Our Purpose

The Upper Nehalem Watershed Council was founded in 1996 to help maintain the health of the waterways and wildlife in the Upper Nehalem Valley. Nestled in the northwest corner of Oregon, the UNWC works with other organizations, community members, and stakeholders to complete projects and share information.

Having a healthy watershed is important. It impacts animals and vegetation which, in turn, have consequences for people and communities. A poorly managed watershed can see loss of habitat and species, contribute to larger flood events, and impact the economy.

With so many key interests, collaboration and cooperation are vital. The UNWC provides a framework for all stakeholder voices to be heard and to coordinate efforts towards shared goals.

Mission Statement: To foster stewardship and understanding of the natural resources of the Upper Nehalem Watershed among the stakeholders of the watershed communities in order to protect, conserve, restore and sustain the health and functions of the watershed.

Vision Statement: A balanced ecosystem that supports a healthy watershed which provides for an economic base and viable watershed communities.

Our Team

Maggie Peyton

Executive Director and founding member of the UNWC.

Wade Bullier

Wade Bullier is a fourth generation native Oregonian engaged in the management of a family-owned wood lot located on Rock Creek in southwest Columbia County, Oregon. His interest in the stewardship of natural resources, including timber, clean air, water, and permaculture agricultural practices, is passed on from his grandparents, Raymond W. Cummins and Thelma Pettijohn Cummins.

Wade serves on the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council as Chairperson and is a lifelong salmon fisherman, whose photograph (above) indicates how that all began. Photo credit: R.W. Cummins (1958) / Joel Davis (2019).

Jeff Walton

Jeff Walton is the owner of Vernonia Springs and Vice Chairperson for UNWC.

Sye Laird

Sye Laird has been a Upper Nehalem Watershed Council board member since 2016. He lives on Rock Creek, stewarding a beautiful piece of diverse timberland, pruning fruit trees, and working for Fall Creek Woodworking. Sye particularly enjoys the process of turning a sustainably harvested log into lumber and eventually creating a building, staircase, or piece of furniture. Having spent time on Rock Creek his whole life, Sye is motivated to help protect the watershed that supports our community.

Susan Schmidlin

Susan and her family own acreage with timber and farm ground for a herd of Black Angus cattle. The priority of the farm they live and work on is the health of the land through conservation and stewardship. She joined the UNWC board in 2018.

Rick Osborne

Rick is a member of the Fishhawk Lake community in Birkenfeld and acts as a representative of Fishhawk Lake Reserve & Community. He is a member of the Solutions Committee at the lake and is responsible for lake monitoring of biological activity to ensure a healthy environment for the lake and fish.

Owner of an interior landscape company for 30 years in Salem Oregon helped to develop a true since of our natural world. He retired and moved to Fishhawk.

Rick joined the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council in 2018 and became a board member because the work that the Watershed Council does is vitally important to the Nehalem valley. He is also an avid fly fisherman.

Jeremy Sapp

Treasurer for Upper Nehalem Watershed Council. Currently, works for Weyerhaeuser in the Nehalem River drainage.

Born and raised in Idaho and Montana, Jeremy moved to Oregon about 20 years ago joining dozens of relatives who have lived in the greater Columbia River gorge area for over 130 years. In 2008, he moved to Mount Vernon, Washington and worked for Longview Timber mostly in Skagit County. While in Washington he was accepted into the 36th Ag Forestry Class.  After 6 years in the fertile Skagit Valley, he moved to Forest Grove where he and his family live now. Jeremy and his wife plus their two boys love biking and running and like to explore local and distant places.

Our Office

Contact Us

Upper Nehalem Watershed Council
1201 Texas Ave. Suite A
Vernonia, OR 97064

(503) 429.0869