Office Location:
650 Hawthorne Ave SE, Ste # 130
Salem, OR 97301-5894


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Projects & Activities

Projects Activities
Agricultural Water Quality Management Plans Education Programs
Molalla-Pudding Subbasin Plan Envirothon volunteer opportunity!
Conservation Planning Landowner Assistance
Flow Monitoring Program Planning with Landowners
Water Quality Monitoring  volunteer opportunity! Photo Album
Weather Stations Native Plant & Tree Sale  volunteer opportunity!
Pudding Pesticide Stewardship
Manure Exchange Program
Publications Monthly Meetings
Annual Reports Serve as a Director or Associate volunteer opportunity!
Business Plan Statesman Journal article featuring MSWCD
Meeting Minutes Watershed Councils
Pudding Pesticide Stewardship News
Success Story
Water Quality Monitoring Report

Check out our on-line 
photo album

Flow Monitoring Program

The Marion SWCD recognized a need to provide rural landowners with flow monitoring in on small streams in Marion County. Many of these streams had either not been monitored for water velocity or stage or had been discontinued by USGS or only internally monitored by Oregon Water Resources Department. The District worked for two years to establish baseline rating curves (water velocity vs. stage relationships) at five different locations. A rating table or curve is a relationship between stage (or water level) and the discharge (water velocity x area in cubic feet/second) at a cross section of the river. A number of streamflow measurements are used to make a rating curve. Because the Marion SWCD does not have the capability of safely measuring streamflow at high flows, the upper limits of these rating curves to their breaking point at flood stage where the water level would be slower to rise have not yet been established for these locations.

To view the baseline rating curves that the district has developed please click on the desired creek/river:  Abiqua Creek, Butte Creek, Drift Creek, Pudding River at Selah Springs, and Silver Creek.  These baseline rating curves are meant to be for educational/demonstrational use only.  The data shown is not to be used in any legal reference. 

We have now installed permanent continuous flow and temperature monitoring devices at these locations. Users can access our online sensors by linking to and using username "marion" and password "guest." Users can then make graphs or download data for any calendar period they choose starting in October 2006. Rating curves for each site will be completed this winter and posted on this site. This information has been useful as Oregon DEQ has been working to establish temperature parameters for the Pudding River Basin Total Maximum Daily Loads, and we hope it proves a useful source of information to other users, especially during drought or flood conditions. The City of Silverton has partnered with us to install the site on Silver Creek to add to their monitoring needs for that stream. Marion County Public Works also monitors stage heights automatically at several different locations in Marion County, and other links to local gage sites can be found on our Resources page.

Conducting stream cross-section measurements Installing new flow monitoring stations Automatic flow station close-up

Education Programs 
The Marion SWCD has many education and outreach programs that it offers within the District.  Our clients include urban and rural residents of the District, property owners, students, teachers, farmers, and natural resources agency staff.   We offer variety of workshops and outreach events based on the current season and/or local concerns.  Throughout the year, we also partner with other local agencies and groups to offer programs that meet the needs of our constituents.  Here is an overview of our annual education event calendar:
January - We coordinate a Native Plant Workshop (prior to Native Plant Sale in February)
March - May - We coordinate a Conservation Poster Contest for elementary school students
April - We host information booth at Earth Day at the Oregon Garden
April - We host information booth at Oregon Ag Fest
May - Envirothon - We coordinate this statewide natural resources competition for high school students
May - Down by the Riverside - We assist with this education event for local elementary students
July - We display Conservation Posters at the Marion County Fair for voting; host information booth
July - Canon Envirothon - We attend the North American natural resources competition for high school students
August - We provide conservation presentations at the Oregon State Fair
Fall/Winter - We host local workshops, tours, and lectures
If you would like more information about any of our education programs, please call the District office at 503-391-9927 or e-mail  The best way to find out about upcoming events is to have your name added to the mailing list for our quarterly newsletter, Conservation Insider.  We also do a few special mailings a year to announce events.  Contact us today to have your name added. 

Agricultural Water Quality Management Plans
The Agricultural Water Quality Management Program administered by the Oregon Department of Agriculture's (ODA) Natural Resources Division, is responsible for addressing water pollution associated with agricultural lands and activities. The Agricultural Water Quality Management Program has evolved in response to requirements under various state and federal laws, such as the Clean Water Act. 

