John Day Basin Partnership nominated for 2015 Outstanding Partnership Award

Posted by Renee Magyar on November 16, 2015

Important recognition for a new partnership in the John Day Basin watershed.

The John Day Basin watershed in eastern Oregon.

Sustainable Northwest would like to congratulate the new John Day Basin Partnership for being nominated on October 31st for the 2015 Outstanding Partnership Award. This is the third year the award was given by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), and it was presented at the Oregon Conservation Partnership’s annual Gathering for Conservation conference. This event brings together statewide representatives of Oregon’s leading landscape restoration and protection practitioners, including the Network of Oregon Watershed Councils, Oregon Association of Conservation Districts, and the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts. The John Day Basin Partnership was nominated alongside five other groups, many of which have been in existence for many years.

The John Day River Basin nurtures a wealth of wild salmon runs, small rural farming and ranching communities, and historical and cultural riches. In 2014, this community asked Sustainable Northwest to help them build a partnership capable of bringing in more funding to increase the pace, scale, and quality of restoration work in the region. The group’s nearly 30 participants—farming and ranching groups, conservation organizations, tribes, and state and federal agencies—are working together to create and implement a coordinated plan that will support healthy native fish and productive working landscapes for future generations.

While the award ultimately went to a partnership in the Upper Willamette Basin at the awards banquet on November 3rd, this nomination is a testament to the hard work and unity of this new diverse group. Sue Greer, representative for OWEB's Mid-Columbia Region 6, who nominated the partnership said, "creating a successful partnership that covers such a large and diverse geographic area with a such a mix of partners, including multiple Watershed Councils, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, NGOs, and State and Federal Agencies, is a huge accomplishment in itself. Add to that the careful planning and collaboration to get the best restoration projects on the ground – this is why I nominated this group for the OWEB Outstanding Partnership Award.”

More great news is that the partnership just submitted its first joint grant proposal to OWEB. This $150,000 will enable the group to finish creating a strong, self-sustaining organization in 2016.

Sustainable Northwest is honored to be able to work with such a strong group of champions for their community, and we look forward to continued progress and more success in the future.