SWCD operations to be legally accountable and fiscally responsible.
- Implement the Board-approved Harney SWCD planning process
- Produce and maintain the annual work plan
- Develop and approve the Harney SWCD annual operating budget
- Complete financial audit per Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 568, Section 297.425
- Review the Business Plan and update as necessary
- Conduct monthly staff, committee, and board meetings
- Provide orientation, development, and training for staff
- Develop needed administrative policies and process
- Recruit Board members as needed
- Hold an Annual Meeting
- Maintain a working relationship with agricultural organizations, watershed councils, cities, county, state, and federal entities
- Perform personnel, fiscal, and contract management, according to the Local Contract Review Board (LCRB) approved rules
Goal 4: Lead and support landowner, land user, local community, and government agency efforts to collectively identify natural resource issues of concern, review alternative solutions to address these issues, and undertake local efforts to resolve priority issues using voluntary mechanisms. (As workload and funding allows)
- Promote voluntary conservation efforts versus regulatory approaches to conservation
- Participate in Harney County Restoration Collaborative (Forest Health)
- Participate in Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative (Ag Water Quality Management &Ecosystem Health)
- Participate in local, state, and region groundwater discussions to develop an understanding of the necessary resources to ensure water availability to meet program goals (Ag Energy)
- Coordinate with USDA-ARS on landscape level data collection to ensure monitoring and inventory efficiencies (Range Health & Ecosystem Health)
Goal 5: Promote efforts to enhance local community understanding of ecological systems, the social systems directly dependent upon these natural systems, and the political and organization systems developed for management of natural resources within Harney County.
- Provide producer technical trainings and outreach meetings throughout the county that incorporates components of Goal #5
Goal 6: Promote individual, local, regional, state, tribal and national planning efforts that recognize, and manage for, the interconnected elements of natural systems and seek management approaches for the natural resources within the Harney SWCD service area. These efforts are critical to the long-term sustainability of family ranch operations.
- Participate as a Cooperating Agency, as necessary to ensure landscape planning efforts include private landowners interests
- Acquire the needed equipment to run programs effici ently and successfully
- Provide Harney SWCD vehicles for applicable staff
- Secure additional financial stability through grants, contracts, fundraisers, donations, bequests, endowments, trust funds, gifts, and/or a tax rate
Goal 7: Lead the voluntary implementation of conservation efforts that seek to simultaneously protect and enhance the long-term productivity of the Harney SWCD’s natural resource base while providing for the long-term natural resource conservation objectives of landowners and land users, protecting the established rights of individual landowners and land users, strengthening the long-term health of local economies, and protecting the long-term public interest of our county.
- Conduct assessments and formulation action and conservation planning
- Form and maintain partnerships with various agencies, tribes, conservation organizations and foundations
- Set strategic priority work areas
- Implement projects and practices
- Continue monitoring projects