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Education & Outreach

The North Fork John Day Watershed Council’s education program, the Blue Mountain Field Institute (BMFI), partners with local agencies and organizations to provide experiential learning opportunities to youth in Grant and Umatilla counties. These natural resource focused learning experiences provide youth knowledge of important issues facing their local communities and landscapes, while encouraging good stewardship. The NFJDWC also provides local community outreach and support through informational workshops and volunteer service events.

Blue Mountain Field Institute


The Blue Mountain Field Institute (BMFI) partners with many natural resource experts and practitioners to engage students in awareness of community based, locally relevant watershed issues, both through experiences in the classroom and in the field. Students develop an understanding of watershed function and factors impacting landscape health, how watershed resources support livelihoods and strong local economies, and the critical role student’s plays in ensuring the health of our landscapes and resources, for generations to come.

The Blue Mountain Field Institute provides academic credits, potential post-secondary tuition vouchers and place-based learning in a Positive Youth Development-friendly setting. BMFI also aims to provide students skills in critical thinking, leadership, communication and work readiness

Richard Shade teaching fly tying with hi
Featured BMFI Program:
Youth in Foresty

The Blue Mountain Forest Partners (BMFP) has partnered with the North Fork John Day Watershed Council to offer a BMFP developed, hands-on learning opportunity for high school age students in Grant County. The Youth In Forestry program provides students a greater understanding of dry forest ecology and the importance of its management. This program is developed to engage students in critical thinking and problem solving, stimulate a deeper understanding of the challenges and successes facing modern-day forest management and inspire a deeper, more personal connection with local forests. Students participating in this program gain high school academic credits, as well as the opportunity to earn postsecondary tuition vouchers. Tuition vouchers may be applied to any two or four-year college or university or an accredited trade school.

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Community Outreach

Outreach in support of local communities is critical to the NFJDWC mission. The Council strives to foster a far-reaching appreciation for the values and principles that have supported the economy and families of eastern Oregon for decades. NFJDWC believes that the combination of science and the anecdotal knowledge of those who have worked our landscapes for generations, is vital to the long-term sustainability and health of our natural systems.

The NFJDWC participates in outreach events to increase awareness and garner support for a variety of community and natural resource concerns. Recently, the NFJDWC partnered with 1188 Brewing Company to host monthly community trivia nights. This fundraiser benefits the NFJDWC military veteran conservation program (Wild Vets), with proceeds going to support ongoing needs for our military veteran and their work in the field.    

The NFJDWC also participates in many volunteer events throughout the year, including Free Fishing Day hosted by the Warm Springs Tribe and volunteer trail work parties with Eastern Oregon Trails Alliance.

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