July Newsletter
July Newsletter
Jacob Gear

People Who Collaborate

Originally from Eastern Washington Jacob Gear has spent most of his career in both Washington and Oregon. While working in Southern California as a Fire Management Officer for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service he saw the position posted for a Fire Management Specialist in Burns and applied.

Jacob knew he enjoyed the community of Burns as he was a brief resident back in 2001 and also spent 2004-2008 living in Lake County; "I just love the beauty and isolation Eastern Oregon has to offer." READ MORE.
Pictured: Jacob Gear, Fire Management Specialist and Rangeland Fire Protection Association Liason photographed by Jeremy Hill in the Pueblo Mountains.

Potential For Large Fires Looms This Summer

It is once again fire season in the Harney Basin. Wet, cooler weather has allowed for a longer greening up period locally, but with the onset of summer, we can expect hot, dry weather and storms with lightning that can touch off wildfires. 

Tim Boyce, a Fire Management Specialist with the Malheur National Forest Emigrant Creek Ranger District, said the month of May was drier than normal and while the area has seen some rain in June, the rest of the summer looks to be dry and hot. “For the months of July, August and September predictions from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center indicate above normal temperatures, below normal precipitation and drought,” he said. Read more.
Photo by Jeremy Hill of burning sagebrush.

Crowdsourcing Fire Watch

You've got a fire lookout from your computer. Check out alertwildfire.org. You can look at the landscape thanks to strategically placed cameras. This virtual fire spotting is helping catching wildfires. Read more. 

The Business of Growing Native Seeds

A product of the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative, the Northern Great Basin Native Seed Cooperative is moving forward with its development. This cooperative is a diverse group of partners looking to commercially produce and market local, native seeds with the seeds ultimately being used for landscape scale restoration. Reseeding with native seeds is one aspect of megafire prevention.
The cooperative has four confirmed growers who will grow native seeds of bluebunch wheatgrass (pictured above) that is being collected from key locations throughout Harney County. The growers have selected high quality sites with overhead irrigation and are preparing them as one would prepare a nice garden, with tillage, mulching and weed control before planting in August. The seeds will be collected mid-July to August 1st, dried and cleaned, and delivered directly to the growers for sowing.
For more information about the Northern Great Basin Native Seed Coop contact Jennifer Taynton, Native Seed Cooperative and Economic Coordinator at jennifer@highdesertpartnership.org.
Thank you to Oregon Humanities for their support of High Desert Partnership with an award of $10,000 to aid in recovery due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding has been provided to High Desert Partnership from Oregon Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
That's not all! We also want to thank Oregon Community Foundation for their generous gift of $10,000!
We at HDP are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from Oregon Humanities and Oregon Community Foundation during these difficult times. Their partnership and support is helping our community building efforts and collaborative conversations continue in Harney County.

Sweek Dam Before

Footage of the Silvies River roaring through 70+ year old Sweek Dam spring of 2019.

Sweek Dam After

The new and improved Sweek Dam with its installation completed fall of 2019. You're looking at footage taken June of this year. Funding to replace the Sweek dam was obtained though a grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) and the projects were given the green light from the Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative. “It’s a win-win,” Ben Cate, High Desert Partnership Ecological Coordinator said. “Landowners get an updated infrastructure at essentially zero cost out of pocket, and it’s also going to ensure that the flood meadows will continue into the future.” More about Sweek and Tyler dam replacements.

Experiencing Harney County's Natural History

Events are planned by Portland Audubon's Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator, Teresa Wick.
Find the calendar of events here with the knowledge that future events could be cancelled to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please check the calendar: Portland Audubon Harney County events before venturing out to an event or contact Teresa Wicks at twicks@audubonportland.org.

Shop Harney County!

Spark Mercantile is a new online marketplace supporting local Harney County makers making it possible for their goods to be purchased from far and wide while helping to create economic opportunity in Harney County.
Click SHOP below to see what's in the store.
 2020 Upcoming Events 
Wednesday, July 8 | Harney County Restoration Collaborative Field Trip
Wednesday, July 15 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Wednesday, August 19 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Thursday, September 17 | Harney County Wildfire Collaborative Meeting
*Currently all meetings, not including field trips, are virtual meetings that can be accessed via ZOOM conferencing or a phone call. Contact Ben Cate at ben@highdesertpartnership.org for conferencing links and numbers.

Malheur Lake Airboat Tour

Feel the wind in your hair.

Reviving Malheur Lake

A short film about Malheur Lake, its current condition and what is being learned to help stage its revival.
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