Position Announcement: Youth Program Coordinator

Published April 27th, 2017 in Blog, What's Happening? | Comments Off on Position Announcement: Youth Program Coordinator

The North Fork John Day Watershed Council (NFJDWC), through its Youth Program, provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities to youth and young adults during summer, and field trips and presentations to local schools during the school year.

Position: Youth Program Coordinator
Location: Long Creek, Oregon
Schedule:  Full-time, Exempt, Regular
Pay rate:  $30,000 – $40,000 DOE
Benefits: Optional health insurance and paid time off, including holidays and vacation
Reports to: Executive Director
Work Environment: Regular hours during school year; flexible often irregular hours during summer. Mandatory background check; drug and alcohol-free work site
Application deadline: Open till filled; immediate start.

Position summary:

The Youth Program Coordinator (YPC) manages and grows the NFJDWC’s Youth Program, both its summer component (conservation work crews) and its school year component (field trips and presentations). Both office and field work are equally important and valued in this position.

Summer Youth Program:

Under direct supervision of the Executive Director, YPC’s primary responsibilities are: recruiting, hiring, training, supervising, and mentoring seasonal field staff including Crew Leaders and Crew Members; supporting and maintaining partnerships through partner coordination, project development, and reporting; overseeing logistics, training, and maintaining consistent quality control, risk management and safety protocols, and program integrity.

School Program:

Develop, deliver and lead high-quality interactive field trips, projects and presentations to a variety of youth in different outdoor and classroom settings.

Other functions:

  • Work with other staff on pressing projects when appropriate, including all facets within the NFJDWC mission
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director

 

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of environmental education topics and conservation practices
  • Previous experience working with youth or in a youth leadership role
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a wide variety of staff, partners, and agency personnel
  • Working knowledge of MS Office
  • A valid driver’s license with good driving record

Desired Qualifications:

  • Course work or degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resources, Forestry, or a related field OR prior experience working for a Conservation Corps
  • Applied field experience in conservation or land management field work
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor young adults working in remote outdoors settings performing arduous physical labor
  • Experience in grant writing, administration and reporting
  • Proficiency with office equipment and software including Microsoft; ability to manage data in an organized, consistent, and timely manner

Personal Qualities and Characteristics:

  • A positive attitude, interest in service and community work, and a desire to make a difference
  • Energetic and inspiring leadership to participants, while fostering strong work habits, environmental ethics, youth leadership and team unity
  • Excellent organizational, project and time management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills

Physical Requirements:

To successfully perform essential functions, the YPC is required to sit, stand, walk, speak and hear. The YPC may be required to hike, climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl on an infrequent basis. He/she must be able to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer, and reach with hands and arms. The YPC may be required to lift up to 50 pounds unassisted and perform during hot/cold weather, rain/snow and other seasonal conditions.

To Apply:  Please send a cover letter, resume and 3 references to info@nfjdwc.org

Please: no phone calls~

Big Mosquito Riparian Enhancement

Published January 18th, 2017 in Blog, What's Happening? | Comments Off on Big Mosquito Riparian Enhancement

Multiple large landslides within the Big Creek Subwatershed created meadows that historically functioned to store large volumes of water for gradual release later in the flow period. Thus, these meadows can extend the base flows into the drier summer months. Deadwood Creek reaches 1-3 is a depositional valley formed by the largest landslide within Big Creek and along with Big Creek reach 4 composes the core depositional features used for steelhead spawning within the Subwatershed. Deadwood reaches 1-3 have grass-dominated streambanks with alder communities that are being overtopped by lodgepole pine. These low gradient reaches have been drying out due to the absence of beaver. A lack of large woody debris or persisting beaver dams has resulted in channel incision. Fire suppression has led to an overly dense stand that created poor large wood recruitment and reduced biodiversity. The confluence of several tributaries with Big Creek is characterized by a steep gradient. Large wood is needed to control the grade and initiate pools within this section of the creek.

