March Newsletter
March Newsletter

People Who Collaborate

Like so many of us, Brenda Smith wears a lot of hats. She’s High Desert Partnership’s (HDP) Executive Director and Harney County Chamber of Commerce 2019 Woman of the Year. She’s a weed scientist, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, mom to her three pups Monte, Tell and Hefe and mom to a human cowboy Austin who works at the ZX Ranch near Paisley, OR. She’s a flower grower, gardener, serves on the board of the Harney County Watershed Council and wrangler to the six staff and eleven board members that make up HDP. Yeah, Brenda keeps incredibly busy and is passionate about her adopted home Harney County. Read more.

Groundwater Declines in the Harney Basin Drive Community To Work Together

Harney County residents have been aware for a number of years that there are places in the county where groundwater levels have dropped. Some residents are having to dig deeper or drill new wells to access water. The groundwater problem has been more than a decade in the making. As the results from a multi-year groundwater study become available from the Oregon Water Resources Department and the United States Geological Survey, residents are learning more about the unique geology and the basin water budget and what it might mean for the future of groundwater use in the basin. Fortunately, a collaborative group, the Harney County Watershed Council, has been working together for more than three years to develop and pursue strategies to sustainably manage water for the benefit of the community, the economy, and the environment. This includes strategies and projects to reduce groundwater use and help achieve more stable groundwater levels. Read more. 

Loco Wildfire Resiliency Project: Comments Wanted

The Emigrant Creek Ranger District, Malheur National Forest in cooperation with the Harney County Restoration Collaborative (HCRC) is proposing to reduce and remove hazardous fuels in the Loco Wildfire Resilience project area.

This project is currently out for public comment and a presentation will be provided at the Tuesday, March 10 HCRC meeting. For anyone planning to attend this meeting know that you can provide any comments at this time and up until March 15; don't feel rushed to comment by the posted deadline of Wednesday, March 4.

The Birds Are Coming

We're only about 6 weeks away from the annual Harney County Migratory Bird Festival.
2020 festival dates are April 16-19.
Registration is open!
We're looking forward to seeing many of you this April in Harney County.
Photo of a Golden Crowned Kinglet.

Experience Harney County's Natural History

Harney County has a full-time year-round Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator, Teresa Wicks, thanks to Portland Audubon. Teresa is busy creating opportunities to see and learn about Harney County's natural history through trips, events, stewardship parties and community science projects. There is a full calendar of events here: Portland Audubon Harney County events. Take a look and find something fun and interesting.
The next event coming up is the Benson Pond Stewardship Party April 3-6. You'll get your hands dirty restoring riparian areas at one of the refuge's most popular bird watching areas. Learn more here.

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-Sunday, March 4-6 | American Fisheries Society Oregon Chapter Annual Meeting
Tuesday, March 10 | Harney County Restoration Collaborative 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 for information.
Make An Impact
Facebook Instagram
Subscribe to our email list.