New director heads watershed council

Elaine Eisenbraun is the new executive director of the North John Day Watershed Council.

LONG CREEK - Elaine Eisenbraun is the new executive director at the North John Day Watershed Council.

Eisenbraun brings over 30 years of experience in land management, education and executive leadership to her new role, including her most recent position as executive director of a 3,200-acre outdoor education and research center in Vermont.

She's no newcomer to Eastern Oregon, however. Eisenbraun previously worked in Madras as a forester for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, and was a forestry consultant in La Grande for more than 10 years.

She was chosen from a number of candidates to replace outgoing executive director Amy Charette, who accepted a position with the Warm Springs Tribes' office in John Day.

"I'm looking forward to enhancing the outstanding work that's already been taking place at Council," Eisenbraun said.

She and her husband, Martin, also a forester, have owned a home outside Long Creek for several years.

The Eisenbrauns said they are excited to be returning to the area full time.

They have two grown daughters; one is developing an outdoor clothing business and the other is a working cowgirl.

In addition to building on the Watershed Council's natural resource work and landowner collaborations, Eisenbraun hopes to expand the organization's education and outreach efforts.

"A 1,000-mile canoe trip to the Arctic when I was a teen started my interest in moving water and the natural world," Eisenbraun explained.

"I want to share that interest and excitement with people here and help them better know this incredible watershed and how important it is to their lives."

The North John Day Watershed Council is a locally based nonprofit dedicated to safeguarding the waters, wildlife and working farms and ranches in northern Grant County. Formed in 1995, it became a nonprofit in 2006.

The Council provides support for a variety of projects that not only help agricultural producers, but also protect natural resources and bring jobs and dollars into the local economy.

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