Valeen Madden, Executive Director

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, promoted to Private Lands Project Coordinator in January 2015, promoted to Assistant Executive Director in April 2017, and taking on directorship of the Council in May of 2018. 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, 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 via distance education. Each month Justin also serves as a helicopter crew chief 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 enjoys working in Watershed Restoration with such an enthusiastic team. Justin Coordinates and manages projects and monitoring across the landscape.

Kristen Walz, Project Coordinator

Kristen was born and raised in Iowa. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Portland State University. Kristen moved to Monument in 2016 after working at sea in Alaska as a fisheries biologist for 2 years. She has a passion for conservation and is excited to explore the beautiful, rugged Eastern Oregon landscape. In her free time, Kristen enjoys spending time outdoors with her boyfriend and their dog.

Greg Hill, Education/Outreach Coordinator

Greg was born and raised in Wisconsin where he developed a love for the outdoors.  He earned a Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point and then moved around the country working a variety of ecological research and monitoring jobs before conducting his graduate studies on fish movement and habitat selection in the Florida Everglades.  After earning a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Florida International University, Greg moved to Idaho where he worked with wolf/livestock conflict resolution for the Lava Lake Institute as Project Coordinator for the Wood River Wolf Project.  Still, it was a bull trout research project in NE Oregon that Greg worked on in 2008 that endeared him to the area, and in April 2018 he was excited to move back where he enjoys hunting, fishing and exploring the wilds of the Blue Mountains.

Kris Thornton, Youth-Crew Coordinator


To Contact any of our staff, please call (541) 421-3018, email, or stop by our office in Long Creek Oregon.

Copyright © 2018 North Fork John Day Watershed Council