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Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council

Our Mission

The mission of the Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council is to include a broad and diverse representation of geographic and natural resource interest in the watershed in order to work collaboratively with people, business, and communities to develop and carry out voluntary, on the ground watershed restoration and improvement activities.

 

Who We Are

The Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council is a non-profit organization, authorized by state legislation to assess watershed conditions and implement locally agreed upon solutions for watershed restoration.  The Council is overseen by a diverse board representing a range of local interests. The Council is primarily funded through grant dollars.  The Coordinator provides assistance and education to landowners regarding natural resource management issues on their land.  The Coordinator designs, permitting, construction oversight and reporting on a wide variety of natural resource protection and improvement projects within the Gilliam County Watersheds. 

 

Landowner Assistance

The Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council works with landowners to help improve their property and ranching operations along rivers and in upland areas, while also improving many various habitat types in the Lower John Day Basin. Our local economy depends on the vast agricultural and ranching industry in Eastern Oregon. Protecting these lands helps ensure that these vital aspects of Oregon's rich history and livelihood continue to be sustainable and beneficial to all.

Restoration Projects

We work with private landowners to restore and improve their upland and riparian properties through a wide array of restoration projects, including:​

  • Spring Developments

  • Juniper removal

  • Invasive weed treatment

  • Riparian & wetland fencing

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Office Services

GEJDWC is here to help! We offer many administrative services to local ranchers and landowners, such as:

  • ​Printing

  • Mapping & GIS

  • Drone surveying

Technical Assistance

The first steps in developing a restoration project are to identify both the landowner and resource needs, establish a plan of action and determine the best source of funding to implement the plan. GEJDWC acts as a guide and resource in all steps of the process.

  • ​Project planning

  • Funding assistance

  • Connecting with partners

  • Employing local contractors

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Restoration Program

The GEJDWC partners with private landowners, state, federal, and tribal organizations to accomplish in-stream and upland restoration in the Lower John Day River Basin. Restoration projects aim to protect and restore the region's natural resources, address ecological habitat limiting factors for fish and wildlife, and improve operations on working lands.

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Upland Restoration

Degradation of upland habitat and farmlands have far reaching impacts downstream, including soil run-off and pervasive weeds. Increasing upland restoration activities can help promote better soil health, increased water storage capacity, and more efficient grazing. These are some of types of restoration actions that GEJDWC focuses on in the Lower John Day Basin uplands:

  • Cross Fence Construction

  • Solar Pump Installation

  • Range Seeding

  • Juniper control

  • Spring development

Riparian, Floodplain, & In-stream Restoration

Simplification of steam channels and floodplains has led to degraded fish habitat. Restoring a river to more natural conditions can increase the water table, lower stream temperature, and provide habitat for juvenile and adult fish. These types of projects have also been shown to increase the amount of quality forage and halt annual bank erosion. GEJDWC implements projects involving in-stream restoration actions such as:

  • Riparian fencing

  • Riparian planting

  • Channel modification

  • Restoration of floodplain topography & vegetation

  • Culvert & diversion installation & repair

 

Education & Outreach

The Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council and the Gilliam Soil and Water Conservation District; partner with local agencies and organizations to provide experiential learning opportunities to youth in Gilliam County. These natural resource focused learning experiences provide youth knowledge of important issues facing their local communities and landscapes, while encouraging good stewardship. The GEJDWC and GSWCD also provide local community outreach and support through informational workshops and volunteer service events.

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Education

The GEJDWC partners with many natural resource experts and practitioners to engage students in awareness of community based, locally relevant watershed issues, both through experiences in the classroom and in the field. Students develop an understanding of watershed function and factors impacting landscape health, how watershed resources support livelihoods and strong local economies, and the critical role students' play in ensuring the health of our landscapes and resources, for generations to come.

Outreach

Outreach in support of local communities is critical to the GEJDWC mission. The Council strives to foster a far-reaching appreciation for the values and principles that have supported the economy and families of eastern Oregon for decades. GEJDWC believes that the combination of science and the anecdotal knowledge of those who have worked our landscapes for generations, is vital to the long-term sustainability and health of our natural systems.

The GEJDWC participates in and provides outreach events to increase awareness and garner support for a variety of community and natural resource concerns.

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Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council & Coordinator

The Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council has an established decision making body consisting of seven members representing the different watersheds of Gilliam County as well as a Watershed Coordinator.

Meet The Council

January 1, 2025

Chair - Don Farrar

Vice Chair - Tom Campbell

Supervisor - Susie Anderson

Voting Member - Johnny Wayne Johnson

Voting Member - Ron Wilson

Voting Member - Herschel Lantis

Voting Member - Morris Weatherford

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Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Coordinator

Katie Garthwaite

This full-time, at-will, non-exempt position, which serves as the Watershed Coordinator for the Gilliam-East John Day Watershed Council located in Condon, Oregon.  The position acts on behalf of the Watershed Council, within the authorities delegated by the Council and this description, and reports to the Council Board of Directors.  Direct supervision is provided by the Gilliam County Soil and Water Conservation District, whom acts as the Watershed Council’s fiscal agent and employer of record.

Katie grew up in Gilliam County outside of Condon on her family’s ranch, raising cattle and hay. She was a graduate of Condon high school in 1997.  Katie spent the next few years rodeoing professionally, where she met her husband, Mike.Together they moved to his family ranch in British Columbia, Canada. The last 15 years she and her husband have spent working in the film industry and traveling to different countries working in the stunt and wrangling departments. Four years ago, they decided to move back to Condon to the family ranch to raise their daughter, who is now a sophomore at Condon high school.  She is very much enjoying being back in Condon, reconnecting, and meeting new friends again!!

Katie is excited to have the opportunity to join the GEJDWC team!

 

Opening Hours

Office Located in the Condon USDA Service Center

Mon - Fri: 8:00am- 4:00pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

 
 

Get in Touch

234 S. Main Street
Condon, OR 97823

(541)384-2672 ext 111

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