In 1993, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1010 or the Agricultural Water Quality Management Act, which provides for ODA to be the lead state agency working with agriculture to address water pollution. Through the Agricultural Water Quality Management Act (AgWQM Act), ODA is authorized to develop and carry out a water quality management plan for any agricultural or rural lands area whenever a water quality management plan is required by state or federal law. 

In 1995, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 502 (ORS 561.191) which stipulates that ODA "shall develop and implement any program or rules that directly regulate farming practices that are for the purpose of protecting water quality and that are applicable to areas of the state designated as exclusive farm use zones or other agricultural lands." The implications of this legislation are that in Oregon, ODA is the agency solely responsible for regulating agricultural activities that affect water quality.

The AgWQM Act directs ODA to work with farmers and ranchers to develop Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Plans (AgWQM Area Plans) for watersheds. Basically, it provides a framework for ODA to develop watershed based plans which identify measures and strategies necessary for landowners to prevent and control water pollution resulting from agricultural activities. The AgWQM Act watershed planning process is begun by ODA once water quality issues in a watershed have been identified and a watershed plan is required by state or federal law. One example of such a "trigger" for the planning process is a listing under section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act.

ODA, in consultation with other state agencies, determines priority watersheds for development of AgWQM Area Plans. Through its locally based planners, ODA assembles a Local Advisory Committee consisting of stakeholders residing in the watershed. The committee is responsible for developing a draft action plan to address water quality issues arising from agricultural activities and soil erosion on rural lands. Under the AgWQM Area Plan, local operators will be asked to deal with identified problems such as soil erosion, crop nutrient loss from fields, or degraded streamside areas. The AgWQM Act provides flexibility so that landowners in each watershed are able to develop their own approaches to local problems. Farmers and ranchers are allowed to choose their own ways of meeting established water quality goals. ODA does not want to "sit in the tractor seat" with Oregon farmers and ranchers, but rather to give them an opportunity to manage their own business as long as they are following their local AgWQM Area Plan to help meet watershed goals and objectives.  However, those who are asked to deal with a problem but continually refuse to do so could be assessed a civil penalty.

Benefits of the Agricultural Water Quality Management Act include:

  •  providing a mechanism for agriculture to address water quality issues in watersheds identified as water quality limited
  •  maintaining flexibility for landowners to address site specific issues to meet overall water quality goals 
  •  promoting coordinated watershed planning and avoids "one size fits all" approaches
  •  helping landowners and others understand the cumulative effects and benefits of individual actions
  •  providing a forum to summarize and present the actions being taken by agriculture to overcome water quality problems resulting from agricultural activities.
  • Click to see a map of the state showing all of the planned and proposed basins.  Information on this section was obtained from the Natural Resources Division of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  You can see their website for more information.

    Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie- 
    North Santiam Subbasin Plan


    The Agricultural Water Quality Management (AgWQM) Area Plan provides guidance for addressing agricultural water quality issues in the Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie-North Santiam Subbasins.  The purpose of the plan is to identify strategies to reduce water pollution from agricultural lands through a combination of education programs, suggested land treatments, management activities, and monitoring. 

    The plan was created in response to Senate Bill 1010, which requires the reduction of pollution from agricultural sources.  It was developed by a Local Advisory Committee (LAC) consisting of affected landowners residing within the basin, with assistance from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District.   The plan applies to all lands, regardless of size, within the Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie-North Santiam Subbasins that are outside the urban growth boundaries and also not covered by Forest Practices Act.

    The mission of this plan is to produce sound agriculture conservation within a framework of economic profitability and agricultural viability.  The plan is designed to achieve chemical, physical, and biological water quality standards as outlined in the Clean Water Act.

    The LAC committee used the following guiding principles in the development of this plan:

  • Control pollution as close to the source as possible.
  • Base actions on scientifically based conservation planning.
  • Promote a variety of conservation practices that allows individual landowners the flexibility to address their situations on their own land.
  • Recognize the need for producers to maintain agricultural profitability.
  • Protect beneficial uses of water in the Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie-North Santiam Subbasins.
    The AgWQM Area Plan encourages producers to develop Voluntary Conservation Plans, which outline management strategies for addressing pollution.  Voluntary Conservation Plans are developed by the landowner, with assistance from the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) who works cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resource Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency, and OSU Extension Service.

