August 28, 2002 11:00 pm

The director of the Grande Ronde Model Watershed has received one of three national awards for community assistance.

Jeff Oveson, who became executive director in 1998, received the Forest Service's national Rural Community Assistance Award several days ago. He is one of three in the West to get such an award this year.

Judy Wing of the La Grande Ranger District nominated Oveson.

The announcement of the award called the model watershed "indeed a ‘model' of working in partnership." Oveson "is both the model's designer and the glue that holds it together."

The announcement from Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth said: "Under his (Oveson's) mentoring and direction, wide-ranging projects — from presentations at schools to river clean-up days to the completion of watershed assessments provide avenues for local community involvement, pride and growth."

Oveson, a former cattle rancher, lives in Wallowa.