Wet meadows are becoming increasingly important water reservoirs. Increasing ambient air temperatures are predicted to cause both temporal and spatial changes in the delivery of fresh water. Scientists anticipate increased winter runoff from water melting earlier in the season and falling as rain rather than snow. This will cause earlier peak streamflows in the spring and diminshed runoff during the hot summer months. The outcome of these changes will be significantly altered flow regimes. Anadromous fish runs are adapted to typical flow conditions. The predicted changes in snowpack means that the John Day Basin will have to rely more heavily on other forms of natural water storage. Wet meadows collect and store runoff, which not only helps prevent seasonal flooding, but also ensures the availability of water throughout the dry summer months.

Unfortunately, the hydrologic function of several meadows within the Big Creek-Middle Fork John Day Watershed has been impaired by the presence of gullies and incised channels which transport water off the meadow. The result is a dry, dusty meadow with a decreased water table and reduced riparian vegetative biomass and biodiversity.

For this project, the Malheur National Forest chose to use the natural resources available rather than bring in man-made materials. Large Woody Debris (LWD) was placed in the streams to concentrate scour, store sediment, and promote the creation and maintenance of quality pools. The LWD placement consisted of 80-100 large trees (diameter at least 12 inches) per mile and 438 small trees (diameter between 4-12 inches) per mile. Twenty percent of the large trees were greater than 20 inches in diameter, at least 35 ft long, or 1.5 times the bank-full width of the stream.

This project pioneered a new strategy for wet meadow restoration. Healthy wet meadows act as nature’s sponges by soaking up available water, storing it, and slowly releasing it during the dry season. However, the meadows in this project had been drained by gullies and incised channels which conveyed the water off the meadow much faster. For this project, trees and brush were cut and placed in the incised channels to decrease the flow of water running off the meadows. The North Fork John Day Watershed Council provided five youth crews to perform the task of installing the woody material into gullies of each of the six identified meadows.In one meadow, the benefit of the work was visible within only a few days. As the meadow began to rehydrate, the wet area increased in distance from the filled channel.  

Funding for this project was provided by the Malheur National Forest and The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

2016 Summer Youth Program

Published January 13th, 2017 in Blog, What's Happening? | Comments Off on 2016 Summer Youth Program

Each year the North Fork John Day Watershed Council Summer Youth Program grows and improves!  The summer of 2016 marks a milestone for participation and accomplishments.  This is best illustrated in knowing that partners expected this summer’s crews to complete 7 miles of recreational trail rehabilitation.  With great crew leaders and determined, hard-working youth, they completed 112 miles!  Our Grant County kids rock!

Projects this summer were diverse and included a lot of cleanup work to rehabilitate resources burned in the 2015 fires.  In addition, some of the crews built brand new fencing on the Malheur National Forest to keep domestic livestock out of sensitive aspen stands.  Others repaired older woven wire fences that exclude browsing on sensitive species.  The crews eradicated weeds from several sites and maintained recreational trails.  Streambanks near threatened bull trout habitat were treated.  Old fences were removed from the landscape to prevent life-threatening tangling situations for wildlife.  Students also were engaged in data collection for research using state-of-the-art acoustic monitoring equipment to track birds and bats.  They also collected monitoring data on invasive weeds.  Additional projects included installation of bird houses and public presentations at the County fair.  Two crews spent the entire summer dedicated to major meadow restoration where they worked tirelessly to restore the meadow floodplain.  Some crews re-lined a washed-out culvert and performed forest thinning operations.  One crew even had a chance to re-habilitate a remote emergency heliport pad.  Every crew had an opportunity to participate in a fish salvage operation prior to in-stream restoration construction.  Each year, this is a favorite activity of all crew members.

In the summer of 2016, the North Fork John Day Watershed Council added a special program for older and experienced crew participants.  The Council established 2 new crews that were provided with technical skills training.  The participants in these crews received USFS chainsaw training and each person became a certified sawyer. Each also received first aid training and certification allowing them to move on to be crew leaders in future years.  These crews were invaluable in serving our partners with high-level services.  The technical crews hiked weekly into the site of the 2015 Canyon Creek Fire Complex where they helped fell hazard trees and removed debris along recreation trails that had been impacted by the fire.  Crews were also dispatched to restore habitat and maintain public land at the Big Mosquito project at the north end of Grant County.  There they place woody material into several miles of incised stream channels.

Overall, 12 crews employing 60 youth and six crew leaders have contributed to the ecosystem health of the Blue Mountains.   Each youth is paid hourly wages for their labors, learns new skills, and gets job training.  WE ARE EXTREMELY PROUD OF OUR YOUNG EMPLOYEES!