    While the emphasis of the plan is on voluntary action by landowners or occupiers to control the factors affecting water quality in the Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie-North Santiam Subbasins, the Prevention and Control Measures are outlined as a set of minimum standards that must be met on all rural lands.  Landowners or occupiers who fail to address these Prevention and Control Measures with or without an individual conservation plan may be subject to the enforcement authority of the Oregon Department of Agriculture under administrative rules for the Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie-North Santiam Subbasins and Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) 603-095-1900 through 603-095-1980.

    Prevention and control measures (PCMs) provide guidance to help landowners and operators reduce water pollution from all agricultural and rural lands.  The following table summarizes the prevention and control measures that must be met on all agricultural or rural land, indicators of non-compliance, and the management practices that will address the problems.
    Minimum standards 
    to meet 
    Clear indicators 
    of non-compliance
    Example best management practices
    1 Chemigated Irrigation Water Prevent chemigation runoff from entering state waters
  • Visible runoff into water or evidence of runoff
  • Riparian buffers
  • Waste storage structures
  • Filter strips
  • 2 Surface Drainage 
    & Irrigation Ditches
    Prevent movement of pollutants or runoff into state waters 
  • Visible soil erosion from excessive channel slope
  • Streambank stabilization
  • Grassed waterways
  • 3 Erosion Prevention 
    & Sediment Control
    Soil erosion rate should be below 5T/Ac/yr 
  • Sediment accumulation in waterways
  • Visible rills or gullies
  • Muddy runoff
  • Cover crops
  • Filter strips
  • Buffer areas
  • Residue management
  • 4 Irrigation
    No irrigation runoff from fields into state waters
  • Visible irrigation runoff into water or evidence of runoff
  • Filter strips and buffers 
  • Integrated water management
  • Equipment calibration & maintenance
  • 5 Waste 
    Management - Livestock  & Other
    Prevent movement of livestock waste or runoff into state waters
  • Runoff from livestock facilities into water
  • Waste accumulation in a vulnerable area
  • Vegetative buffer areas
  • Seasonal grazing
  • Fencing 
  • Off-stream watering 
  • 6 Nutrient
    Prevent crop nutrient applications that have adverse impacts on state waters
  • Nutrients applied to water
  • Visible trail of compost, ash, or biosolids to water
  • Use current fertilizer guides 
  • Use modern practices
  • Maintain & calibrate equipment
  • 7 Pesticide 
    Use all pesticides according to label requirements
  • Pesticide applied to open water
  • Contamination of water source
  • Improper disposal of containers
  • Follow label & calibrate sprayer
  • Vegetative buffer strips
  • Leakproof storage pad
  • Integrated pest management
  • 8 Riparian 
    Management Areas
    Streamside areas will be managed to allow establishment and growth of riparian vegetation appropriate to site; vegetation must be sufficient to provide shade and protect streambanks during 25-yr flood events
  • Active stream bank erosion due to destruction of vegetation
  • Riparian buffer zones
  • Protect streambanks
  • Filter strips
  • Forest buffers
  • Exclusion zones or limited use areas
  • 9 Roads & 
    Staging Areas 
    Roads shall be constructed and maintained to prevent sediment and/or contaminants from entering state waters
  • Surface runoff carrying contaminants into state waters 
  • Pesticide or oil cans stored outdoors
  • Appropriate design & construction 
  • Roadside seeding & critical area vegetation
  • Water bars
  • Grading roads
  • Heavy Use Protection
  • For additional information about the Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie-North Santiam Subbasins Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Plan, please call the Marion SWCD at (503) 391-9927.  For a complete copy of the plan, stop by the SWCD office located at 3867 Wolverine St NE, Building F, Suite 16 in Salem.   The plan may also be downloaded from the Oregon Department of Agriculture's website

    Conservation Planning
    Marion SWCD along with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides conservation planning and technical assistance to clients (individuals, groups, and units of government). These clients develop and implement conservation plans to protect, conserve, and enhance natural resources (soil, water, air, plants, and animals) within their related social and economic interests.

    Conservation planning is a natural resource problem-solving and management process. The process integrates ecological (natural resource), economic, and social considerations to meet private and public needs. This approach, which emphasizes identifying desired future conditions, improves natural resource management, minimizes conflict, and addresses problems and opportunities.

    The success of conservation planning and implementation depends upon the voluntary participation of clients. The planning process used by Marion SWCD and NRCS is based on the premise that clients will make and implement sound decisions if they understand their resources, natural resource problems and opportunities, and the effects of their decisions.

