The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through April 15, 2017








(1) Improving fish and wildlife habitat and water quality can not succeed through laws and government actions alone. These rules implement ORS 541.423 which reflects and depends upon Oregonians characteristic spirit of volunteerism and stewardship. The rules provide the means for the Departments of Forestry and Agriculture to implement a voluntary and flexible conservation incentives program that recognizes and rewards agricultural, forest, and other landowners who choose to exceed regulatory criteria for conservation, restoration, and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat or water quality while managing land to meet their objectives. Stewardship agreements will be long-term and consider conservation from a property wide perspective, rather than at the scale of single localized projects.

(2) This program provides incentives for landowners who meet and exceed regulatory requirements to achieve conservation. Regulatory requirements are continually reviewed and revised in the face of new scientific information and changing social values. As such, the relevant habitat and water quality statutes provide the means to evaluate whether a landowner is meeting and exceeding regulatory criteria.

(3) For lands and activities falling under the Oregon Forest Practices Act, the purpose of the stewardship agreement program is also to more efficiently implement the provisions of the Act as a voluntary alternative to traditional mechanisms of forest operation planning, review, inspection, and enforcement.

(4) The stewardship agreement program will recognize other relevant landowner efforts, such as forest or agricultural certification and habitat conservation plans, which have been developed by landowners to meet their management objectives, as components that partially or fully qualify a landowner for a stewardship agreement.

(5) The stewardship agreement program may not meet the objectives of all landowners. Landowners who choose not to enter into stewardship agreements, although they may be qualified to do so, are not considered less protective of resources than those landowners who choose to enter into stewardship agreements.

(6) Voluntary conservation, restoration, and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat or water quality depends on effective partnerships with other parties. The stewardship agreement program seeks to develop and support cooperative and collaborative partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies and with private conservation and landowner organizations.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06



The following definitions apply to OAR 603-110-0100 through 603-110-1100.

(1) "Landowner" means the owner identified in the management plan and any agent or consultant authorized by the owner to implement the management plan.

(2) "Stewardship agreement" means a written agreement between the landowner and the Department(s) that ensures the implementation of a management plan meeting the intent of ORS 541.423.

(3) "Management plan" means a written, multi-resource strategy for a particular tract of farm, forest, or other land, describing how the landowner will manage the land under consideration for a stewardship agreement to meet the intent of ORS 541.423 as laid out in OAR 603-110-0100 to 1100).

(4) "Department(s)" refers to the Oregon Department of Forestry and/or the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

(5) "Inventory" means describing elements of land uses, such as pasture, crop land, timber land, habitat, and other natural features, but not information that is proprietary or sensitive to landowner financial interests.

(6) "Pesticides" include but are not limited to herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides. Pesticides are regulated under the Oregon Pesticide Control Law (ORS 634) and the Oregon Pesticide Regulations (OAR 603-057).

(7) "Conservation" means the management of land, water, and natural resources for the purpose of meeting human and ecological needs in a sustainable manner.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Stewardship Agreement Application Process

(1) Landowner must submit a written application on a form provided by the Departments. Information required includes:

(a) Name, contact information, property location, total acres, county, etc.

(b) Name of watershed the property is located in.

(c) Map and description of property, land uses, habitats, and water features (this does not need to include detailed or sensitive information about economic uses of property; the purpose is to know property boundaries, what habitats are present, and the general land use context.

(d) Name(s) of plans and programs landowner is implementing or participating in (if any) and how they contribute to meeting the criteria in 603-110-0500, including a copy of current certification (if any) or other conservation agreements.

(e) Identification of state, regional, and local conservation goals that the stewardship agreement is implementing.

(f) Description of conservation efforts for fish, wildlife, and water quality that are being used or are proposed.

(g) Identify management plan subject to the application review and subsequent audits.

(2) A written management plan is required, which could be a combination of an existing plan and/or a plan developed specifically for this program. The management plan needs to be available to the Department(s) during the review process and for subsequent audits, but landowners are not required to provide a copy for retention by the Department(s).

(3) A management plan will include:

(a) Landowner's name and contact information, total acreage, acreage in agriculture and forestry, legal description, watershed(s), date of plan, plan writer's name and contact information.

