In January 2009, the City of Milwaukie convened a small group of individuals and agency representatives that are invested in the ecological health and water quality within the Kellogg – Mt. Scott (KMS) watershed. Several community members were present, representing local “friends of” and neighborhood groups, as well as agency staff from Clackamas County Water Environment Services, North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District, the City of Milwaukie, and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
Based on the enthusiasm that night, the core group proceeded with the formation of a watershed council. We reached out to neighboring watershed councils, community members, jurisdictions and agencies, including those from small sub-basins south of the KMS watershed.
By June, we determined our area of interest would encompass the small, highly-urbanized watersheds south of the Johnson Creek watershed and north of the Clackamas Basin; these watersheds include: the KMS watershed, Rinearson, River Forest, and Boardman Creeks. We developed an executive committee, bylaws, a mission, a vision, goals, and name – the North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council (NCUWC).
Bylaws were adopted by NCUWC on June 17, 2009 and amended on May 18, 2011. The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners formally recognized NCUWC as the council representing the Kellogg – Mt. Scott, Rinearson, Boardman, and River Forest watersheds on June 20, 2009.
Since June 2009, NCUWC has created the organization’s keystone Streamside Stewards Program, with support from Clackamas County Water Environment Services,Oak Lodge Sanitary District, North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District and Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District. The program works to improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat through the restoration of privately owned streamside properties.
NCUWC has a vibrant and active Board of Directors who work on the behalf of the watersheds by monitoring land use and development proposals that may threaten the health of the waterways. A priority for the organization is the removal of the Kellogg Dam located at the confluence of Kellogg Creek and the Willamette River. With the removal of this dam, 9 miles of habitat will become available to threatened salmon and steelhead species.