Reducing the Possibility for Catastrophic Wildfires
Reducing the Possibility for Catastrophic Wildfires

People Who Collaborate

Feather Sams-Huesties is a Regional Development Officer with Business Oregon, the state of Oregon's economic development agency. With a rich background in public service and a passion for community support, Feather is committed to fostering economic growth, job creation, and prosperity throughout Oregon. "We use our programs and expertise to help businesses grow, so they can in turn add jobs, diversify the economy, and increase Oregon prosperity. We work with communities to enhance and expand infrastructure and community safety with projects such as water/wastewater systems, seismic rehabilitation for schools, or rural broadband development. This also sets the stage for future business development."  READ MORE.

Vegetation is Thriving and Invasive Carp Numbers are Dwindling at Malheur Lake

Malheur Lake is thriving this year. After two dry years, followed by a hearty snowpack and wet spring in 2023, fresh water inundated the lake in the perfect amount. In those arid periods, the sediments at the lake’s bottom had the opportunity to consolidate and acquire oxygen, enabling a variety of wetland plants to sprout. The drought also led to a significant decline in invasive common carp populations. These elements converged harmoniously, resulting in the emergence of uncommonly clear water conditions across a substantial portion of the Malheur Lake wetlands. READ MORE.
In July 2014, a lightning storm recorded thousands of strikes igniting several fires, which merged to create the Buzzard Complex Fire, about 45 miles southeast of Burns, OR. It left scorched earth and dead or injured cattle in its wake, burning a total of 396,017 acres. Just two years prior in 2012, the Miller Homestead Fire and the Long Draw Fire burned 160,801 acres and 557,648 respectively. 
Living with the devastation of these and other wildfires in southeast Oregon, the folks who deal with wildfires in Harney County formed the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative in 2014, in partnership with Rangeland Fire Protection Association members, federal, state, and county employees, tribal members, conservationists, scientists, and local ranchers. A diverse group of stakeholders coming to the table to determine how to make sagebrush steppe landscapes more resistant and resilient to unexpected fire.
A recent project implemented by this working group, the Southeast Oregon Wildfire Resiliency Project completed this summer. In 2021, Oregon Senate Bill 762 passed, allocating $220 million to help Oregon modernize and improve wildfire preparedness. Because of the groundwork laid by the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative since 2014, this Collaborative applied for and secured more than $5 million from Senate Bill 762 to address wildfire issues in the southeast corner of Oregon in Harney and Malheur counties. Named the Southeast Oregon Wildfire Resilience Project this project improved the wildfire resiliency of more than 80,000 acres. SEE THE WORK COMPLETED.

Harney County Wildfire Collaborative's Southeast Oregon Wildfire Resiliency Project

Oregon Community Foundation Celebrates 50 Years

In honor of Oregon Community Foundation's 50th anniversary, OCF is celebrating with stories of why, where and how their philanthropy is helping Oregonians around the state.
Find many stories here including one about Harney County and the Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative.

Land Water Sky Soul | Harney County

 2023 Upcoming Events 
Wednesday, October 18 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, October 24 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, November 14 Harney County Wildfire Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, November 15 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, November 28 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, November 28 Youth Changing the Community Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, December 19 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, December 20 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting

Six Collaboratives Supported By

High Desert Partnership

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