Markets and Payments Projects
Medford Water Quality Trading program
The City of Medford is addressing water temperature regulations by working with landowners to conduct streamside restoration activities rather than constructing cooling towers or other engineered options.
In December 2011, The Freshwater Trust signed a contract with the City to manage this project, which will produce thermal reduction credits that can be used to bring the City into compliance with the temperature TMDL. The Freshwater Trust will use a model developed by the DEQ to quantify the thermal offset that a mature riparian forest will provide to the river, and this figure will be registered, verified, and sold as credits.
This project has a 10-year implementation window, and sites that generate credits are required to be managed for at least 20 years. The Freshwater Trust is working to identify high-priority sites for restoration and conducting outreach activities to engage landowners and watershed councils in the Rogue River Basin. Landowners that participate in this program will sign a contract and will receive per acre payments to leave the negotiated part of their land undisturbed for a 20-year timeframe. The Freshwater Trust is responsible for all of the restoration and maintenance activities, and they will be engaging with local businesses whenever possible to carry out these tasks. It is estimated that this project will result in 30 miles of streamside restoration, providing ancillary benefits such as habitat for fish and wildlife. Three restoration sites have been planted as of May 1, 2013.
Contact name and email: Alex Johnson, Ecosystem Services Manager, The Freshwater Trust firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: City of Medford, Willamette Partnership, local businesses
Last updated: 5/1/2013
The Incentives Trifecta project integrates three separate conservation incentives in order to streamline these systems and provide greater benefits to landowners for their conservation efforts.
Contact name and email: Bobby Cochran, Executive Director, Willamette Partnership, email@example.com; Dan Kent, Executive Director, Salmon Safe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: Salmon Safe, Willamette Partnership, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services, Bullitt Foundation
Last updated: 7/24/2012
Willamette Basin Ecosystem Services Project
This project will involve a pilot ecosystem services market in the Willamette Basin in order to test potential funding sources for these markets and to ensure that outcomes from these projects can be measured.
The intent of the Willamette Basin Ecosystem Services Project is twofold: 1) to test the potential for ecosystem service markets to attract diversified funding for restoration; and 2) to ensure that restoration outcomes emerging from projects can be quantified using the newly developed tools. Ecosystem services credits will quantify the ecological outcomes of restoration projects in the form of improvements to ecosystem processes and functions through the use of ecosystem service metrics. The Freshwater Trust and its partners, including local restoration practitioners and landowners, will continue to ensure that these ecological outcomes are realized for a 20-year term through both monitoring and maintenance.
Contact name and email: Dana Hicks, Ecosystem Projects Coordinator, OWEB, email@example.com
Partners/funding sources: Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, The Freshwater Trust, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, Willamette Partnership.
Last updated: 4/10/2013
Forest Watershed Services Transaction
Two pilot watersheds, Snohomish Watershed and Nisqually Watershed, are participating in a two-year Watershed Services Transaction Demonstration Project to explore watershed ecosystem services as a potential source of revenue for landowners.
DNR, forest landowners, and other stakeholders in the two watersheds will buy and sell forest watershed ecosystem services, from utilities that provide drinking water, to flood protection, to healthy salmon habitat. The project’s working assumption is that the investment by the buyers in watershed ecosystem services will compare favorably with traditional investment in constructed water facilities. The pilot project will result in transparent public records about what services were provided, which forest landowners provided them, and what prices were paid. Key lessons that the stakeholders hope to learn from this project include: specific land management practices that produce measurable water and habitat benefits on site and downstream; the economic value of the benefits and the cost to provide them; the nature of effective contractual agreements among market participants; the monitoring program that will be necessary; and opportunities for broader application in Washington State.
Contact name and email: Nahal Ghoghaie, Watershed Grant Program Assistant, Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands, 360-902-1401, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: Washington State Department of Natural Resources, University of Washington Northwest Environmental Forum, Northwest Natural Resource Group, Nisqually River Foundation, Nisqually Tribe, Nisqually Land Trust, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Estuary Program
Last updated: 4/4/2013
Additional links: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Topics/ForestResearch/Pages/forest...
Snohomish Ecosystem Services Pilot Project
This project will help build the foundation for a pilot ecosystem services transaction addressing stream flow stabilization in the Snohomish River watershed.
Currently, priority land areas are being evaluated and identified, and by early 2013, SWM and potential partners, such as Forterra, will conduct outreach to gauge landowner interest in the pilot project. Based on the results of this outreach, SWM will target one high-priority parcel in the sub-basin for a transaction in which the landowner will be paid to adopt specific actions that protect or restore forest cover.
Contact name and email: Beth Liddell, Planner, Snohomish County Public Works Surface Water Management, email@example.com
Partners/funding sources: Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Snohomish County Surface Water Management, Forterra, area landowners
Last updated: 9/10/2012
Eugene Water and Electric Board's Voluntary Incentives Program
The Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) is developing a payments for ecosystem services (PES) program to maintain and improve water quality within the McKenzie River Watershed, Eugene’s sole source of drinking water. UPDATE: An Evaluation of Corporate Perceptions of a Payment for Ecosystem Services Program in the McKenzie River Basin, 2013.
UPDATE: In March 2013, a team of researchers from Oregon State and the University of Oregon conducted focus groups with 17 businesses located in the Springfield Eugene area. The primary purpose of the focus groups was to determine corporate interest in sponsoring payment for ecosystem service programs like the VIP. All participants indicated the importance of being involved in the community and supporting community partnerships, placing emphasis on the need for alignment with their business plans, community engagement goals or environmental mission, and for seeing tangible benefits result from investments. Full details of the focus groups and their findings are available here.
EWEB will establish a stewardship boundary identifying riparian forests and floodplains that are eligible to enroll in the VIP. Participation would be open to private landowners, local governments, and nonprofit organizations that own land within the designated boundary. Land within the stewardship boundary will need to meet a threshold in order to receive payments. This threshold will be determined by adapting existing riparian forest and wetland habitat standards and definitions from the U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Defenders of Wildlife, and other entities to establish the criteria for participation in the VIP.
Contact name and email: Karl Morgenstern, EWEB's Drinking Water Source Water Protection Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners/funding sources: Eugene Water and Electric Board, Willamette National Forest, McKenzie Watershed Council, Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District, Cascade Pacific RC&D, McKenzie River Trust, Lane Council of Governments, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, University of Oregon
Additional links: http://www.eweb.org/sourceprotection/vip
Last updated: 08/15/2013
Enhancing Water and Agriculture in WRIA 1 Through a Watershed-Ag Mitigation Pilot Project
The Enhancing Water and Agriculture in WRIA 1 Through a Watershed-Ag Mitigation Pilot Project includes funding over a two and a half year period to develop policy recommendations that enhance both agricultural land and watershed health, and test these through a pilot project.
Contact name and email: Samya Lutz, Planner & PDR Program Administrator, Whatcom County Planning & Development Services, email@example.com
Partners/funding sources: WA State Department of Commerce, Whatcom County, Whatcom Conservation District, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Whatcom Farm Friends
Additional links: https://sites.google.com/site/wcwatershedag/
Last updated: 5/24/2013