(b) Landowner goals and objectives.

(c) Property description and inventory, including: vegetation, fish and wildlife habitats, soils,

(d) Protection and/or enhancement of resources that exceeds regulatory requirements through land management practices and activities that are designed to achieve conservation, restoration, and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat or water quality.

(e) Maps, aerial photographs, and other visual aids to illustrate the property description and management activities.

(f) For land and activities falling under the Oregon Forest Practices Act, specific sites or resource sites that are inventoried and protected under ORS 527.710(3)(a) and OAR 629-665-0000 to 0300, or that are listed under 629-605-0170(1). Examples of these sites include sensitive bird nesting, roosting and watering sites, resource sites used by threatened and endangered fish and wildlife species, or significant wetlands.

(4) It is the policy of the Department(s) to protect confidential information in its files. The Department(s) recognize that a written management plan marked as "confidential" on the face of the document is submitted to the Department(s) on the condition that the information will be kept confidential. Any information voluntarily submitted to the Department(s) in confidence and not otherwise required by law to be submitted should reasonably be considered confidential. Such information in the management plans that should reasonably be considered confidential includes information that qualifies as a trade secret under ORS 192.501(2), that is, non-patented information that is known only to certain people within the organization, has commercial value, and would give its users a business advantage over competitors. Other confidential information may include information submitted in confidence that qualifies under any other public record exemption set forth in 192.501.

(5) The handling of confidential materials shall be as follows:

(a) The Department will make immediate distribution to the appropriate personnel.

(b) Confidential material is stored in and returned to files at end of day and protected from visual inspection by unauthorized persons at all times.

(c) Confidential areas are kept secured after working hours.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Application Review

(1) Applications will be reviewed jointly by the Departments.

(2) Application review will include a review of the past record of compliance with applicable laws and regulations regarding land use and management.

(3) The Departments will accept applications at any time and will review applications in a reasonable time, normally within 90 days.

(4) For applications covering lands in both agriculture and forest use, the Departments will designate one of the Departments to be the primary contact for development of the agreement, with both Departments approving the agreement.

(5) The Department(s) will consult with appropriate state and federal agencies and other conservation partners regarding potential issues related to their responsibilities and expertise.

(6) The Department(s) and landowner will work jointly to develop a draft stewardship agreement. This will include a site visit with the landowner.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Criteria To Evaluate Adequacy Of A Landowner Management Plan To Meet Purpose Of Rules

(1) The management plan will include provisions to protect or conserve fish and wildlife habitat, water resources, and soil resources appropriate to the property and consistent with landowner objectives.

(2) The management plan will be reviewed against the following criteria (a)-(c) to determine whether the landowner is implementing management actions that exceed regulatory requirements for the conservation, restoration, and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat or water quality.

(a) Management actions to conserve, restore, and improve fish and wildlife habitat

(A) Specific conservation goals for fish and wildlife habitat are established.

(B) Alignment with Oregon's 'Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy', an adopted subbasin plan, and/or other watershed or landscape-scale conservation plan is demonstrated.

(C) Invasive species are identified, controlled, and where possible, eliminated.

(D) Threatened, endangered, and at-risk species and associated habitats are protected, enhanced, or restored.

(E) Food, water, and shelter components of habitat for fish and wildlife are provided (e.g. snags, nesting trees, downed wood, side-channels, bat/bird/bee boxes hedgerows, field edges, etc.).

(F) Crop selection and/or management accommodates fish and wildlife habitat needs.

(G) Native habitat is restored and enhanced, consistent with historic vegetative patterns. Restoration includes diverse native species, structure, and age of vegetation appropriate to the site and its regional context.

(H) Special consideration is given to native habitats known to be uncommon, rare or at risk (i.e. prairie, oak woodland, bottomland hardwood forest).

(I) Natural hydrology is restored to provide habitat for native fish and other aquatic species.

(J) Where feasible, natural disturbance processes like fire and flooding are allowed to function.

(K) Road disturbances to fish and wildlife habitat are minimized.

(L) Fish passage limitations are addressed.

(M) Water diversions are screened or otherwise managed to provide fish passage and prevent entrapment.

(N) Water withdrawals are managed to enhance the needs of fish and wildlife habitat.

