Oregon Stewardship works the students on handson watershed projects in a four county area of Southwest Oregon.   Collaborators include students at six high schools, Medford Parks and Recreation, and  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and a growing number of southwestern Oregon citizens’ groups and businesses.

The mission of Oregon Stewardship is to offer education that encourages the community to provide stewardship for the land of Oregon.We encourage students, adults, and all community members to participate in the grassroots stewardship of our environment. We do this with integrity, responsibility, balance and knowledge, and with community commitment and support.

Working with teachers and outdoor professionals, Oregon Stewardship has developed an interactive program. Students learn about:

  • Watersheds: forest, wetland and tidepool ecosystems
  • The ecological cycles and functions that sustain these ecosystems
  • Indicators of ecosystem health, such as anadromous fish

Students observe their own local watersheds and discuss how they fit into regional, national, and global ecosystems. They research and write reports and essays. They test scientific theories in a real world context including local forests, marshes, streams, and riparian habitats in natural and agricultural areas.

Oregon Stewardship serves Jackson, Josephine, Curry, and Coos Counties.

About Jim and Carla Hutchins
Jim has been teaching students about caring for the environment and running Oregon Stewardship with his wife, Carla, for more than 25 years. Both lovers of the outdoors, Jim spends a good deal of his free time fishing the rivers and the coast, and Carla is a busy organic gardener, growing all sorts of berries, flowers and vegetables.

Annual Bear Creek Salmon Counts

Each October Jim counts salmon in Bear Creek at three locations and on several locations on the Illinois River near Cave Junction.  The salmon begin their migrations after the first rains, usually late September or early October.   The bulk of the spawning is in mid October.  Salmon counts have recently been very strong.  A chart under Programs lists the yearly survey.