    Conservation planning helps clients, conservationists, and others view the environment as a living system of which humans are an integral part. It enables clients and planners to analyze and work with complex natural processes in definable and measurable terms.  The objective in conservation planning is the sound use and management of soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources to prevent their degradation and ensure their sustained use and productivity while also considering related human social and economic needs.

    Please stop by or call our office (503-391-9927) if you are interested in learning more about conservation planning on your land.  For more detailed information on the conservation planning process, please see our Conservation Planning page.

                        Pudding River Water Quality 
    Monitoring Program

    Quality Assurance Project Plan Summary
    Developed in 2002


    Marion County, the Pudding River Watershed Council and the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) formed a partnership to conduct a water quality monitoring program in the Pudding River watershed.  The program was established to comply with the Federal Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.  It also provides a means for residents to learn about their watershed, take a more active role in data collection and to become more informed about future decision-making and restoration efforts.  The SWCD has established a long-term water monitoring program to be based on the Agricultural Water Quality Management Plan (AgWQMP) for the Molalla-Pudding-French Prairie, and North Santiam River Basins (Senate Bill 1010).  It is the intent of the SWCD to determine the baseline conditions and identify trends in water quality.  You may view the district's Stormwater Graphs to better compare the various testing stations' data.

    The Pudding River Watershed is located in the Mid Willamette Valley, draining the Western Cascade foothills.  The River is 62 miles long and drains 480 square miles of central Marion County and southern Clackamas County.  The headwaters for the main stem are in the low elevation of the Waldo Hills, with some of the tributaries originating at higher elevations of the Cascade Range.  These tributaries include Butte, Abiqua and Silver Creeks.  The headwaters of these creeks are generally heavily forested with Douglas fir, red alder, Western red cedar and Western hemlock.  The timber and headwaters are owned by timber companies, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Private and state timber land is managed in compliance with the Oregon Forest Practices Act, while the BLM manages land under its jurisdiction according to the Northwest Forest Management Plan.  ODF has instituted a Forest Practices Monitoring Program to evaluate forest practices on private land and coordinate ODF, USFS and BLM research and monitoring activities.  The remainder of the basin is in mostly agricultural use, although the cities of Aurora, Donald, Hubbard, Woodburn, Mt. Angel, Silverton, the community of Brooks and the eastern edge of Salem are also located in the watershed. 

    The Pudding River and its tributaries are potential habitat for numerous fish species.  The native fish species include: Winter steelhead salmon, Spring chinook, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, Oregon chub, Pacific lamprey, speckled dace, redside shiner, and assorted sculpins.  The non-native species include: largemouth bass, carp, bullhead catfish, bluegill, and crappie.  The Oregon chub is listed as Endangered, however, research by Paul Scheerer at Oregon State University ( did not find any chub in the Pudding River or its tributaries.  The Pudding River, Abiqua Creek and Silver Creek provide winter steelhead and Chinook salmon habitat (both listed as Threatened).  While coastal cutthroat trout have been listed as Threatened, the resident cutthroat found in the Pudding River are not.  It should also be noted that the Pacific lamprey has been listed as a species of concern. 

    Project Objectives and Goals

    There is considerable interest in water quality monitoring in the Pudding River watershed by the public, especially those who have served on the Local Advisory committee for the AgWQMP and the Pudding River Watershed Council.  The monitoring project is also a priority for local government agencies including Marion County and MSWCD.  Several short-term monitoring projects have occurred in the watershed, but many gaps and questions still remain as to the actual health and problems that are associated with land use activities in the area.  The questions to be answered as a result of this project are: Which tributaries (establish a ranking order) contribute quality limiting parameters to the Pudding River?  Is there a difference in water quality upstream and downstream from different land uses?  What or where are the impacts that cause the listed streams to be on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) state list for water quality limited bodies, the 303(d) list?  As a result the goals for this project are as follows:

