February Newsletter
February Newsletter

Woman of the Year!

High Desert Partnership's Executive Director Brenda Smith was surprised by this honor at the annual Harney County Chamber of Commerce awards dinner January 25. A very well earned honor for Brenda and handed to her by her son Austin Piper. Thanks Harney County Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to recognize Brenda and her tireless work for Harney County.

People Who Collaborate

Ken Bierly first visited Harney County in the summer of 1958 when he was in middle school and living in Madras. “We visited another middle school teacher who spent summers on the Malheur Refuge taking nature pictures. I have vague recollections of a marshy expanse and have old faded images of swans, nighthawks and a myriad of ducks.” 
Ken is a valuable partner with the Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative and is also involved with the community based water planning effort. Read more.

Appreciation for Land, Birds, People Unites Conservationists, Locals

Living in Harney County comes with its own set of challenges. Residents who choose to live here navigate those difficulties because the positives of living in such an exceptional place outweigh the negatives. There are many urban dwellers who haven't experienced the wide open spaces of the Harney Basin, but there are also those who have and appreciate its importance and are working together with Harney County residents to find solutions to issues facing the birds and the wetlands. Read more.
In the photo above left to right, Bob Sallinger Portland Audubon's Director of Conservation with ranchers and High Desert Partnership board members Gary Marshall and Dan Nichols and High Desert Partnership board member Chad Karges taking in the view of the Harney Basin.

Conservationists Listening To Ranchers

Listening is an important aspect of working together effectively. This sometimes undervalued skill was used when conservationists invested in several workshops listening and learning from ranchers about what diverse factors influence their land management. These workshops resulted in a study co-produced by a team from Virgina TechUniversity of Montana, Partners for Conservation, and a partner of the Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative, the Intermountain West Joint Venture. You can learn more about this study, published in Society and Natural Resources, HERE.

The Birds Are Coming

We're only 2 months away from the annual Harney County Migratory Bird Festival.
2020 festival dates are April 16-19.
A heads up that registration for members began February 3 and for all others, registration begins February 10. 
We're looking forward to seeing many of you this April in Harney County.
Photo of a Golden Crowned Kinglet.

Kids Counting Birds

On Saturday, Jan. 11, 21 participants and nine volunteers braved the snow and cold to participate in Harney County’s First Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids). Three hardy teams counted birds in assigned neighborhoods of Burns and Hines. Read more.
Photographed are the participants and volunteers of this winter bird count.

Inside The Mind Of A Composer

At the TedX Bend event last fall, Chris Thomas, the composer of the Malheur Symphony provided a talk about how the composition he created became The Malheur Symphony. It's a fascinating, fun look into the creative mind of a talented composer. Chris Thomas, TedX Bend presentation.

Reviving Malheur Lake

A short film about Malheur Lake, its current condition and what is being learned to help stage its revival.
 2020 Upcoming Events 
Wednesday, February 19 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, March 3 | Harney County Restoration Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday-Sunday, March 4-6 | American Fisheries Society Oregon Chapter Annual Meeting
Wednesday, March 18 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 18 | Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative Collaborative Meeting
Thursday, March 19 | Harney County Wildfire Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, April 7 | Harney County Restoration Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, April 15 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Thursday - Sunday, April 16-19 | Harney County Migratory Bird Festival

Sagebrush Collaboration

A heavily researched story by professor and author Peter Walker of the strength and resilience of Harney County as the community faced a challenge it could have never anticipated.
Thanks to The Ford Family Foundation for adding Sagebrush Collaboration to their Select Books program. Select Books is an amazing program providing resources to educate and help us make a difference in our communities. If you live in Oregon or Siskiyou County, CA "you may order one copy of this book at NO CHARGE if you provide feedback about it."
Also, books can be purchased through Oregon State University PressThe Duck Store and Amazon

You Can Be The Difference

Donate Today and Help Us Work Together for Harney County. 
Click 'Make An Impact' below.
Consider leaving a gift to The High Desert Partnership in your will or trust so you can help 
Harney County's rural communities. Your donation will help create economic opportunity, healthy lands and water and maintain an enduring rural way of life. Contact info@highdesertpartnership.org for information.
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