Fire season preparation
Fire season preparation

People Who Collaborate

"I enjoy when I can connect a concept that I’m teaching with a real life example that students can relate to. I am always looking for opportunities to get the students involved in hands-on, out of the building activities. Collaborating with various groups allows students to have those opportunities." Roxane Bailey is a science teacher at Burns High School where there is no such thing as a "typical" day.  READ MORE.

A Warmer than Average Summer Expected in the Harney Basin

“Our preparation for the coming fire season begins right after the previous one,” says Rose. In the fall, a full review takes place of what went well and what didn’t for the fire season. Partners come together again early in the spring to update each other on new happenings for the coming season. In these meetings everything from new personnel, equipment, policies and procedures, and predictions is discussed. The goal is to be as prepared as possible well ahead of the upcoming wildfire season. READ MORE
Pictured: A scene from the 2021 lightning caused Bootleg Fire which burned more than 400,000 acres. Photo source, Associated Press.

Southeast Oregon Rancher's Holistic Ranching Approach

Tune into the recent OPB Living Out Loud interview with Jack Southworth— the facilitator for the Harney County Forest Restoration Collaborative, and fourth-generation rancher in Seneca who's been practicing holistic land management since the 1980s.
In the interview, OPB's Dave Miller takes a tour of Jack's land and discusses with Jack, his and his wife Teresa's approach to cattle ranching.

Grant-Funded Watershed Projects Benefit Landowners, Birds in the Basin

In Harney County each spring, the snowmelt generates an influx of water in rivers and streams breathing life into the Harney Basin watershed. The amount of water dispersed relies on the snowpack, which can be extremely variable from year to year, and as a result, landowners and wildlife in the basin routinely adapt to conditions that can vary in low and high-water years. 
Eight Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) grant-funded projects will help Harney Basin landowners and wildlife respond to these unpredictable conditions. Several of the projects will help to spread water more efficiently in the flood-irrigated wet meadows by replacing existing water diversion structures with new ones that will run more safely and efficiently. This will enhance plant growth and in turn forage for both birds and cows. Other grant funds will be used to document the relationship between wet meadow plant communities, how long wet meadows hold water, land management, bird use and agricultural productivity.
These eight grants totalling more than $600,000 were awarded to the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative (HBWC), the Harney Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Harney County Watershed Council. READ MORE.
Wild flood irrigated wet meadow photo by Brandon McMullen,

Meet HDP's Summer Crew (pictured below)

Since 2020 HDP has recruited and trained a summer crew to monitor the outcomes of projects implemented by the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative and the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative. This year's group of 6 play a crucial role in forwarding the work of these two collaboratives while being exposed to careers in the natural resource field. 
A bit about the six that make up the summer crew.
The Stream Team. This is a new crew for 2023. This crew is focused on monitoring streams in the Southern Malheur Forest.
  • Emily Hamant is from Selah, WA and graduated from the University of Montana in 2020. Emily has worked various field seasons and is now applying to graduate schools. 
  • Abigale Hobdey is a natural resources student and Natural Resources Ambassador at Treasure Valley Community College.
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. 
Sarah Weber is the Substation Management Technician working at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. She's a University of Oregon student learning about the management of water on a landscape. Living and working in the Harney Basin this summer is a tremendous opportunity to learn real world issues and opportunities around landscape water management. 

The Habitat Crew. They will be continuing work completed in 2022 working in both the Pueblo Mountains and Stinkingwater Mountains. They will also help with monitoring data collection at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Brayden Burke is studying Wildlife Management at Brigham Young University-Idaho and was most recently working on a project in Northern Idaho scaring birds away from a fish hatchery.
  • Noah Kulp came to HDP from Pennsylvania where he just graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and has experience in field settings collecting information for research.
  • Owen Graham is a Burns High School student who has taken advantage of the Harney Internship Program through the Youth Changing the Community Collaborative. He's worked with kindergartners at Slater Elementary and job shadowed several positions at Harney District Hospital. 
Picture below, top row: Abigale, Emily and Sarah and bottom row: Brayden, Noah and Owen.

Thank you Business Oregon!

Through Business Oregon's Economic Equity Investment Program, HDP and the Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative were awarded $400,000 to help fund entrepreneurship and business development programs throughout 7 counties in rural southeast Oregon. The funding will support providing CO.STARTERS programming, technical assistance to small rural businesses as well as funding for business capital. Learn more from Business Oregon here.

Thank You CommuniCare Oregon!

CommuniCare grant-makers from Tualatin High School chose to support four nonprofits that focus on forest protection, rejuvenation, and fire prevention in Oregon.⁠ We're happy to announce that High Desert Partnership was one of those nonprofits.
From HDP's director, Brenda Smith: "It was a fun deal—I got interviewed by a high school student committee in Tualatin and it was an opportunity for some urban-rural togetherness. The students granted us $5,206.”⁠ Thank you for choosing HDP as one of several recipients!⁠
*CommuniCare Oregon challenges student leaders to create change through philanthropic giving.

Land Water Sky Soul | Harney County

 2023 Upcoming Events 
Wednesday, June 21 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, June 27 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, July 19 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, July 25 Youth Changing the Community Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, July 25 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting

Six Collaboratives Supported By

High Desert Partnership

HDP Website
Facebook Instagram YouTube
Subscribe to our email list.