    • Watershed Assessment and Baseline Data Collection: Collect data on water quality and quantity to supplement existing data and fill in gaps where no regular monitoring is occurring.  The data is needed to characterize current conditions, compare results with studies from the recent past, and to establish a baseline for the watershed in relation to, and for use in future projects or management of water quality.
    • Rank Tributaries: Results from the monitoring project will be used to characterize the loads that the different tributaries are contributing to the main stem river, and identify any needs for more specialized studies. 
    • Address Point Source Pollution: Determine if a significant difference exists upstream and downstream of point sources.  Also compare measurements in stream segments that drain predominantly different land uses. 
    • Education:  The program will help educate local school children through after-school programs, and also watershed residents about biological, physical, and chemical water quality monitoring techniques. These parameters are key components to understanding the issues concerning the health of the watershed.  Several reports and workshops will be designed to help with the outreach programs.  The main target area for the Marion SWCD will be with small acreage landowners concerning agricultural practices.  These landowners have been a targeted group for education on water quality programs by the Local Advisory Committee for the AgWQMP.  Marion County education and outreach efforts will be directed to property owners and all others who live and/or work in the watershed and concern non-agricultural activities that may affect water quality.  The Watershed council will direct its efforts towards all interested groups within the study area.
    • Develop Water Quality Plans: The project will collect data to support the implementation of the goals set up by the AgWQMP.  The data will also be used to support the development of the DEQ Total Maximum Daily Loads, and help to address/clarify the issues that cause the listing of streams in the study area that are on the states 303(d) listing.  The implementation of these plans will be accomplished with conservation plans developed with individual property owners. 
    • Assess Effectiveness of Existing Land Use Regulations in Protecting Water Quality: Data will be collected to determine how different land use activities contribute to water quality and watershed health and how effective existing land use regulations and Best Management Practices are in reducing impacts of land use activities on water quality.
    Project Description

    This project is an ongoing, long-term monitoring program.  The first phase ran from May 2002 through May 2003.  After that the project has been evaluated and refocused to different areas or types of sampling.  It is understood that in order to accomplish a program for establishing baseline conditions, a study time line would be in the realm of 3-5 years.

    Monthly surface water measurements of temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity and turbidity have been collected at eleven sites within the watershed.  Other sites in the project include testing by the City of Silverton at their wastewater treatment plant and the intake at the drinking water treatment plant.  The Oregon Garden also monitors water quality at the outflow of their detention ponds (which receive water from the City of Silverton’s wastewater treatment plant).  Additional observations that are documented during each site visit include recent rainfall, weather, water color, changes to vegetation, wildlife and recent events in the watershed that may influence water quality at that site.  E. coli will be sampled for on a quarterly basis (spring, summer, fall, winter).  There are five sampling periods each quarter, with some of these quarters including all five samplings within a 30-day period.  This allows the monitoring team to determine whether streams meet the 30-day log mean average criteria set by the State of Oregon.  Continuous temperature monitoring is also be conducted at all of the baseline sites.  Timing for the continuous data collection will be from June through September on a yearly basis.

    All procedures for determining water quality will follow the DEQ/OWEB protocols as described in the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds, Water Quality Monitoring Technical Guidebook.  All protocols will also cross-reference the EPA volunteer monitor’s guide to quality assurance project plans.  The following table summarizes the sampling frequency, responsible data collector, and method of analysis for each parameter.

    # of Sites
    Sampling Frequency
    Data Collection Responsibility 
    Fourteen and
    Monthly and Continuous
    Monitoring Team
    Conductivity Meter/
    Thermometer dataloggers
    Monitoring team
    Portable field meter 
    Monitoring team 
    Portable field meter 
    Dissolved Oxygen 
    Monitoring team
    Winkler titration kit
    Monitoring team
    Portable field meter
    Being Developed
    Monthly or continuous
    Marion SWCD
    Flow meter
    E. coli 
    5 times/qtr.
    Monitoring team
    Colilert Quanti-Tray
    The locations for the baseline monitoring sites are shown in the following table. 
    Site name 
    Predominant Upstream Land Use
    Butte Creek 1
    Hwy 211
    Mixture: rural residential, agriculture, forestry
    Butte Creek 2
    Butte Creek Rd.
    Mixture: agriculture, forestry
    Little Pudding River 1
    Rambler Dr. Bridge
    Mixture: rural residential, agriculture, urban residential
    Zollner Creek 1
    Monitor-Mckee Rd.
    Mixture: rural residential, agriculture
    Abiqua Creek 1
    Gallon House Rd. Bridge
    Mixture: rural residential agriculture, forestry
    Abiqua Creek 2
    Hwy 213
    Mixture: rural residential agriculture forestry
    Abiqua Creek 3
    City of Silverton drinking water treatment plant intake
    Silver Creek 1
    City of Silverton wastewater treatment plant (downstream)
    Mixture: rural residential, agriculture, forestry
    Silver Creek 2
    Silverton Municipal Reservoir
    Mixture: rural residential agriculture forestry
    Silver Creek 3
    Silver Falls State Park 
    Hwy 214
    Mixture: state park, forestry
    Brush Creek 1
    Oregon Garden
    Mixture: rural residential, agriculture, forestry
    Pudding River 1
    Hazelgreen Rd.
    Mixture: rural residential, agriculture
    Pudding River 2
    Selah Springs Rd.
    Mixture: rural residential, agriculture
    Pudding River 3
    Upper Fork at Cascade Hwy
    Methods and Materials

