OUR STORY

At Willamette Partnership, we believe that when nature thrives, so do people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy environments are a cornerstone of thriving communities.

 

That’s why Willamette Partnership is helping cities and organizations throughout the American West change how they build infrastructure, protect water sources and critical habitat, and manage farms and forests as a way to strengthen community resilience.

A BRIEF HISTORY

Leaders search for long-term solutions to economic development that result in a healthy ecosystem and more resilient communities. That search often requires tough choices.

willamette partnership staff 2017

Willamette Partnership Staff

In Oregon, people agree that the environment makes the state a great place to live and work. Businesses, farms, environmental groups, and government officials of the Willamette River Basin had tough choices to face in 1996. The community wanted to see the river restored back to health for clean water and wildlife habitat, but in a way that protected people’s livelihoods.

Those leaders came together to tackle this conservation challenge and formed what became Willamette Partnership. We built the Willamette Restoration Strategy with realistic goals, recommended policies, and tools to achieve results that were good for nature and good for people. As a result, millions have been spent in restoring floodplains and habitat in partnership with farmers and cities using innovative strategies driven by science. Today, the Willamette River is getting better. We can swim in it again and the bald eagles are back.

Since that moment in the Willamette, we have continued throwing our shoulders behind ecosystem services and market-based conservation — incentives that encourage people to value nature — throughout the American West.

In 2009, we developed Counting on the Environment, a package of measurement tools, accounting protocols, and agency agreements that allow people across the western United States to invest in the good things nature provides: clean water, wildlife habitat, and natural places to play. Counting on the Environment was also the time when we started working with communities across the West facing similar, complex conservation challenges.

With more than 20 years of experience convening partners and developing market-based conservation solutions, Willamette Partnership continues to help others create incentives for investing in conservation and restoration throughout the West. We believe it is increasingly important to do this work in a way that cares for people — making communities more resilient by solving environmental problems that improve health, social, and economic outcomes.

 

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon. 

 

Mission

Willamette Partnership is working to increase the pace, scope, and effectiveness of restoration and conservation to create benefits for both natural and human communities.

 

Vision

Willamette Partnership envisions a world in which people create resilient ecosystems, healthy communities, and vibrant economies by investing in nature. We are building a future in which people understand and value the benefits nature provides.

 

Values

INTEGRITY is our inner compass, directing us to do what is right even when it is not easy. No matter where our work takes us, we stay on course by being honest, trustworthy, consistent, and fair.

LEADERSHIP means making the possible a reality. We use tenacity, creativity, and hopes for the future to carve out a pragmatic path forward.

COLLABORATION is the foundation we build on. Only when we listen, include others, and learn from diverse perspectives do we create lasting solutions to complex challenges.

PASSION is the color of our work. Our purpose is vivid and our optimism vibrant, fueling our drive for progress.

BALANCE is the key to sustainability, both in nature and at work. We strive to harmonize social and economic needs with those of the environment. We also sustain our passion and effectiveness by nurturing our individual needs.

Find out how we’re making conservation happen faster, better, and on larger scales throughout West.

OUR WORK