(b) Management actions to conserve, restore and improve water resources

(A) Riparian vegetation is protected, managed, or restored to provide erosion control, sediment and nutrient filtering, and other functions of a properly functioning riparian area.

(B) Sediment runoff and animal wastes are controlled at the source to prevent ground and/or surface water contamination.

(C) Vegetation and soils are managed to conserve water by encouraging infiltration and storage of rainfall in the soil.

(D) Irrigation and drainage systems are managed to prevent waste of water and to protect water quality.

(E) Road systems are managed to reduce or eliminate sediment delivery to streams and to prevent catastrophic failure.

(F) Cultural and biological pest prevention strategies are used to reduce or eliminate the need for pesticide applications (e.g. Integrated Pest Management).

(G) Precautions are taken to prevent leaks or spills of pesticides or petroleum products, such as fuel, motor oil, and hydraulic fluid, from reaching waters of the state and sensitive native habitats.

(c) Management actions to conserve, restore, and improve soil resources

(A) Tillage practices minimize degradation of soil quality and conserve organic matter and soil aggregation.

(B) Soils are protected from erosion by optimizing plant cover or residue throughout the year. Practices include but are not limited to: permanent vegetative cover in orchards, nurseries, and vineyards, mulch in row crops, and by using pastures and appropriate intensity, duration, and frequency of livestock grazing.

(C) Crop rotations that include cover crops are used to build soil organic matter and productivity.

(D) Soil disturbance and compaction during timber harvest is minimized.

(E) A comprehensive nutrient management plan or other means are used to conserve and recycle nutrients by converting organic wastes into productive uses and by seeking ways to generate nutrients on farm. Practices that can be used include but are not limited to: cover cropping, on-farm composting, and integrating livestock into farm production.

(F) Land management on steep slopes and fragile soils is conducted in a manner to reduce or eliminate impacts to the site.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Stewardship Agreement

(1) The agreement will include the landowner's commitment to:

(a) Implement the activities and monitoring identified in this agreement for enhancing conservation, restoration, and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat or water quality.

(b) Comply with and manage beyond relevant habitat and water quality rules and statutes.

(c) Allow audits and assist with the process, as appropriate.

(2) The agreement will identify the activities and monitoring that will be done for conservation, restoration, and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat or water quality.

(3) The agreement will include the Departments' commitment to:

(a) Accept the agreement as demonstrating compliance with state regulatory requirements if the agreement demonstrates such compliance.

(b) Provide specific assistance or incentives that may include: information about conservation programs, certification for marketing purposes, technical assistance, coordination with other agencies to resolve issues.

(c) Strive to match participants with resources suitable to meet landowner objectives.

(4) For lands subject to the Oregon Forest Practices Act, the stewardship agreement may include sufficient detail to meet the requirements for:

(a) Written plans under ORS 527.670(3), OAR 629-605-0170, and 629-605-173;

(b) Fifteen-day waiting periods under OAR 629-605-0150(1), except as provided by ORS 527.670(9) for aerial chemical applications;

(c) Notification consistent with OAR 629-605-0140 and 629-605-0150; and

(d) Other administrative rules and statutes related to notification, such as for fire protection, taxation, safety, water withdrawals, or public subscriptions.

(5) Landowners may have active forest operations on lands that are part of a proposed stewardship agreement. If so, the stewardship agreement will immediately apply those operations when the stewardship agreement is finalized.

(6) Department access to stewardship agreement lands is limited to reviews and audits for which landowners have provided authority. Landowners may also choose to authorize additional limited access to lands under the stewardship agreement for purposes of biological effectiveness monitoring.

(7) The agreement will include the frequency of audits, which will be established based on the Departments' evaluation of the relative complexity of the management plan and the terms of the stewardship agreement.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Decision Authority

(1) The State Forester is delegated full authority by the Board of Forestry to implement the provisions of ORS 541.423, including but not limited to review of management plans and preparation and approval of stewardship agreements.

(2) Prior to approving a stewardship agreement, the Departments will provide public notice and 21 days for comment on the proposed agreement.

(3) When the Departments determine that comments from the review process are adequately addressed, the stewardship agreement will be approved.

