Who we are

The South Santiam Watershed Council (SSWC) is a nonprofit organization that promotes and assists with voluntary, nonregulatory conservation efforts to improve the quality of our watershed. We are one of  many community-based nonprofit watershed councils in Oregon.

  • We obtain funding to carry out our own projects upstream and downstream or partner with other agencies on projects.
  • We work with landowners to find funding and help them make improvements to riparian areas of their land.
  • We run educational programs to help our communities understand what happens in our watershed and how it affects all of us.

Whether you live, work, or play in our watershed, whether you're in the timber industry or run a farm, local business, community organization, or school, learn more about where your water comes from and see what we do for you and what we can accomplish together!

SSWC's Mission

To involve local people in the enhancement and protection of the South Santiam watershed for the social and economic benefit of its landowners, managers, and users.

Are you in the South Santiam watershed?

This map shows our service area, which includes the whole watershed. If you live or own land within the watershed, we are here to serve you!


Support Efforts to Revive the Kalapuya Language

By Mike Vernon | March 23, 2022

The Kalapuya peoples are the original inhabitants of the South Santiam basin and beyond. Many Kalapuya are now members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand…

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Our 2021 Annual Report

By Shannon Richardson | December 30, 2021

I’m pleased to present our 2021 annual report. We’re grateful to everyone who contributed this year, in so many different ways. Happy New Year to…

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Recent SouthSantiamWC Instagram posts

The answer to our geotrivia question from last week was… Crabtree Falls! This small but powerful falls is nestled in Crabtree Creek near a side-channel reconnection project that the council worked on with partners from both BLM and Weyerhaeuser. This project helped ensure that migratory fish could continue to reach the upper basin.

April 21, 2022
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We're back! Please join us at our first in-person board meeting in about two years. We meet the third Tuesday of each month at 3pm in the Community Room at the Lebanon Public Library. We will continue to have a remote option as well, so DM, call or email for that.Plus! In honor of our first meeting back, here's a geotrivia quiz: where in the South Santiam was this photo taken? Come to the meeting to find out or check back here for the answer! A waterfall cascades over brown and grey rocks in front of evergreen trees and trees with no leaves.

April 15, 2022
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The Kalapuya peoples are the original inhabitants of the South Santiam basin and beyond. Many Kalapuya are now members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians.Decades of effort to document the Kalapuya language have resulted in the recent publication of the Kalapuya Dictionary. A first run of the 4 volume set was distributed to key individuals and institutions, including K-12 schools and universities. Now, organizers need help raising funds to print additional copies.You can support their efforts directly by contributing to the GoFundMe campaign to print additional copies of the dictionary. To learn more about the work that has gone into this dictionary and Kalapuya history, read a recent OPB article. Links to both are in our bio. : Tall, bare trees by standing water in a green meadow against a grey, cloudy sky.

April 1, 2022
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Another year has passed and our annual report is available on our website– link in bio. We are filled with gratitude for all who work, live and play in the South Santiam, for our partners and co-conspirators, and for the critters that persist and thrive in these waters, forests and fields. Every watershed council has a few things in common: we work hard, we are passionate about what we do and where we are, and we generally like to mix in some fun as much as possible. In honor of that, we give you the Friends of the South Santiam, non-human edition. Pull up a seat– maybe that picnic table next to Roaring River in the first photo?– and enjoy some of the offbeat perks that this year held. Happy New Year!1. Picnic bench on gravel bar next to Roaring River. Large trees on far bank have yellow and orange Fall foliage. 2. A rusty metal sculpture resembling a pig. Created for target shooting, it was never used for its intended purpose so now it's art. 3. A young orange stripped cat sitting in green vegetation next to an off-channel pond. 4. A larger dog with long black, white, and tan fur walks along a row planted with small trees and shrubs in an agricultural field. A section of Hamilton Creek riparian area with mature conifers and hardwoods is in the background. 5. A brown and tan house cat sits by a laptop on a standing desk in our Director's home office. 6. Two black, white and orange butterflies alight on animal scat deposited on a green mossy log in Moose Creek. 7. A young brown goat named Jack takes a break from eating tree trimmings in dappled sunlight near Hamilton Creek. 8. An older black dog with brown eyes and a greying muzzle lays on their bed.9. Two items found along lower McDowell Creek that seemed to go together: a black, toy SUV now driven by a plastic, Caucasian male doll who happens to be extra stretchy.

January 3, 2022
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Staff were in the field yesterday (woohoo!) and got to check out the landscape-shaping impact of beaver. At this location, beaver started building with cobble-size rocks in 2014 and the landowners were sure that kids had snuck in and placed the rocks. When they started seeing other beaver sign, however, they realized that their seasonally inundated prairie and wet meadows were likely to become wetter for more of the year. Now, with a sizeable impoundment built and active lodge nearby, the landowners are delighted to have a large wetted area for waterfowl, brushy edge habitat for song birds, and improved fish habitat downstream. We love working with landowners who embrace what the watershed brings and we are so excited to see the continuing evolution here. 🦫#beaver #beaverrestoration #castorcanadensis #beaverdam #habitatrestoration Photo 1. Water flowing from a pond over a beaver dam, taken from downstream side. Green grass on the bank below the dam, dam constructed of brown wood with green, growing vegetation, against a grey sky with white clouds. Photo 2. Water flowing from a pond over a beaver dam, taken from pond side. Willows and spirea grown from the top of the dam structure. Dark water of the pond, light brown and green on the dam, grey sky. Photo 3. An active beaver lodge. Brown sticks and small logs piled into a dome shape, packed with brown mud and some green, growing vegetation. Photo 4. An expansive view of the pond backed up behind the beaver dam. Rippling dark water up to a brushy edge, grey sky with white clouds against a forested hill in the background. On the ancestral lands of the Kalapuya, Tsankupi, and Santiam peoples.

December 8, 2021
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Tagline: Rrstoration Monitoring Education Collaboration

How do we touch your life?

Landowners and the SSWC

See how participating in restoration projects can enhance the value and quality of your land.

Communities and the SSWC

We sponsor the Outdoor School for Sweet Home school kids. Find out other ways that we enhance the community through our conservation efforts.

SSWC Partners

We partner with many other organizations to synergize our resources and extend our outreach. See who else we're working with.

SSWC Volunteers

Love to use our waterways? Inspired to help the planet on a local level? Give back to the community by volunteering for SSWC events and other activities.