Welcome to the Partners of the North Santiam Webpage
*For draft plan links scroll to bottom of page.
The Partners of the North Santiam Watershed (Partners or PNS), are a collaboration of local, county, state, federal, and tribal entities; local and regional businesses; nonprofit entities; and other committed stakeholders that rely on the well-being of the North Santiam River Watershed (NSW). For many years, we have worked both independently of one another and on project-by-project collaborations (see section 4 of the Action Plan for a history of collaboration). Through these experiences, we realized that by working together we could achieve greater synergy through shared learning, marshaling of shared expertise and resources, and collective strategic planning and implementation. Therefore, starting in spring of 2015, we formed the PNS with the following overarching vision:
The North Santiam River Watershed is made more resilient by Partners implementing coordinated actions to restore ecological processes that maintain habitat for species while supporting and improving social and economic interests in local communities.
Our members cover the full geographic, sociocultural, and economic extents of the NSW, and bring the technical expertise, experience, will, desire and political backing to protect and restore the NSW’s valuable resources. From its headwaters in the Cascades to its confluence with the Willamette River, the NSW consists of a diverse set of ecosystems that serve the species that depend on them, including the human population whose interests we represent.
Our members consist of natural resource land managers and technical experts with a proven track record implementing actions that produce important watershed level outcomes. Private landowners and business interests are represented on the North Santiam WC Board, NS Forest Collaborative participants, Detroit Lake Federal Lakes Committee, Santiam Water Control District Board and Soil & Water Conservation District Boards. Equally important, despite what may often be viewed as competing interests, we have shown a long-term committed desire to work together recognizing the benefits of collaboration and a “shared watershed” mindset. Through the PNS collaboration, we assist one another in achieving each other’s organizations stated missions
The watershed is host to the Willamette National Forest Detroit Ranger District, BLM and Santiam State Forest lands, which provide timber resources, recreational opportunities, and important local fish and wildlife habitat that our community relies upon for our economic vitality and cultural values. The watershed provides drinking water to our many small communities as well as Salem, Oregon’s second largest city and state capitol. Protection of these vital resources is in our common interest and we continue to work collaboratively toward that end.
The NSW is a rich and biologically diverse area, overlapping with six Oregon Conservation Strategy Conservation Opportunity Areas that support six strategy habitats and 45 strategy species. However, the NSW has experienced native habitat and species declines. Together, we have been working to address Endangered Species Act listings of winter steelhead and Spring Chinook salmon, Clean Water Act 303d water quality listings, and the prospect of climate change exacerbating existing ecological stressors.
The Santiam River Watershed (i.e., inclusive of the North and South Santiam Watersheds) once provided 60 percent of winter steelhead and approximately one-third of the spring Chinook salmon production for
the entire Willamette Basin (E&S Environmental Chemistry 2002). Our native American communities know this well, with our tribal representatives from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, Siletz,
and Warm Springs grounding us in the history of the land and bringing valuable insights into how to heal and restore the watershed (see draft Action Plan sections 5, 6 and 8 for further description of NSW conditions
and conservation and restoration needs).