    The baseline water quality monitoring is being conducted using the standard protocols described in the DEQ Water Quality Monitoring Guidebook for: stream temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and E. coli. 

    Project Oversight and Reporting

    The Marion SWCD and county staff will make up the oversight committee responsible for reviewing the entire monitoring project on a quarterly to bi-annual basis.  The oversight committee also receives guidance and advice from state agencies.  The oversight committee trains all new volunteers before any monitoring activities are done, and schedule refresher training sessions as needed.  All field activities may be reviewed by state agency QA staff (DEQ) at the request of the monitoring team.  The QA officer performs data quality audits once a year and any/all identified procedural problems will be corrected based on the recommendations by the QA officer.  Quarterly presentations of results will be given at Watershed Council meetings and other venues within the watershed to interested community groups. The reports will include results, analysis and interpretation as will as pertinent field observations and QA/QC assessments.

    Program Report

    Our 2005-06 Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program Report report is now available online!  Click here to download the report as a PDF document.  Marion SWCD staff Scott Eden and Marcie Hagen prepared the report with the assistance of many partners and volunteers.  The report describes the goals and strategies of our program and shows the results of our monitoring, which began in 2002. 

    If you would like to volunteer to help with the water quality monitoring effort, please contact Scott Eden at Marion SWCD, 503-391-9927.

    Native Plant & Tree Sale

    Marion Soil & Water Conservation District has started a new tradition!  We are now holding an annual Native Plant & Tree Sale each February.  We plan to hold the sale each year as a way to encourage more people to use native plants in their yards, on their farms, or at their businesses.  Native plants will help to enhance your yard or garden by providing food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.  Also, once they are established, they require less water and maintenance since they are already adapted to our climate and soils! 

    At the sale, we feature deciduous and evergreen plants, shrubs and trees.  Most of the plant stock will be sold as bare root seedlings at a cost starting at $0.75 each.  A few will be sold as potted plants.  There is no minimum purchase required and plants will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.  Our staff and volunteers will assist you with questions about the plants and provide labels for the plants that are sold. 

    The sale is held at the First Church of the Nazarene in Salem (located at 16th & Market St NE).  For more information, or if you would like to volunteer at the sale, please call the Marion SWCD office at 503-391-9927.  You can ask to be put onto our mailing list so that you will receive notice about our next Native Plant & Tree Sale.  See our Meetings & Events page for information on this year's sale.

    To see pictures of western Oregon native plants, see our native plant gallery.
    If you would like to volunteer to help with the Native Plant and Tree Sale, please contact Marion SWCD at 503-391-9927.

    Annual Reports 

    These reports are annual summaries of the work and finances of the Marion SWCD.  They are published each year in the fall after the wrap-up of our fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).  This report now takes the place of our fall issue of the Conservation Insider, our quarterly newsletter.  To subscribe to our free newsletter, e-mail us at
    1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00
    2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

    Pudding Pesticide Stewardship

    The Marion Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) partnered with the Oregon DEQ, OSU Extension Service, Agriculture businesses and other partners to address potential pesticide issues in local streams. This Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP) project was funded using federal money and local matching funds. The study area includes agricultural streams of the Pudding basin near Mt. Angel such as Zollner Creek, which has been the focus of many research articles since the early 1990’s when a number of different herbicides and pesticides were documented exceeding levels set for aquatic life.  Due to changing agricultural practices, some of the chemicals found in the older studies are no longer used, but may be found in stream sediments, while newly introduced chemicals may begin appearing in water samples. Even low concentrations of pesticides in local streams can pose serious threats to aquatic life and to migrating salmon.  

    The partnership utilized a voluntary approach and enlisted the aid and expertise of local growers and businesses interested in improving water quality in local streams without having new regulations imposed. Objectives included determining risks posed by current use organophosphate insecticides and triazine herbicides in the study area of the Pudding River basin by monitoring water samples, associating land uses with detected pesticides and application timing, measuring flow in local streams and identifying and promoting best management practices to reduce high risk pesticide detections. A final DEQ report on findings from three years of recent water sampling related to this project is to come out in early 2008.

