About the Partnership

The Partners   Strategic Plan / Outcomes 

The Yamhill Partnership for Land & Water is  an informal group of public and private organizations working together to assure a legacy of characteristic natural areas and resources for the Yamhill valley area and its people by conserving significant lands & waters for wildlife habitat, for working lands, and for parks & natural spaces for the long-term vitality of the Yamhill area.


Shared Concerns

In 2008, several organizations involved in land trust and related activities in the Yamhill County area began meeting to discuss common issues.  Over the course of several months, consensus was clear that there were growing needs for more stewardship of the lands and waters of Yamhill County, that there were increasing opportunities and that there is growing land-owner interest.  The group identified common observations:

  • concerns of limited capacity for conservation, especially limited financial capacity; 
  • challenges from a growing population and changing demographics;
  • shifting economic and agriculture base
  • declining per-capita parks and park acreage, among the lowest of comparable counties;
  • a crisis level loss of natural communities, especially Oregon White Oak savannas and woodlands, upland and wet prairies;
  • poor water quality, especially murky and high temperatures;
  • a generational transfer of lands underway with desire to preserve rather than convert lands; and
  • growing landowner interest but with limited individual capacity to respond.

Addressing Opportunities

To address these concerns, the group's intially met to:

  • Increase knowledge of each group’s interests, capabilities and capacities;
  • Cooperate and coordinate activities;
  • To identify ways to get opportunities to the organizations best suited to them; and 
  • Collaborate on getting land trust deals done.


Work Areas

The partnership identified these main areas of work:

  • Outreach: education and public awareness of goals, opportunities, achievements
  • Building public support for the goals of the partnership
  • Protection, restoration and stewardship of natural areas
  • Increase capacity and funding for the goals of the partnership

Mutual Commitment

The partnership established the following mutual commitments:
  • Use the partnership to find and enhance opportunities for conservation, working lands, parks & natural spaces
  • Meet six times per year (more or less as necessary)
  • Identify for the partnership their own organization's 
    • goals within Yamhill County, both short- and long-term
    • what they have to offer this partnership
    • what they need from the partnership
  • Mutually set targets, criteria and priorities
  • Jointly seek funding
  • Continue to build the partnership: coalition building; networking; Invite more organizations to join as partners

Roles & Responsibilities

  • “Partners” are organizations having developed and signed a Statement of Commitment to the Partnership
  • A Steering Committee – all Partners — makes all decisions
  • Consensus based decision-making by the Partners (see Attachment A: Ground Rules)
  • “Supporting Organizations” are those supporting the goals of the Partnership but which are unable to commit resources to fulfilling the goals
  • Supporting Organizations may participate (attend meetings, join subcommittees, etc.)
  • Supporting Organizations become Partners by subscribing to the goals of the Partnership by developing and signing a Statement of Commitment
  • Individuals may endorse the goals and participate?
  • See also Ground Rules (Attachment A)
  • The Partnership elected two co-chairs in 2009.

Recent Work 

    • Combined data sets and produced a Yamhill County overlay map of the Yamhill Lands & Waters showing public ownership, habitat, parks, etc. Thanks to The Nature Conservancy in Oregon for assembling the data sets from multiple organizations to combine into a single map, including work from
      • Yamhill County Parks Master Plan
      • Yamhill County Soil & Water Conservation District Strategic Plan
      • The Willamette Synthesis Portfolio of Conservation Opportunity Areas in Yamhill County Map/Dataset
      • Chehalem Parks and Recreation District map and strategic plan
    • Supporting a Partners conservation of a key property in North Chehalem Creek

    Possible Future Work 

    • Identify 2 or 3 focal areas (geographic or issue) in the county to concentrate Partnership efforts and information sharing on, such as:
      • Muddy Valley and nearby for Oak savanna and related conservation
      • North Yamhill River for water quality
      • North Chelem Valley for community conservation values
    • Define roles & responsibilities within the partnership
      • How are expenses shared or not?  
      • How are decisions of the partnership translated into partner commitments to actions, spending, etc.?
    • Possible partnership actions
        • Develop a YC Conservation Plan based on existing YCSWCD, TNC, YC Parks work (others?)
            • conservation and restoration opportunity areas
              • protect rare and characteristic biodiversity
              • by type of land (conservation, working, parks)
              • Support Measure 66 renewal to assure continued funds for OWEB, etc. supporting the conservation and restoration goals of the partnership in Yamhill County?
              • Advisory group to recommend projects for use of any bond measure passed for $ for goals of the partnership
              • Support grant proposals from organizations where those proposals align with YL Strategic Plan
            • Develop strategic plan -- see Outcomes - Strategic Plan
            • Develop communications plan