A one-stop resource bonanza

Monument Elementary School third-grader, Caleb Arnold, counts the rings to determine the age of this tree section, with Gus Jaeger watching. Students will create posters with the theme "Forests for People," to be displayed and judged at the Monument Resource Fair.

For a decade now, the Monument Resource Fair has been offering a sort of one-stop shopping experience for farmers and ranchers in the northern part of Grant County, where access to agencies, information and assistance can be difficult. 

Every winter the fair brings together a dozen or more state and federal natural resource agencies, along with private organizations and businesses, each with information and programs to help landowners and agricultural producers. A survey of those attending last year’s event found weed control and juniper encroachment to be among the most pressing concerns of area landowners.

This year’s fair will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at the Monument Senior Center. In addition to informational booths, displays and door prizes, several special presentations are planned. 

Roger Sheley of the Agricultural Research Service in Burns will speak on the topic, “Can Medusahead Be Managed?” Grant County Watermaster Eric W. Julsrud and Assistant Watermaster Hailey D. Boethin will discuss basic water law and give an overview of frequently asked questions. Bob Parker, Oregon State University Extension Service forestry agent, will explain the benefits of woodland owner cooperatives.

The Monument FFA will also give a presentation on their current and future projects with highlights from the past year. 

“This is a great chance for people to find out what’s happening in the area and the opportunities available to them,” said Ashley Mund, Monument Soil and Water Conservation District coordinator.

The District is partnering with the North Fork John Day Watershed Council to sponsor the event. 

The Monument FFA will serve their famous tri-tip lunch with potatoes, salad, rolls and dessert. All proceeds from the $6 per plate meal will go to the Monument FFA Chapter. 

Monument and Long Creek School students will display their posters for the National Association of Conservation Districts’ annual contest. This year’s theme is “Forests for People: More Than You Can Imagine!” Viewers will be able to vote on their favorites and local winners can advance to state and national level competitions. 

“We’re looking forward to being a part of this community event,” says Amy Charette, coordinator for the North Fork John Day Watershed Council. 

“It’s such a great way to bring landowners and agencies together to share ideas and see what resources are out there for doing voluntary conservation work.”

For more information or to make lunch reservations, contact the Monument Soil and Water Conservation District at 541-934-2142 or the Watershed Council at 541-421-3018.

Patti Hudson is the outreach coordinator for the North Fork John Day Watershed Council.

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