    The Pudding River PSP partnered with iSNAP (Integrated Soil Nutrient and Pest) educational program to provide speakers on drift reduction, IPM, etc. at a Dec. 14th 2006 forum held at the Aurora Research Station. The forum provided outreach and education by experts in the field on techniques to minimize drift and employ IPM in orchards and perennial crops.  Related to this outreach, the SWCD has also partner with the DEQ to help hold two anonymous Waste Pesticide Collection events in the watershed at Wilco facilities in Mt. Angel and Donald to help growers safely dispose of outdated chemicals and raise awareness of their potential harm to aquatic life. The outreach included targeted mailings to grower and fertilizer and pesticide distributors and applicators. The total from both events is more than 30,000 pounds of waste pesticides collected from 80 growers and included many “legacy” banned pesticides such as DDT and Chlordane.  For additional web resources related to IPMs please check out our Resources & Links

    In the three years since the DEQ has been collecting grab samples at eight locations in the Pudding basin for organophosphate insecticides and triazine herbicides, there has been very high detections in the Zollner / Bochsler Creek subbasin, moderately high detections in the Little Pudding subbasin, and low detections in the Pudding mainstem, while Abiqua and Silver Creek have had no detections. In the impacted basins, multiple detections of the insecticide chlorpyrifos over the chronic water quality standard have been made. The insecticide Guthion (azinphos-methyl) has not been detected since one large detection was observed in 2005. Diazinon and Ethoprop detections have been noted and have increased since 2005. Overall, there have been moderate fluctuations in detection frequency and concentrations of most pesticides with no currently discernable trends. Sampling is continuing and trends will be evaluated.


    Marion SWCD also partnered with OSU Extension and others to hold two sprayer calibration workshops for growers in the fall of 2007. This was our final outreach event of the Pudding River Pesticide Stewardship Network. The workshops were well attended and had excellent presentations on area water quality, pesticide application laws, nozzle selection, calibrations, drift reduction techniques and other best management practices to reduce off-target pesticide transport.

    Of the six chosen sampling locations in the Pudding basin, two were found to have higher levels and frequencies of detections; Zollner and Bochsler Creek, followed by the Little Pudding River and then the Lower Pudding River. Findings so far from 2005-06 and early ‘07 data show that azinphos methyl has not been detected in the basin since early 2005, when a single sample was recorded at a level 400 times the chronic aquatic life water quality standard, while other pesticides such as simazine, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, diazon, dimethoate, and ethoprop have fluctuated in concentrations with no discernable trends yet.  Median chlorpyrifos concentrations have been near the chronic water quality standard, while maximum concentrations of this insecticide have exceeded the acute water quality standard, indicating it could be a threat to aquatic life in the locations it was detected.


    Related Research Articles (obtained from

    Food Quality Protection Act launches search for pest management alternatives
    Van Steenwyk, Zalom
    Organophosphate insecticides have allowed large yield increases, but under the FQPA many will be cancelled. Alternatives are needed to maintain a viable state agricultural industry.

    Managing resistance is critical to future use of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids
    Zalom, Toscano, Byrne
    Pyrethroids and neonicotinoids have become important replacements for organophosphates, but resistance and nontarget impacts have been already identified.

    Pheromone mating disruption offers selective management options for key pests
    Welter et al.
    Mating disruption can control insects; new pheromone-dispersal technologies are more effective, but insecticides are sometimes still necessary.

    Biological and cultural controls . . .
    Nonpesticide alternatives can suppress crop pests
    Mills, Daane
    Natural enemies of pests play an important role in preventing crop damage; cultural practices can also reduce the susceptibility of a crop to pests.

    Various novel insecticides are less toxic to humans, more specific to key pests
    Grafton-Cardwell et al.
    A number of newly registered insecticides have low mammalian toxicity and target specific crop pests; however, resistance and secondary pest outbreaks must be managed.

    Microorganisms and their byproducts, nematodes, oils and particle films have important agricultural uses
    Godfrey et al.
    Insect pathogens are potentially effective, but their commercial use — except Bt — has been limited; metabolic compounds from microorganisms and oils are widely used in pest control.

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    Updated 1/16/07