Crook County is located at the geographic center of the state. Crook County has an estimated population of 26,845, the City of Prineville making up 10,370 of that. Founded in 1882 Crook county was named after General George Crook, who played a major role in pioneering and establishing the region. Due to the harsh high elevation desert climate and isolated geography, Crook County was overlooked as a suitable place to settle by early pioneers. Crook County sits at an average elevation of 2,868 feet with 10.5 inches of rain annually; it can be over 100 degrees F. in the summer and into snowy negative temperatures in the winter. Some say Crook County was one of the last established counties in Oregon. Livestock, and logging in the Ochocos were the primary industries when settled.
Not much has changed today, a hearty people still exist in the 2,991 square mile county sustaining on Agriculture, livestock, rock quarries, minimal forest products, and what commerce takes place in the City of Prineville. With the low rainfall amounts, water here is a precious commodity, that makes or breaks many operations as water years ebb and flow. Water availability and rights will remain to be the major limiting factor to sustainability and growth of Crook County.
The Crooked River Watershed Council has a 25 year relationship with the Prineville community and the surrounding areas.
The council is involved with local education teaming with the Crook County High School Natural Resource CTE program. Both by bringing in grant funds to help support the future of the program and to teach select classes and lessons when called upon.
The CRWC values natural resource education and strives to invest in the students of the Crook County High School Natural Resource CTE program. By bringing in grant funds to help the program keep running and to assist in teaching classes when available.
Working in a predominantly agriculture area with the goals of water quality can be challenging at times. The CRWC has been successful in building long lasting relationships that lead to best management practices on a watershed scale.