The OSU Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management Department provides primary leadership for this initiative at this time. The Watersheds Research Cooperative Director is Dr. Arne Skaugset, a professor at OSU.

The membership categories for cooperators are contractual and liaison. Contractual members are forest landowners, forestland managers, federal, state, and local government agencies, and other affiliated groups that support the Cooperative by contributing an annual membership fee and in-kind support (e.g., study sites, labor, equipment, and materials). Liaison members do not pay an annual fee; they advise the Cooperative and provide links to other research projects and research groups conducting environmental watershed research.

Members participate in the Cooperative through representation on the Advisory Committee. This committee advises the Cooperative Director on the activities, direction, size, and support of the program and identifies research problems, establishes priorities, and assists in planning, implementing, and evaluating studies.

Contractual members have voting rights on the Advisory Committee. Liaison members have a seat on the Advisory Committee and contribute to discussions, but have no voting rights. The Contractual members sign a General Memorandum of Agreement.