Max Denning

Wallowa Resources announced an addition to its team on Feb. 15, bringing the nonprofit land stewardship organization to 17 full-time employees. Kris Crowley, a Boise State graduate who was most recently working for seven years in Burns, is the new Wallowa Canyonlands Partnership Program Manager.

In a press release, Wallowa Resources outlined Crowley’s job: “Kris will be responsible for development, implementation and evaluation of invasive weed management strategies across the Canyonlands of Wallowa County. This involves coordination with numerous partners including public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners to implement management across jurisdictional boundaries.”

Crowley told The Observer the work Wallowa Resources does on this topic is essential.

“The threat of noxious weeds and invasive species in general has no regard for jurisdictional boundaries, and thus it is key to be able to work with all parties toward effective solutions,” Crowley said.

Wallowa Resources is based in Enterprise and its mission “is to empower rural communities to create strong economies and healthy landscapes through land stewardship, education, and job creation,” according to its website.

Before beginning his job in Wallowa County earlier this month, Crowley worked in Burns for seven years for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the aquatic health program and the Burns Paiute Tribe as a fisheries biologist and program manager. He said the region clearly supports conserving the environment.

“Having only been in the position for a couple of weeks, it is already apparent to me that the people in this area greatly care about their land, natural resources and rural communities,” Crowley said.

Crowley is originally from Dallas, Texas, but he spent his youth in Boise, where he attended high school and earned a B.S. in biology from Boise State University. While in Burns, Crowley also participated as a member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council.

When he’s not working, Crowley is a backcountry bow hunter and fisherman. He enjoys spending his free time exploring and sharing the experience with his wife and their three boys.

See complete story in Friday's Observer