Kim Ryals, Executive Director


Valeen Madden, Private Lands Project Coordinator

Valeen grew up in Grant County and brings a wealth of local knowledge to the council. She started her journey with the North Fork John Day Watershed Council in June 2009 as Business Manager and was promoted to Private Lands Project Coordinator in January 2015. She has a drive for being a team player and is always willing to answer a call for help. Valeen’s hobbies are spending time with her two children, being a volunteer CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children), spending time outdoors and reading when she can find the time.

Justin Rowell, Public Lands Project Coordinator

Justin grew up in Grant County, where he has been extensively involved with local activities such as Boy Scouts and 4-H, learning ecological systems, forest-craft, and experiencing the diverse uses of our public lands. He recently received a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Eastern Oregon University, completed primarily in the past three years via distance education. Each month Justin also serves as a helicopter mechanic in the Oregon National Guard. He has enjoyed work in every field from Computer/Network Technician to Ranch Hand, including 5 years with the Malheur National Forest as a Timber Marker/Cruiser. He has chosen to make Grant County his home and is excited to work in Watershed Restoration with such an enthusiastic team. He is coordinating projects on public lands, working with partners like the Forest Service and the BLM. He lives in Prairie City, where he has two great children.

Kathy Hardt, Business Manager

Kathy is a Native Oregonian raised in a Farming Community. She has a love of the outdoors and taking care of the land, enjoys taking long walks and exploring the wonders of Eastern Oregon. Kathy supports her country and helps when she can with “Wounded Warrior” projects.  Her hobbies are gardening, crafting and recycling junk into useful items.

Amy Early, Youth Coordinator

Amy is originally from the Willamette Valley.  She studied early education and made a profession of Nursing until she moved to Grant County. Amy has worked for NFJDWC since April 2016. She moved to Long Creek to be closer to family.  Amy enjoys farming and ranching and all that that entails. She has a heart for kids and enjoys seeing them grow with their interests and their future.

Shelley Reich, Monitoring Coordinator

Shelley grew up on a hobby farm in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, where her family raised horses, cows, dogs, and poultry. Here, she lives on a small ranch outside Monument with her husband and their black retriever. Shelley feels at home in this beautiful, rural landscape. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding area and hiking in the mountains. Shelley holds Bachelors and Masters’ degrees in Biology and enjoys putting her education to use for the good of the local community. She works as a project coordinator at the Watershed Council and is enjoying learning more about the John Day Basin and meeting the people who live here.

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