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People Who Collaborate

Karen Moon, Harney County Watershed Council Coordinator

As coordinator for the Harney County Watershed Council Karen Moon keeps a full slate of work in front of her as the Council "works to improve watershed health for the benefit of our communities and the environment." As Karen describes it, "Council members have worked since the early 2000’s to bring to light the groundwater declines that were happening in portions of the basin. This resulted in the Oregon Water Resources Department calling a halt to groundwater permits in 2015/16 and conducting the Harney Basin Groundwater Study with USGS. This was also the time that the Council was awarded a Place Based Planning grant to develop an integrated plan for all water use within the basin, for the future. Before that, the Council was one of the first proponents for “landscape scale” restoration. While water has been a main focus for quite a few years, the Council works to improve all parts of the watersheds in the Harney Basin. For example, early on there were several very large juniper management projects in cooperation with BLM that were successful, and a video that talked about the Juniper problems entitled The Quiet Invasion."

Karen's work revolves around the complexities of water availability and access and involves developing projects, grant management and many other administrative duties but with that, her most rewarding part of the work is "bringing people together to gain a better understanding from all sides of an issue and finding common ground". To this end, Karen participates with other collaboratives including the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan; participating with the latter since the early 2000's and with the wetlands collaborative since it began in 2011.

On the personal side, Karen made Harney County her home in 1995 with a move from Minnesota and enjoys spending time with her kids and grandson. "I also enjoy raising, riding and driving Missouri Foxtrotters and mini horses! I can’t leave my Australian Terrier’s out of the picture either! Ronnie, Oscar and Newt are my best buddies!