Frequently Asked Questions

What is a watershed?

A watershed is typically defined as the area of land where all precipitation drains to a common body of water, such as a river or lake. Watersheds are not made of water, but of land. This means that the boundaries of a watershed are determined by the shape of the land that surrounds them. Water runs downstream, so hills and mountain ranges often form the boundaries of watersheds.

What is a watershed council?

Watershed Councils bring local stakeholders together to plan watershed protection and restoration strategies in a holistic way. This collaborative approach assures that local interests have a strong voice in the future of their watershed. Watershed Councils are private, non-governmental and non-regulatory organizations. This means that private landowners can come to us without worry of regulation or government oversight of their land. We are free to work to improve watershed conditions with anyone who is interested in making things better.

How big is our watershed?

The North/Middle Fork watershed is approximately 2600 square miles (1,664,000 acres)

Where is it located?

The North Fork John Day Watershed is part of the John Day Basin. It is located mainly in Grant, Umatilla, and Morrow Counties, but also includes small sections of Wheeler and Union Counties.

What towns are in this watershed?

Long Creek, Monument, Fox, Hamilton, Ritter, Dale, Susanville, Bates, Greenhorn, Austin, Galena, Granite, and Ukiah are all found with in the North Fork John Day Watershed.

What is the population of the watershed?

The watershed has a population of approximately 1200 people that live in the small communities of Long Creek, Monument, Granite and Ukiah, or in scattered ranches and homesteads throughout the watershed.

What are the predominant types of land in the watershed?

  • 72.7% Forest
  • 19.5% Shrub/grasslands
  • 7.1% Agriculture
  • 0.4% Alpine
  • 0.2% Urban
  • 0.1% Water

Who owns/manages the land in the watershed?

  • 58.9% Private
  • 31.5% Forest Service
  • 8.7% Bureau of Land Management
  • 0.5% Tribal
  • 0.2% National Park Service
  • 0.1% State of Oregon

What are the recreational opportunities in the watershed?

The diverse landscape of the watershed includes the Blue Mountain’s forests, open grasslands, dry rimrock canyons, and lush irrigated meadows. The area provides many recreational opportunities including fishing, hunting, rafting and canoeing, hiking, snowmobiling and ATVs, and camping.

What types of wildlife can be found in the watershed?

Elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, cougar, black bear, coyote, wolves, bobcat, wild turkey, river otters, and beaver are found in the watershed. Bald eagles and hawks are common in the area, and migratory birds such as cranes, geese, and ducks travel through the basin. The John Day River and its tributaries provide excellent habitat for diverse fish species including Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, bass, redband trout, bull trout, and cutthroat trout.


Copyright © 2017 North Fork John Day Watershed Council