The Network of Oregon Watershed Councils (“NOWC for short- pronounced “NOW-see”) was formed by a small group of watershed council staff members in 2004 who realized there was a need for a single organization that could provide organizational and technical training and facilitation, link councils together for peer-to-peer learning, and provide a collective voice with state and federal natural resource agencies, policy-makers, and funders. Since then, NOWC has had a small staff to represent, inform, and convene community-based watershed councils across the state and a solid board consisting of committed watershed council coordinators/executive directors and at-large members. The Network is supported by grants, contracts with individual councils, and annual membership contributions from councils.
NOWC joined into a partnership with other statewide organizations committed to supporting voluntary conservation, including the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts, Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, and the Oregon Conservation Education and Assistance Network with whom they share office space, resources, and funding. The Partnership is called the Oregon Conservation Partnership.
NOWC and the partners offer monthly webinars for staff and boards, a large annual conference, email updates, individual council assistance, and a regular presence with key agencies, funders, and other conservation organizations, as well as engagement with the legislature, which gives councils a collective identity so they remain as relevant and positive participants in statewide dialogues.