691 N. Highway 395 

PO Box 444

Long Creek, OR 97856

Phone: (541) 421-3018


  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
Subscribe to the NFJDWC Newsletter

Our Staff

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 family, 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.


Kris Thornton, Conservation Corps/Education and Outreach Coordinator

Kris comes all the way to Oregon by way of Mississippi, where he got his start in the natural resources field as a crew leader for a conservation corps working along the gulf coast.  He is passionate about the environment and youth, and enjoys the perfect combination of the two where he can help formulate the next generation of land stewards. In his off-time he spends time with his pup, Bodie, and exploring the local wild landscapes.

Kaysi Dean, Business Manager

Kaysi is from a rural community in central west Texas. She attended Texas A&M University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. Since college graduation she has worked in many fields including: marine biology education, office management, and hospitality. She moved to Grant County in the fall of 2019. Kaysi spends her free time reading, trying new hobbies such as painting and embroidery, and spending time with her family and her dog, Luna.

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