Harney Basin Rest Stop; Food and Shelter Along the Pacific Flyway
Harney Basin Rest Stop; Food and Shelter Along the Pacific Flyway

People Who Collaborate

Since 2012 while still finishing his undergraduate degree in Rangeland Management and Ecolory, Travis has worked with the BLM, first as a Range Technician and now as a Rangeland Management Specialist [aka Range Con]. He works closely with private landowners who have grazing allotments on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
“The year is fairly cyclic. In late winter through spring we are meeting with permittees to set up grazing rotations for the year. As those get set and completed then we start getting out on the ground doing allotment inspections, trend monitoring and project maintenance throughout late spring and summer. Late summer and fall brings on allotment utilization to make sure we aren’t under or over utilizing areas, so we can best manage whatever resource objectives we have set forth. Late fall and winter is for recap, getting NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] and other paperwork addressed, and we start the process over. In between all this we try to handle any projects that arise, wildland fires that occur within our areas, collaborative meetings/projects, and anything else that is thrown our way”. READ MORE

Harney Basin Rest Stop; Food and Shelter Along the Pacific Flyway

Visitors and Harney Basin residents alike will have a front row seat to view the diverse array of birds that migrate this spring during the annual Harney County Migratory Bird Festival April 13-16. There will be many opportunities to view thousands of birds resting and feeding throughout the basin thanks to a group of dedicated individuals working behind the scenes to ensure these birds continue to use the Pacific Flyway and exist as they have for previous centuries and for many years to come. READ MORE
Pictured: Snow geese in flight taken by rancher Susan Doverspike.

Two Years of Drought Followed by a Wet Cold Spring Make for Happy Migratory Birds at Malheur Lake

By Dominic Bachman, Aquatic Biologist with Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
For the month of March, snow has kept much of the Silvies Basin, near the town of Burns, frozen and under snow. Everything north of Wright’s Point has basically been inaccessible to foraging birds with only a handful of geese and cranes picking at areas where cattle are feeding. Effectively, Malheur Lake is at the edge of the snowline and birds are reluctant to push past it. Timing couldn’t be better with the lake flooding up in perfect concert with the arrival of hungry migratory birds. Unfortunately, for birders most of these birds are currently in a location that is not viewable by the public. With that said, open water ponds near the south end of the refuge, such as the Buena Vista Ponds, Benson Pond and West Knox Pond have provided habitat for these migratory birds and are in areas where the public can enjoy them. READ MORE

Happy Hour!

A new event for the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival, a Wetlands Happy Hour. Every wonder why birds use some areas more than others? What entices birds to rest and nest at different locations? Curious to know more about wetland restoration? Join Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative partners for this casual and educational gathering. Light snacks, including meatballs made with Doverspike Beef provided along with beverages. Come when you want. Stay as long as you want. Hope to see you!
Photo by Brandon McMullen, bgmichaelimages.smugmug.com.

Harney County Migratory Bird Festival

Thursday, April 13 - Sunday, April 16.

Find the full event schedule, weekend happenings and more here.
Photo by Brandon McMullen. 

Species of the Sagebrush Sea

When you come to a stoplight in the middle of Burns, Oregon, highway 20/395 takes you north and east toward Ontario and Boise. The same highway leads you across the high desert to the west toward Bend. Highway 205 traverses south through some of the most remote country in the western U.S. toward the Nevada border. And Highway 78 routes south and east through vast expanses of open range.
No matter which direction one heads when leaving Burns, their travels take them through high desert and sagebrush steppe. This ecosystem is the largest ecosystem in the state, stretching from just east of Bend to the Idaho border and south from the Columbia River to the Nevada line. Across that range in Oregon, sagebrush dominates a number of different soils, topographic positions and elevation, but overall it occupies the driest locations. Average precipitation is less than 12 inches and even below 6 inches in the driest places. That is less than 6th of the rainfall in Portland. The landscape appears dry and inhospitable, but it is home for many plants and animals that have adapted to this environment. An ecosystem of this size has many unique characteristics from place to place. However, there are also characteristics that span larger portions of the ecosystem. In the sagebrush steppe recovery from disturbance, like wildfire, can take a long time, especially in the drier locations. Introduction of invasive annual grasses has further complicated the recovery and impacted the health of the sagebrush steppe and the wildlife populations. READ MORE.
Pictured: Rocky Mountain Elk by Terry Steele Photography

"I Think I Know What I Want To Do Now!"

When 130 high school students are able to talk about careers with more than 50 experts in their fields, you can't miss the energy! The Harney County Career Fair, held March 22 was the final event in a three part Opportunities in the Field series for high school students. After input from the Youth Summit last fall, Youth Changing The Community Collaborative worked with the local schools and Treasure Valley Community College to educate high school students about the wide variety of jobs available in natural resource fields. Add to that the shortage of staff willing to live and work in our eastern Oregon region, agencies and businesses were enthusiastic about the chance to meet with local students. A total of 32 agencies, businesses and colleges participated with representatives from US Forest Service, BLM, US Fish and Wildlife, Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon State Police Game Officers, vet clinics and Burns Paiute Tribe Fisheries, were joined by local medical professionals to round out a science related day of information. In addition, representatives from Treasure Valley Community College and Eastern Oregon University Natural Resources and medical programs were on hand to share information about the higher education required to work in some of the fields. 

Photos by Brandon McMullen, bgmichaelimages.smugmug.com/

Seasonal Positions Available with HDP

Visit our JOB OPPORTUNITIES to learn about the positions and apply.

There's a new job board in town,

check it out here.

Land Water Sky Soul | Harney County

 2023 Upcoming Events 
Thursday, April 13 - Thursday, April 16 Harney County Migratory Bird Festival
Wednesday, April 19 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 25 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, May 3 Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, May 16 Harney County Wildfire Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, May 17 High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Tuesday, May 23 Biz Harney Opportunity Collaborative Meeting
Tuesday, May 23 | Youth Changing the Community Collaborative Meeting

Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative and

Wild Flood Irrigation

Six Collaboratives Supported By

High Desert Partnership

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