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Within Our Reach

Taking Stock and Scaling Up for a Healthier Willamette

Join us for Within Our Reach, a biennial gathering of funders, river restoration professionals, landowners, public agencies, scientists and students focused on improving the health of the Willamette River.

The Within Our Reach conference provides a unique opportunity for a diverse group of stakeholders to come together, share and learn from one another. Though threats to river health vary greatly from forested tributary headwaters to Portland Harbor, the Willamette is one connected system.

The goal of Within Our Reach is to engage a broader group of stakeholders in reflecting on the challenges facing the river and its tributaries, learning about restoration efforts in and beyond Oregon, and crafting practical strategies to ensure that a healthy river system is a secure part of our future.

What to Expect for 2014

Planning is underway for an exciting collection of keynote speakers, plenaries, concurrent sessions and networking opportunities on the theme of Taking Stock and Scaling Up for a Healthier Willamette. Throughout the 2-day event, attendees can expect to explore some big questions, including:

  • What has been accomplished in the past several years of Willamette restoration?
  • How has our understanding of the river system changed? What are the management implications of that new understanding?
  • What is needed to maintain the gains?
  • What will it take to scale up our efforts for maximum basin-wide impact?
  • How can we expand the base of support to sustain this work into the future?
  • Who should be at this table, and how can we connect with them?

New this year, we will be issuing a Call for Proposals for concurrent sessions and posters. View details here.

Conference Background

Within Our Reach is presented by the Willamette River Initiative, a strategic funding program of the Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT), and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB). In the fall of 2008, MMT and OWEB entered into a unique, private/public funding partnership aimed at protecting and enhancing the many benefits provided by the Willamette. Since then, we have been building partnerships with other funders and organizations working to improve the river's health. Through Within Our Reach, we hope to foster greater collaboration and alignment of restoration efforts in the basin.

This is the third Within Our Reach conference. Held at the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis, Oregon, the conference draws around 200 attendees. The conference is coordinated by the staff of WRI and a voluntary committee of stakeholder representatives, with event planning services provided by the Portland-based firm Social Enterprises.