In 2016, we had a very special opportunity for rural kids.  The KEEN CORPORATION donated work boots to all of our 4-week crew participants!

 

The Watershed Council is deeply grateful to all the people and organizations that help fund this program and create extraordinary opportunities for Grant County youth while, at the same time, improving our lovely, local landscape!  Funders and contributors who help make this program possible include:

 

 

 

 

Bill Healy Foundation

City of Long Creek

Desolation Creek, LLC

Diack Science Foundation

East Cascades Audubon

Ecotrust Forest Management

Grant County

Gray Family Foundation

Keen Corporation

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

Oregon Youth Conservation Corps

Ritter Hot Springs

Title II program

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

Many caring and dedicated individuals in Grant County!

North Fork John Day Summer Youth Crew 2015

Published August 5th, 2015 in Blog, What's Happening? | Comments Off on North Fork John Day Summer Youth Crew 2015

The crew has built brand new fencing on the Malheur National Forest to keep domestic livestock out of sensitive stream areas – known as riparian areas.  On the Malheur Forest, the crews have also eradicated weeds from several sites, maintained recreational trails, and protected bull trout habitat. 

Crews have also been dispatched to restore habitat and m aintain recreation facilities at the Desolation Creek property at the north end of Grant County.  There they removed old fencing, added woody material to a small creek, cleaned up campgrounds, pulled weeds, and brushed fence lines.  

Old fencing was removed by two crews in the Fox Valley to prepare for new fencing being established by contractors to protect the stream environment from grazing.  

Overall, 9 crews employing 36 youth and four crew leaders have contributed to the ecosystem here in the Blue Mountains.   Each young person is paid for their labors, learns new skills, and gets job training.  WE ARE EXTREMELY PROUD OF OUR YOUNG EMPLOYEES! 

 

 

 

IMG_8831Setting wood to enhance creek channel

IMG_8820Collecting silt to “aggrade” the stream bed

IMG_8844The film crew shoots footage of the crew

The Watershed Council is deeply grateful to all the people and organizations that help us to fund this program and create opportunities for Grant County Youth while, at the same time, improving our local landscape!  Funderswho help make this program possible include:

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Oregon Community Foundation

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

Gray Family Foundation

Ecotrust Forest Management

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

Oregon Youth Conservation Corps

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

 

 

 

Blue Mountain Youth Ride for Bull Trout

Published January 5th, 2015 in Blog, What's Happening? | Comments Off on Blue Mountain Youth Ride for Bull Trout

This year the North Fork John Day Watershed Council is adding a new and exciting program to our summer Oregon Youth Conservation Corp program.  Youth employees will spent a portion of their employment maintaining bike trails and restoring bull trout habitat on the Malheur National Forest Lands.  We will be offering numerous new education and experience opportunities like bike safety and riding techniques to youth employees.  They will even help establish a Scenic Gravel Bikeway in Grant County, the first in the nation!  Keep your eyes open for our hiring notices coming out in early spring. North Fork John Day Watershed Council is the official Oregon Youth Conservation Corp job and education provider for Grant County. 

North Fork John Day Watershed Council Awarded Grant For Education

Published January 5th, 2015 in Blog, What's Happening? | Comments Off on North Fork John Day Watershed Council Awarded Grant For Education

The North Fork John Day Watershed Council  was awarded a grant from The Oregon Community Foundation, which includes the Shelk Fund, to support their Blue Mountain Field Institute (BMFI).  This education branch of the NFJDWC enhances traditional academic programing with field studies, research and career shadowing for high school and college students.  The Blue Mountain Field Institute was initiated in the 2013-2014 school year and provided weekly programming in Long Creek Schools with outstanding success.  Students participated in stewardship projects involving constructing an eight-foot tall fence to protect an over browsed aspen stand; planting riparian vegetation to help restore an erodible section of Fox Creek where habitat restoration had taken place; planting grass seed to prevent invasive weed encroachment in areas where juniper had been eradicated; maintaining an interpretive trail at Bridge Creek Wildlife Area; and installing a blue bird trail.   In addition they attended a forest collaborative meeting and cleaned up several miles along the Willamette River. Each of these projects led to further interpretive learning and application of science, math, social and life skills.

