With more than 35 years of on-the-ground experience, The Freshwater Trust is the largest restoration-focused organization in the Pacific Northwest, and the second largest conservation group based in Oregon.
“Quantified conservation” is an approach that allows us to ensure our actions are translating to outcomes. We still count the number of trees we planted alongside a river, but then we take it a step further and use technology to identify how much solar energy will be blocked by those trees, keeping the water cool, or how much runoff is absorbed by the trees, keeping the water clean. We employ tools that tell us how and where a conservation project will have the largest overall benefit for a watershed.
Quantifying the outcomes of conservation also allows us to integrate the economy with the environment. It turns conservation into a sound investment opportunity, allowing investors to target river projects with the greatest impact and grant funders to purchase actual outcomes.
We don’t buy into the notion that more is better. For us, better is better, and we track how every action we take is making a difference for our freshwater resources, our wildlife and our communities.
Ensuring a future with clean, healthy rivers requires understanding the outcomes of our actions staying adamant about achieving results.
Where We Work
Dive deeper into our areas of focus.
Majestic. Wild. Powerful. “Fish full.” This is how we’d describe Oregon’s Sandy River Basin. And more than a dozen partners are committed to restoring its streambanks, side channels, and instream habitats.
Planting native vegetation along key tributaries, collaborating with irrigators to reduce agricultural runoff, and enhancing floodplains and wetlands along the river bank and existing islands are all part of the stewardship plan for the Snake River watershed.
Despite being known for world-class rafting and fishing, many parts of the watershed are in need of protection and restoration, work that includes fencing livestock, revegetation with native trees and shrubs, and constructing large wood structures.
The John Day encompasses more than 8,000 square miles, stretched between Bend and Baker City. The land in this part of eastern Oregon is used for raising beef cattle and growing hay and wheat. TFT has worked with 32 farmers and ranchers in the region to keep water in the John Day and its tributaries since 1995.
California’s long-term drought has provided the opportunity to consider new approaches to dealing with the challenges of groundwater sustainability, surface water management and irrigation efficiencies. All these concerns overlap geographically in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River basin, where TFT is building multiple programs.
The Lostine has supplied farms in northeastern Oregon with water for generations. But as the number of diversions increased in tandem with drier years, salmon suffered. TFT partners with 83 landowners on irrigation efficiency projects and flow deals to keep more water in the Lostine river and its tributaries when fish need it most.
Our Quarterly Impact Reports allow you to stay up-to-date on how we’re putting the generous gifts of our donors to use, both on the ground and behind the scenes.
Get In Touch
Have questions about our results?
David Primozich, Conservation Director