KTVZ - New ‘community conversations’ series sheds light on Crooked River watershed

This article was published on: 06/22/22 1:56 PM

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — A new series of free, public events about the Crooked River watershed is coming to Prineville, starting this July. Your Watershed: Community Conversations is a participatory forum where local experts and neighbors will explore the environmental and ecological conditions, trends, and solutions around the Crooked River watershed and its inhabitants. The six-part series will cover water, recreation, fire, flora and fauna, community resources and land management.

Each event will include brief presentations by featured guests, followed by an open forum for conversation among Crook River residents and local organizations and businesses connected to the evening’s theme. Prior to each event, participants can submit questions to be addressed through the series’ website, www.yourwatershed.net.

“Watersheds are defined by natural, landscape boundaries and a community of living things. What our common watershed neighbors do affects everyone in the community. Watersheds are a whole connected unit, with the upland conditions affecting the quality of water, air, habitat and more. What happens upstream will influence everyone who lives downstream,” said Chris Gannon, director of the Crooked River Watershed Council.

“The Your Watershed: Community Conversations series will not only show how vital the Crooked River watershed is to our lives, but will also provide a space to have productive conversations about how we can best improve habitat and quality of life for those who depend on the watershed,” noted Sally Compton, director of Think Wild.

The first conversation, Water, is scheduled for Thursday, July 21, 5:30-7:30 pm, at the Crooked River Elementary School. The featured guests include Bruce Scanlon of Ochoco Irrigation District (OID), Kyle Gorman of Oregon Water Resource Dept. (OWRD) and Natasha Bellis, Board Member of Deschutes River Conservancy who will overview their areas of work.

Additional guest organizations will be on hand for the community conversation around water, including the City of Prineville; Crooked River Watershed Council; United States Geological Survey (USGS) on springs monitoring; Oregon DEQ on water quality; Beaver Works Oregon; Dr. Skuyler Herzog, hydrologist with OSU Natural Resources; and more.

Your Watershed: Community Conversations is being presented by the Crooked River Watershed Council, an organization that promotes stream health, education outreach, and upland awareness, and Think Wild, a wildlife hospital and conservation center that provides education, habitat enhancement, coexistence solutions and wildlife patient care and release. The series was made possible by Meta through a 2022 Community Action Grant, with additional sponsorship by Grocery Outlet – Prineville. To learn more, visit www.yourwatershed.net.

Crook County