For the 2014-2015 academic school year, the Watershed Council is committed to expanding educational opportunities throughout the Blue Mountains. So far this year, Grant Union High School and Long Creek have participated in curriculum offered by BMFI.  Activities have included programs on Forest Health/Wet Meadows and Prescribed Fire on the Landscape. The Blue Mountain Field Institute is designing additional projects to engage students in integrated “hands-and-minds” opportunities. As the Institute reaches out to a broader geographic selection of students, it will rotate projects around the region.  Projects are being identified near John Day, Dayville, Long Creek, Ukiah and Pendleton areas.  To assure availability of projects throughout the region, the NFJDWC partners with other state, federal and local organizations, assuring interaction for students with professional personnel from a variety of businesses and agencies. So far this year BMFI has partnered with professionals from the Malheur and Umatilla National Forests and, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Desolation Creek, LLC, and The Pacific Northwest Center for Holistic Management.

The projects are designed to provide students with an introduction to real-world skills, critical teamwork and project planning.  Every project integrates science, math, literature, or art into the field project.  Each project will meet an identified Oregon Environmental Literacy Standard and/or Oregon Content Standards.  A curriculum prepared by the NFJDWC will be available to teachers seeking classroom integration.  The students will meet and interact with local landowners and natural resource professionals, and gain a greater appreciation for the extraordinary ecosystem in which they live.

The program is open to all high school aged students. Teens not in school or who home school are very welcome and are encouraged to participate. If interested please call Gail Beverlin, the Education Coordinator at The North Fork John Day Watershed Council at 541-421-3018.

 

 

 

Long Creek Students Experience the Willamette River

Published September 30th, 2013 in What's Happening? | Comments Off on Long Creek Students Experience the Willamette River

Last week, twelve students from the Long Creek School spent three days paddling the Willamette River, thanks to funding and planning by the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps. Accompanied by superintendent Roy Durfee, OYCC Program Administrator Doug Denning, and NFJDWC Education & Projects Coordinator Rebecca Deatsman, students camped at Willamette Mission and Grand Island State Parks and got to experience an environment very different from that of Grant County. In addition to learning how to paddle a canoe with a partner, students planned and cooked the meals for the trip, completed an assessment of the health of the river habitat, and picked up trash at Willamette Mission, undeterred by the cool, rainy weather. The trip helped kick off our Blue Mountain Field Institute program, through which students will be participating in hands-on land management projects throughout the school year.

Ashlyn, Sam, and Morgan pose in their life jackets before setting out.

Ashlyn, Sam, and Morgan pose in their life jackets before setting out.


Students head out into the river.

Students head out into the river.


Lucas, Ivy, Ralph, and Cody work together to dispose of an old tire at Willamette Mission State Park.

Lucas, Ivy, Ralph, and Cody work together to dispose of an old tire at Willamette Mission State Park.


Leslie, Sam, and Lucas make dinner for the group.

Leslie, Sam, and Lucas make dinner for the group.


Marijayne practices casting as the sun sets.

Marijayne practices casting as the sun sets.


Ralph, Cody, Ivy, and Marijayne (along with Mrs. DeLong) put their heads together on the habitat assessment activity.

Ralph, Cody, Ivy, and Marijayne (along with Mrs. DeLong) put their heads together on the habitat assessment activity.

 

The whole group poses by the largest black cottonwood tree in the U.S.

The whole group poses by the largest black cottonwood tree in the U.S.

First Youth Crew Completes a Successful Season!

Published September 7th, 2012 in What's Happening? | Comments Off on First Youth Crew Completes a Successful Season!

The North Fork John Day Watershed Council believes that our youth hold the future of our natural resource future. We know that they need to be exposed to those resources and to develop a connection with them now. So, we put together a pilot teen work crew. It was a great success. Nine young people had the opportunity to earn a wage at the same time they were contributing to the health of landscapes in their own back yard. The crews worked on the Umatilla National Forest to evaluate and clean a young plantation and they brushed-out the Long Creek back-up watershed.

Many miles of wilderness trails were inventoried by the youth and they helped out with two fish salvages. We thank the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps., the Umatilla National Forest, the City of Long Creek, and the National Forest Foundation for making this project possible and for believing in the youth of Long Creek and Monument.


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