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This year's (2021) drought is far reaching in Harney County impacting ranching, birds, wildlife and more. Malheur Lake covered 48,000 acres last year, a recent aerial survey estimates it's current size at 7,000 acres.

The High Desert Partnership is hoping to help youths and young adults test out the waters in the natural resource career field by giving them experience as technicians collecting information on vegetation and helping with projects for the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative and the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative.

This is the July 29, 2021, edition of Boiling Point, a weekly newsletter about climate change and the environment in California and the American West. It includes an interview with former Interior Secretary Sally Jewel.

Summer is a busy for ranchers and farmers who are busy moving cows, raising crops and cutting hay in preparation for the colder months. Wildlife rear young, birds nest and fish are simply trying to beat the heat to survive the warmer temperatures.

One of the reasons some wildfires turn into megafires in the Great Basin is because invasive annual grasses essentially create a carpet of fuel. One way to thwart such wildfires is to replace those invasive annual grasses with native plants that green up in the spring and stay green. EcoSource is a non-profit that collects, cleans, produces, and stores genetically appropriate native plant seeds.

A lot of factors are taken into consideration when determining what the objectives should be when planning a prescribed burn. From helping to eliminate invasive weeds to burning duff and fine fuels, prescribed fire is a useful tool.

As the Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative, a collaborative of the High Desert Partnership, seeks to restore Malheur Lake, there are a trio of studies currently in progress that are examining where carp congregate, what affects water turbidity and what is causing the lack of emergent vegetation in the lake.

During the spring, it’s always a roll of the dice to try and predict what the upcoming fire season might look like. Late season rains can help bail out a year that has been drier than usual. However, at this point local fire experts believe this fire season might start earlier than normal.

The spring season is always welcomed with open arms in the Harney Basin. We put the cold, dark winter days in the rearview and watch as the landscape transforms from brown to green. It is a time when everything comes to life.

The Oregon Way is alive and well in Harney County. Now more than ever, collective impact models such as the High Desert Partnership are needed to address our most persistent challenges.

As we emerge from COVID-19, it's imperative that we help young Oregonians catch up on the exploration and experiences they've missed this year.

The Harney Basin has many native fish and their histories are reflective of how water has moved around the Harney Basin over the years.

The resilience of Harney County shines in tough times. This is a culture of can do and a piece of the Oregon Way.

During these colder months wildlife, plants and humans hunker down to await spring.

"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." ~Brenda Smith

Building relationships is building trust is building culture. When trust is in the room, great things happen.

Cost-share Environmental Quality Incentives Program benefits migratory birds as well.

Here in Harney County we have a lot of quiet places. Introverts are welcomed and free to find their refuge. When they arrive, their voice will be heard.

Locals travel to help fight catastrophic fires elsewhere in the west.

A new digital gift card program, Shop Harney, is available for shopping at more than 40 Harney County businesses.

Long considered a trash fish, carp are starting to get more respect in the U.S for recreational carp fishing.

The tie between relationships and leadership doesn’t just apply to working with horses. On reflection, these lessons are very much a part of being a member of a community.

Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative changes its name to Harney Basin Wetlands Collaborative

Fire experts in Harney County weigh in on science behind fire behavior.

The Harney County Restoration Collaborative has been working for the last ten years with the Emigrant Creek Ranger District to create forest treatment prescriptions that help bring back a 'fire tolerant' forest.

While the proliferation of carp has received much attention over the years, a new two-year study will look at the lack of emergent vegetation and try to determine the best way to foster the growth of bulrushes, cattails and other vegetation in Malheur Lake with the end goal being clearer water that is more attractive to birds and other wildlife.

We don’t build connections and strengthen the fabric of our community by holding meetings, we do it by building connections one person at a time.

After doing some work in the Pueblo Mountains, this is the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative’s second major project.

The Mentor Match Teen Entrepreneur Program kicks off its second year September 2020.

The Mesocosm Project will experiment with ways to alter the carp, wind action and nutrients in the water.

Giving local youths exposure to careers within Harney County in hopes they might one day choose a career path that could have them living and working in Harney County.

The carp round-up, a partnership effort of the Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative is one measure to reduce the population of invasive common carp in Malheur Lake.

The Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative (HBWI) strives to sustain wet meadows by supporting the traditional practice of flood irrigation. HBWI works with private landowners to encourage the continued use of flood irrigation by addressing infrastructure issues.

Harney County Wildfire Collaborative prepping for the upcoming 2020 fire season.

In places where social distancing was already a way of life, the pandemic has begun to reshape the economy.

Local teens from Harney County’s Mentor Match Youth Entrepreneur Program traveled to Baker City March 6 to participate in the “First Ever Rural Teen Entrepreneur Summit.” The Summit brought together three teens from Harney County, and five teens from Wallowa County. Both groups are part of the Mentor Match Youth Entrepreneur Program, sponsored locally by High Desert Partnership under Executive Director Brenda Smith.

Lessons learned from High Desert Partnership about working together to find common ground.

High Desert Partnership collaboratives are working to create economic opportunity, promote healthy lands and waters, and ensure Harney County’s rural way of life endures for generations to come. This article shares High Desert Partnership's secret sauce of how people work together to find common ground.

Student entrepreneurs from Baker, Harney and Wallowa counties gathered for the first Youth Entrepreneurship Summit Friday at the Hatch Lab in Baker City

High Desert Partnership awarded $70,000 through Business Oregon and their Rural Development Initiative program.