(4) The Departments will give notice of approval, termination, and revisions of a stewardship agreement to each other, to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and to the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

(5) If the management plan includes potential chemical application operations related to forest operations, the State Forester will give notice of approval of a stewardship agreement to:

(a) Any person with surface water rights pursuant to ORS Chapter 537 who, under the provisions of ORS 527.670(6), has previously requested in writing from the State Forester copies of notifications and written plans for chemical application operations within ten upstream miles of the water right location; and

(b) The community water system manager of any community water system where the surface water drainage area upstream of the intake is 100 square miles or less and the management plan includes potential aerial chemical application operations within 100 feet, or ground-based chemical application operations within 50 feet, of the Type D or domestic use portions of Type F streams that provide water used by the community water system.

(6) The Departments will notify persons who submitted timely comments of the approval of a stewardship agreement. Any person who submitted timely comments and who is adversely affected by the operations conducted under an approved or amended stewardship agreement may file a written request for a hearing to the appropriate Department.

(7) As provided for in ORS 568.912 and 527.700(1) and (2) a landowner may appeal an order denying approval of a stewardship agreement.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Stewardship Agreement Audits

(1) The Department(s) will conduct periodic audits with the landowner on lands under a stewardship agreement.

(2) The landowner will provide authorization for the Department (or its designated agent) that is party to the stewardship agreement to conduct periodic audits on lands subject to the stewardship agreement to determine whether the management plan is being implemented and whether the stewardship agreement should be continued, revised, or discontinued.

(3) For the purpose of the stewardship agreement rules, an audit means a review of land management and resource sites identified in the stewardship agreement to determine if the terms and conditions of the stewardship agreement are being met.

(4) The frequency and the number of audits may vary based on the Departments' evaluation of the relative complexity of the management plan, the terms of the stewardship agreement, or the performance observed during previous audits.

(5) Audits will be conducted at least once every three years. Landowners may request additional audits to help them assess their performance under the stewardship agreement or to provide an annual government certification of their operation.

(6) The Departments will provide an audit report to the landowner within a reasonable period, normally 45 days, with recommendations for needed revisions to the stewardship agreement.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Revising Stewardship Agreements

(1) The landowner and the Departments will cooperatively revise the stewardship agreement if:

(a) The landowner requests a revision;

(b) An audit report recommends revising the stewardship agreement;

(c) Any portion of the land changes ownership resulting in that land being removed from the stewardship agreement as per 603-110-1000(3).

(2) All revisions to the stewardship agreement are subject to the review process outlined in 603-110-0700(2) and (3).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Terminating Stewardship Agreements

(1) The appropriate Department will issue a written notice to terminate a stewardship agreement when:

(a) The landowner is negligent in meeting the terms of the stewardship agreement;

(b) The landowner willfully disregards the terms of the stewardship agreement; or

(c) The State Forester or Department of Agriculture and landowner fail to reach agreement about revisions required under OAR 603-110-0900 within a reasonable period, normally 45 days.

(d) Failure to comply with Federal environmental laws could be criteria for terminating or suspending a stewardship agreement.

(2) The written notice to terminate the stewardship agreement will state the conditions under section 603-110-1000(1) of this rule that exist and what, if any, remedies are necessary to avoid the termination.

(3) Any parcel of land that is sold or transferred to another landowner will immediately cease to be included in the stewardship agreement.

(4) Upon receiving a written notice to terminate the stewardship agreement, the landowner will suspend all portions of operations requiring written plans under the Forest Practices Act until written plans have been submitted and reviewed.

(5) The landowner may terminate the agreement after providing written notice to the lead Department for the agreement.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06


Periodic Review of Program

(1) An interagency review of the Departments' implementation of the stewardship agreement program will be produced biennially, and presented to the Board of Forestry and Board of Agriculture. This report will include:

(a) A description of the agreements approved;

(b) Areas of concern regarding implementation of the program;

(c) A review of the coordination between the two Departments;

(d) Recommendations to revise or modify the program;

(e) A review of program effectiveness for enhancing fish and wildlife habitat and water quality.

(2) An advisory group, including the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other interested/involved parties, will be utilized to assist the Departments in conducting the biennial review.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 541.423
Stats. Implemented: ORS 541.423
Hist.: DOA 20-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-21-06

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