A Note From Executive Director Brenda Smith
Hi everyone. I hope our April newsletter finds you healthy and well. When we sent our March newsletter just a few weeks ago we had no idea how our world was about to change and now, here we are, events cancelled, plans shifting, virtual meetings, empty TP shelves and there must be a lot of bread making happening in Harney County as it's hard to find yeast on the grocery store shelves! It’s not an easy time for sure, sometimes it’s day-by-day and sometimes moment-by-moment for us here at High Desert Partnership but we are moving forward.
We are incredibly thankful for the High Desert Partnership community and everyone’s willingness to be nimble in this unprecedented time. March 18 and March 19 we had plans for the Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative meeting and the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative meeting to convene in Burns as usual with lots to discuss. Just a few days before those meetings we made the decision to shift to virtual meetings for everyone’s health and safety. And, so many of you shifted right with us with more than 20 partners at each meeting making it possible to move forward conversations and continue working together. Thank you partners and our gifted facilitators for your flexibility. We’re all in this together for sure.
As we move through this time we know it will come to end, we don’t know when, but we do know there is a horizon out there. We’re keeping hope alive here through our work. There is always lots to do and it’s through the projects that we’re engrossed in, that we’re thinking about and working on Harney County’s future. Life is disorienting right now but when doing this work, it’s helping us stay in a hopeful place. We hope you can see the horizon out there too.
As most of you have likely heard, the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival is cancelled. But, the birds don’t know that! The basin is filling with wet meadows and migratory birds. It’s a wonder every day as we here in Harney County move about the basin. We know for many of you, you can’t experience this in person this year so with our partners Portland Audubon, Friends of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the organizers of the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival we’re sharing the basin with you through Harney@Home. You can follow @restoremalheur; @maheurfriends; @migratorybirdfestival and @highdesertpartnership for images, videos and tours of the basin. If you’re in need of a reminder of life continuing, we hope seeing the sights and sounds of the Harney Basin will help.
There is so much noise, distress and hard work in the world right now, for me, this quote helps and reminds me that there is at least one thing within my control right now: Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work, it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. ~annoymous
Wishing you all very well.