The New Course of Freshwater Conservation Policy
At the center of The Freshwater Trust's policy effort is the idea that the old ways — litigation and adversarial engagement — are not up to the challenge that our freshwater ecosystems now face. The Freshwater Trust’s policy effort therefore begins with the goal of achieving practical, workable solutions through cooperation and coalition-building. With our long history of working with private landowners, The Freshwater Trust is uniquely positioned to gather support for conservation from non-traditional allies such as those representing agricultural water users.
The content of our policy work is focused on our mission of preserving and restoring freshwater ecosystems. We look for opportunities in legislation, regulation and elsewhere to promote policies that enhance our ability to carry out our mission. For example, during the 2009 Oregon State Legislative session, The Freshwater Trust successfully worked with the Oregon Department of State Lands to simplify the permitting of riparian restoration work through new exemptions — a change that will have a significant effect on the ease of completing this type work.
Further, The Freshwater Trust president Joe Whitworth co-chairs the Water Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Governor’s Global Warming Commission. Joe’s work on this committee puts The Freshwater Trust in a leadership role with regard to state policy on water and climate change.