People Who Collaborate

Meet Tim Boyce, Prescribed Fire Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service Malheur District who is responsible for oversight of the prescribed fire and fuels reduction program on the Emigrant Creek Ranger District. In other words, he’s the guy who puts good smoke in the air from carefully planned prescribed fires. “Historically speaking, fire played a role in many ways across what is now the Emigrant Creek Ranger District. Both planned and unplanned fires occurred frequently and therefore burned at lower intensity because understory vegetation (what grows between the forest canopy and forest floor), surface litter & duff, (dead plant material on the forest floor) and downed woody material on the ground were never able to accumulate to the volume we see on the forest today. Working to return these landscapes back to more resilient, fire tolerant ecosystems is what matters.” ~Tim Boyce. Read more. 

Prescribe Burn Ahead

Depending on conditions, some prescribed burns may take place this month. The Malheur National Forest fire staff is monitoring conditions for the correct temperature, wind, fuel moisture and ventilation for smoke. As these criteria are met, firefighters will implement, monitor, and patrol prescribed fire operations in specifically planned units. To track when and where prescribe burns will happen visit the alerts and notices page of the U.S. Forest Service for the Malheur National Forest

Additional information can be found on InciWeb or by viewing the Prescribed Fire Activity interactive map

Prescribed Fire or Wildfire?

Great story telling about prescribed fire from the NW Fire Science Consortium in the video below. The footage of the prescribed burns you'll see in this video was taken in Central Oregon but the practices are applicable to Harney County. "The choice is not whether we're going to have fire or not, the choice is when and where we have fire and under what conditions. It's a lot less risky to have prescribed fire under the conditions we choose, rather than wildfire that burns when mother nature chooses." Please watch.

Talking About Fire

Megafires. This is a word that didn’t exist that long ago but it’s now not uncommon for megafires to burn 100,000 acres, 500,000 acres and more creating devastation across the landscape and for communities in the line of fire. Read more.

Bird Fest Yes!

Rain, wind, sleet and more wind couldn't put a damper on the third annual Fair-in-the-Field event. This Harney County Migratory Bird Festival event for middle school students showcased projects being conducted in the Harney Basin's wetlands, giving students hands-on activities and glimpses in to land management careers.Thank you Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, Oregon Department of Fish and WildlifeAudubon Society of PortlandMalheur National Wildlife Refuge, NRCS Oregon and many others for making this day possible.

Thanks Bob!

Special thanks to Bob Sallinger, Audubon Society of Portland Director of Conservation and a Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative partner, for providing the keynote for this year's Migratory Bird Festival. We appreciate Bob for including in his talk the work the Harney Basin Wetland Initiative is doing for migratory waterfowl resting and feeding in the Harney Basin as they travel north and south along the Pacific Flyway.

Project IBiS

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. 
With the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board award of funds for the Harney Basin Wetland Initiative work, these funds are in part helping ranchers replace aging flood-irrigation structures with newer structures that are expected to help flood irrigation practices and increase waterfowl habitat. Project IBiS will help 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.

The Quiet Work of Harney County Collaboratives

The culture of Harney County has been described as “full-contact citizenship,” as people of this county put in time and effort every day to make Harney County a place we’re all proud to call home.

Our style of “full-contact citizenship” is represented consistently through several collaborative efforts. Unless you’re directly involved or know someone who is, you may not even be aware of the important work these groups are doing in our community. That’s why we’re going to bring you information about the collaboratives with regular articles here in the Burns Times-Herald. We want you to know that you, too, can become part of the process that is quietly impacting our land, our community, and the economy in Harney County. Read more.

True Neighbor

Shana Withee is our May True Neighbor. As Kate Marsh, our first True Neighbor shared about Shana: "As the County Leader for Oregon State University Extension, she leads the 4-H Youth Development and Family Community Health programs, and is also the Oregon 4-H Japanese Exchange Coordinator. Her service to the youth of this county is never ending, and service to the community at large with programs such as food preservation is without question. Shana is always ready to work with any of us, on the Cultural Coalition, the Historical Society, and certainly keeping all of our 4-H kids on track for their county fair entries." Thank you Shana!
True Neighbor, recognizing community members giving their talents to Harney County and making us stronger every day.
Photo by Jeremy Hill of Shana Withee.

Upcoming Events  

Tuesday, May 7 | Harney County Restoration Collaborative Meeting 
Saturday, May 11 | Fire Wise Event
Wednesday, May 15 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Thursday, May 23 | Harney County Wildfire Collaborative Meeting
Wednesday, June 12 | Harney County Restoration Collaborative Meeting 
Wednesday, June 19 | High Desert Partnership Board Meeting
Thursday, June 20 | Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative Collaborative Meeting

The Harney County Way

Reflections from The Harney County Way May 2018 Collaborative Summit.
You can be the difference!
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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

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