- Oregon State University Extension Service (ES) is responsible for the information and education portion of the USDA Dairy-McKay Hydrologic Unit Area (HUA) Project to reduce rural nonpoint source pollution. Approximately 2,700 people own farm and forest land in the 165,000 acre project area. The ES conducted a phone survey of 298 landowners in the HUA to determine knowledge and implementation of water quality management practices. Producers, when asked · to describe themselves, chose 178 as farmers and 120 as foresters. The respondents were polled for information on:
Acreage, crops, and operation
Stream, roadway, soil, irrigation, and septic system management Livestock and waste management
Water quality projects and agencies
The HUA is an agriculturally diverse, high-production farm and forest region. Knowledge and implementation of water quality management practices was high, with the exception of animal waste management by non-commercial animal owners. Some owners know that water quality project help is available. Awareness of the HUA project and designated, specific agency assistance was quite low. A notable number from the farming sector rated the agency assistance as unsatisfactory. Many of the respondents don't perceive a water quality problem in their area.
The ES needs to increase awareness of the issue of water quality, potential animal waste problems; what the HUA is; and where agency assistance is available. Successful voluntary water quality management programs have an effective education and information component.