When The Snow Melts
When The Snow Melts

People Who Collaborate

"There is always something new to learn or do at the Chamber. I like meeting new people and helping to make my community better. My absolute favorite thing about working at the Chamber is getting to tell visitors  about all the cool places in Harney County. Living here, we sometimes forget or don’t notice the beauty that is right in front of us. We really do live in a pretty cool place!" Deanna Thrall is the Executive Director of the Harney County Chamber of Commerce where she promotes and supports local businesses and events as well as tourism for Harney County. READ MORE.

How Does a HDP Collaborative Form?

Each month in this newsletter we're breaking down the critical elements of HDP collaboration. In February, it started with the need to address a complex issue or take advantage of an opportunity. This month, we're looking at, what's next, once the need is identified for a collaborative?
This is when building capacity for the collaborative kicks in. A coordinator is identified and the search for funding begins. The coordinator for a collaborative works from a place of neutrality as a support engine helping to move forward consensus decisions of the collaborative. This can include:
  • Building relationships and trust, the heart of collaboration. More on this in April.
  • Ensuring collaborative partners have the information and resources needed for their consensus-based decision making.
  • Practicing equity in engagement with all partners reaching them where they are with information from and for the the collaborative.
  • Managing the planning and logistics for productive meetings and field trips.
  • Creating and maintaining records from collaborative gatherings.
  • Anticipating the needs and/or questions of collaborative participants.
  • Sourcing funding and being the liaison between collaborative partners and funding agencies.
The Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative since its inception in 2011 has applied for Focused Investment Partnership funding from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board three times. Applying for this funding is a monumental undertaking with the development of a strategic action plan, an application and for this planning, the partners of the collaborative have multiple meetings and conversations to determine the vision and supporting actions of their planning. Every step of the way the coordinator for the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative (in partnership with a facilitator, more on this in May) are working one-on-one with partners and behind the scenes to ensure productive conversations can be had at collaborative meetings and the parameters for applying for significant funding are met. In 2016 the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative was granted more than $6 million in Focused Investment Partnership funding. And since this funding, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board has granted the collaborative more than $800,000 additional funding for multiple grants.
Illustration by Carrie Van Horn, Heartwood Visuals.
*In April, it's all about relationships, building them and in turn community and culture.

Celebrating Harney's Collaborative Culture

HDP turned 17 this year and for this anniversary we had possibly what will become an annual anniversary dinner.
When the invite was sent we didn't know what to expect but were rewarded with many, many "Yes, I'll be there!". The HDP board, team, plus partners and funders met at Bella Java for dinner, conversation and laughs.
Thank you to all who attended to celebrative the collaborative culture of Harney County. We at HDP live on a steady diet of hope and we hope this collaborative culture will keep us working together for many, many years to come.
Thank you everyone for the conversations and good times!    
Photos by Brandon McMullen.

When The Snow Melts

A healthy snowpack in the Harney Basin benefits not only ranchers and farmers who rely on it to grow hay, but also migrating birds who depend on the flood irrigated wet meadows in the spring as they travel to their northern breeding grounds. Current snowpack numbers put the Harney Basin at a snow water equivalent of 122 percent of normal as of March 3, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
How does this water journey from the higher mountain elevations surrounding the Harney Basin (uplands) end up in the wet meadows (lowlands) where birds and ranchers benefit? It starts in the Blue Mountains to the north and Steens Mountain to the south. READ.

Harney County Migratory Bird Festival

Spend an amazing weekend witnessing the spectacular spring migration in the Harney Basin of Southeast Oregon. View thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the wide-open spaces of Oregon's high desert. The festival offers non-stop birding activities as well as historical and cultural information.  
Register for tours and events HERE.
Photo by Susan Doverspike
*The Harney Basin, a critical migratory bird rest stop along the Pacific Flyway, is a landscape where private ranch lands and wildlife habitat coexist. Check out this short film and web page from The Oregon Lottery, who funds the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, a long-standing supporter of the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative.
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 2024 Upcoming Events 
 Wednesday, March 20High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Thursday, March 21 Harney County Wildfire Collaborative Meeting 
Tuesday, March 26 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting 
Tuesday, March 26 Youth Changing the Community Collaborative Meeting 
Tuesday, April 2 | Finding Common Ground Speaker Series @ Harney County Library
Wednesday, April 10Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, April 17High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 23 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting 

Six Collaboratives Supported By

High Desert Partnership

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