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Newsroom

If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place.

Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.

Catch up on the latest from High Desert Partnership including welcoming new Community Involvement & Monitoring Coordinator Kaylee Littlefield.

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.

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.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, 21 participants and nine volunteers braved the snow and cold to participate in Harney County’s First Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids). Three hardy teams counted birds in assigned neighborhoods of Burns and Hines.

Collaboration is positively changing how we prevent fires, how we manage fires when they do happen and how we restore the landscape following fires. This recent article from the Associated Press and carried by the Albany Democrat-Herald looks at a study out of Oregon State University by lead author Emily Jane Davis about how Rangeland Fire Protection Associations have had a positive impact for communities like ours in Harney County. Click the headline above to read the article.

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. Click the article title above to read more.

We historians are trained to look for contingency, for those moments when a different choice or action might have set history down a different course. But study Northwest timber country long enough and you start to lose sight of contingency. Forest debates have often been so fierce and so long lasting that it’s easy to forget that things might have gone another way. Click the headline above to read more.

Collaboration is the established way of doing business and building community in Harney County, and The Ford Family Foundation is supporting this culture through a three-year, $300,000 community building grant awarded to High Desert Partnership. Click the headline above to read more.

Collaboration is the established way of doing business and building community in Harney County, and The Ford Family Foundation is supporting this culture through a three-year, $300,000 community-building grant awarded to High Desert Partnership. Click the headline above to read more.

Collaboration is the established way of doing business and building community in Harney County and The Ford Family Foundation is supporting this culture through a 3 year, $300,000 community building grant awarded to High Desert Partnership. Click the link above to read more.

With over 70 percent government-owned and -managed land, Harney County is no stranger to disputes between ranchers, federal wildlife employees, and environmentalists. In many ways, the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) by Ammon Bundy and his followers was the culmination of years of conflict and seemingly nonstop litigation. However, that national news story obscured the more important local story of how people in Harney County have been working to successfully resolve conflicts through collaborations like the High Desert Partnership. Click the title above to read more.

"In the opening pages of his book, Walker announces his goal to be showing how Harney County, faced with a divisive invasion, chose not to fall on its own knives. Instead, residents elected "sagebrush collaboration." It was also the author's goal to attempt "to explain how and why Harney County made that decision." He has achieved those helpful purposes -- and more." ~Richard W. Etulain

On the night of Jan. 26, 2016, Brenda Smith was nearing the end of a six-hour drive home from the Portland area to Burns, in Harney County, Oregon, basking in the knowledge that her scrappy nonprofit had just won a $6 million grant. The High Desert Partnership helps locals collaborate on natural resource management, and this was by far the biggest grant it had ever received. Read more . . .

Youth Changing The Community's skate park project is moving right along. Learn more about how the project is progressing in this Burns Times-Herald article.

This article focuses on Forest Service land in Arizona, but it speaks to the universal challenges that face prescribed fire despite the many benefits to the landscape.

In 2014, Harney County Restoration Collaborative held a science and economic summit, and one of the outcomes was the development of a biomass district heating system that could be used by local facilities in Burns. The system not only reduces green house gas emissions, but also uses low-value forest residuals that are generated from local restoration projects. A few days ago, the system became community owned! Check out the article below to learn more about this awesome biomass system.

In the 1930s the Forest Service took panoramic photos from every fire lookout in Oregon and Washington. The project's goal was to increase the effectiveness of fire suppression by providing a communication aid between fire lookouts and ranger stations. Now over 80 years later the photos are an invaluable record of the effects of management on ecosystems across the Pacific Northwest. Several of these fire lookouts are located on the southern Malheur National Forest. These fascinating photos provide a great perspective on how fire suppression has changed the landscape. Check them out!

We recently received a generous donation from Rita Poe, that will support the work of Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Rita's generous donation to Malheur and other public lands will allow future generations to enjoy the places she cherished. You can read Rita's interesting story below.

Iron Triangle, a Harney County Restoration Collaborative partner, is opening two new facilities in John Day and Seneca and will create at least 10 new jobs. The facilities will utilize low-value vegetation from the Malheur National Forest. Initially the facilities will produce posts, poles and chips, but may eventually manufacture torrefied products

OUR INITIATIVES