Conservation Districts are organized under Oregon statute ORS 568.210-801. As one of Oregon's 45 conservation districts, Wasco County Soil & Water Conservation District is responsible to protect and promote any natural resources within Wasco County.
The state legislature set forth the reason for formation of the conservation districts and outlined district responsibilities in ORS 568.225: (1) In recognition of the ever-increasing demands on the renewable natural resources of the state and of the need to conserve, protect and develop such resources, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Legislative Assembly to provide for the conservation of the renewable natural resources of the state and thereby to conserve and develop natural resources, control and prevent soil erosion, control floods, conserve and develop water resources and water quality, prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs, assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors, preserve wildlife, conserve natural beauty, promote recreational development, promote collaborative conservation efforts to protect and enhance healthy watershed functions, assist in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency resources, protect the tax base, protect public lands and protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of this state.
(2) It is further the policy of the Legislative Assembly to authorize soil and water conservation districts established under ORS 568.210 to 568.808 and 568.900 to 568.933 to participate in effectuating the policy set forth in subsection (1) of this section and for such purposes to cooperate with landowners, land occupiers, natural resource organizations, natural resource users, local governments as defined in ORS 174.116 and with agencies of the government of this state and of the United States in projects, programs and activities calculated to accelerate such policies. In effectuating the policy set forth in subsection (1) of this section, the soil and water conservation districts also shall strive to achieve the goal set forth in ORS 468B.155.
ORS 468B.155 states: The Legislative Assembly declares that it is the goal of the people of the State of Oregon to prevent contamination of Oregon’s ground water resource while striving to conserve and restore this resource and to maintain the high quality of Oregon’s ground water resource for present and future uses.