Juniper Tree Removal and Wildfire Resiliency
Juniper Tree Removal and Wildfire Resiliency

People Who Collaborate

Dr. Chad Boyd's first experiences in Harney County were in the 1990's when both he and his wife Amy were in graduate school. "When my wife Amy and I were in graduate school we had the opportunity to do some range consulting work in Harney County and we both really liked southeast Oregon, as well as the applied research focus of the Eastern Oregon Agriculture Research Center." Some time passed and while living in Oklahoma and in the final month of his PhD program Chad and his wife made the decision to to move to Harney County. READ MORE.

Juniper Tree Removal and Wildfire Resiliency

The Harney County Wildfire Collaborative partners are targeting strategic sites for Juniper removal for restoration work happening under The Southeast Oregon Wildfire Resiliency Project. Change happens slowly in the arid sagebrush steppe. However, in areas where Juniper trees have been removed, more resilient, fire-resistant landscapes are already beginning to take hold. Just as Juniper encroachment quickly pushes out native species, Juniper removal creates room for them to take hold once again. READ MORE.
Pictured: A Juniper stand on private property in Southeast Oregon being measured and marked for cutting. Photo by Brandon McMullen.

Challenges Facing the Harney Basin are Significant but Not Insurmountable

The Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative is focused on improving aquatic health and maintaining wet meadow habitats throughout the watersheds for Harney and Malheur Lakes and the streams and rivers that flow into them. Across the west, historic and current water policies have divided communities, and in certain watersheds, made it near impossible to address complex water centered resources challenges. The Harney Basin's challenges are not insurmountable because of the unified partnership working together to build a more resilient Basin for all water users. READ MORE.

The Duck Banding Night Shift

Late July during two days at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge more than 750 birds were banded with species including Mallard, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, and Redhead. It took a village to pull off the two night shifts that made this possible which included participants from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, HDP, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Portland Audubon, USGS, and Harney Soil and Water Conservation District.

To do this banding the group used the night-lighting technique. Night-lighting immobilizes waterfowl with light and sound, making it possible to net or grab them by hand out of the water. This technique usually offers a high yield of captures in the least amount of time as compared to other methods.

Waterfowl are usually banded annually (across all the flyways including the Pacific Flyway where the Harney Basin sits) and is essential to assess the hunting pressure, estimate productivity and survival, and can be beneficial for other species and habitat research projects. This banding work is one piece of the puzzle and connected to an objective in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan to understand what species are using what habitat on the refuge. 

Pictured: Carter Lardy and Amanda Sutcliffe from HDP's summer crew banding captured ducks.

Malheur Lake Study Offers Insights Toward Restoration

The Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative is working toward restoring Malheur Lake to a clear water state with abundant emergent vegetation. This study helps the collaborative gain a better understanding of Malheur Lake conditions and also discusses which restoration options could benefit the health of the lake in a changing climate.
High Desert Partnership's mission is about bringing people together to find common ground in addressing rural challenges and opportunities. For 15 years this has been the work and it will continue with thanks to the many funders who support High Desert Partnership and our six collaboratives: Bureau of Land ManagementBusiness OregonEastern Oregon Workforce Board; Greater Oregon STEM HubHerbert A. Templeton Foundation; Kauffman FoundationLeupold + Stevens FoundationMarie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation; Meyer Memorial TrustNational Forest FoundationOregon Community FoundationOregon Department of ForestryOregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB)Rita Poe Memorial; The Ford Family FoundationThe Roundhouse Foundation; Trail Blazers Foundation; U.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceU.S. Forest ServiceUSDA Agricultural Research ServiceWells Fargo Open For Business Fund and Wilburforce.

Internship Program Receives New Funding

Thank you to the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation Fund, a fund of Oregon Community Foundation, for awarding High Desert Partnership $20,000 for summer internship program development through HDP's and the Youth Changing the Community Collaborative Harney Internship Program. This program is designed to enrich and inspire high school-aged students in discovering local career opportunities while cultivating a motivated and prepared homegrown workforce. Thank you Trail Blazers Foundation!

Celebrating Harney County Youth

Save the date and join us for celebration and conversation.
  • Thursday, September 29 | Community Dinner | 6pm, downtown Burns
  • Friday, September 30, 9am-3:30pm, multiple locations
Contact Denise Rose at with any questions.

Ag Succession Planning and Easement Workshops

Oregon Agricultural Trust is offering a free farm and ranch succession planning and working land easement workshop in Harney County Friday September 9. Contact Marc Hudson at with any questions.
 2022 Upcoming Events 
Wednesday, August 17 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, August 23 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, August 24 Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, September 7 - Sunday, September 11 Harney County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, September 21 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, September 27 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Thursday, September 29 & Friday, September 30 Youth Changing The Community Collaborative, Community Event

Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative and

Reviving Malheur Lake

Harney County Wildfire Collaborative and
Megafire Prevention

Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative and
Wild Flood Irrigation

Six Collaboratives Supported By

High Desert Partnership

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