Introducing New Facilitators
Introducing New Facilitators

People Who Collaborate

Growing up, I was fortunate to spend each summer outside with my extended family in what we called "cousin camp." It was there that some of my earliest and most vivid memories of the importance of good stewardship, intact wild places and ecology were born.

After high school, I left Oregon to earn my bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. While at CSU, I worked on a range of projects including research on the evolutionary adaptation mechanisms of Trinidadian guppy spp., white-tailed ptarmigan demographics, and species interactions and influence on willow in Yellowstone National Park. After leaving Colorado, I continued to follow my passion for biology, working for universities, federal agencies, private consultants, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and learning about wildlife and plant communities across the West. More from Jeremy.

Pictured: Jeremy Austin is a Policy Manager with Oregon Natural Desert Association and a volunteer with Harney County Wildfire Collaborative.

Introducing New Facilitators Sonia Hall and Megan Fries

Facilitation is an important aspect of High Desert Partnership's brand of collaboration; skilled, talented facilitation helps guide HDP's working groups to ensure objectives are met through consensus. We're excited to introduce two new talented facilitators to the HDP family. Sonia Hall, pictured left, is facilitating the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative and Megan Fries, pictured right, is facilitating BizHarney Opportunity Collaborative. Learn about Sonia and Megan.

Wildfire Prevention Refresher

A webinar for ag producers about fireline safety including providing some fire prevention steps. If you're an ag producer check out the flyer below for more and register here to attend. This webinar is Wednesday, February 10, 12-1:30pm.

Project IBiS Continues

Audubon Society of Portland Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator Teresa Wicks has a community science project underway, Project IBiS. You can help by counting birds this spring. 
 Project IBiS is helping provide information on bird communities that utilize flood-irrigated ranch lands in Harney County as well as provide information on how new infrastructure at some properties is influencing bird use of these areas. Check out this website to learn how being outside counting birds can make a difference and where you can help.


We've shared in this newsletter previously the success of Harney County's local gift card program, Shop Harney. Well, there's more to the story, check out this website for insight into this program and its impact for Harney County.
We must give thanks to The Ford Family Foundation and the funding received from them through the Resource Connector Responsive Grant as these funds were the "catalyst funding" to launch Shop Harney.

This project is a testament to the power of collaboration during difficult times and the team effort of BizHarney Opportunity Collaborative partners to make this program sing. Shout out to Brad Attig, Foundry Collective; Andrea Letham, Small Business Development Center; Tory Schmidt, Spark Collaborative; Denise Rose, Harney County Economic Development and Lola Johnson, Harney County Chamber of Commerce for their drive and commitment to this program and serving Harney County small business.

Take A Walk In My Boots

The latest blog from Executive Director Brenda Smith. "The power of persuasion rarely buys bonus points at the collaborative table. What does seem to work is holding your truth while listening to other’s truth with the idea that problems can be solved if you try even in the slightest to understand where the other person is coming from." READ HERE.

Harney County Migratory Bird Festival Is Going Virtual For 2021

​Mark your calendar for the weekend of April 23 for this year's festival. Due to the ongoing uncertainities with the pandemic, the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival committee "made the difficult decision to cancel an in-person event" but are hard at work planning a VIRTUAL event. More to come with the details of how to experience the spring wonder and beauty of the Harney Basin from the comfort of your home.

Harney Internship Program

The Harney Internship Program is designed to enrich and inspire high school-aged students in discovering local career opportunities. Learn more about this program including how students can apply for an internship and businesses can register their business to offer an internship, MORE HERE.
 2021 Upcoming Events 
Tuesday, February 2 | Harney County Restoration Collaborative Meeting
Thursday, February 4 | Harney County Wildfire Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, February 17 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 10 | Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, March 17 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
*All meetings are virtual meetings that can be accessed via ZOOM conferencing or a phone call. Contact Ben Cate at for conferencing links and numbers. 

Harney County Wildfire Collaborative and
Megafire Prevention

Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative and Reviving Malheur Lake

Six Collaboratives Supported By

High Desert Partnership

HDP Website
HDP 2020 Year In Review
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