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HIGH DESERT PARTNERSHIP NEWSLETTER

May 2016

Participants from the Restoration Birding Tour take time to explore a fish run at one of the tour stops.

Need To Know

HCRC Common Questions

Forest restoration is a large and complex process. You have to take into consideration the concerns and interests of multiple stakeholders from all different sides of the issues. It requires knowledge of local, state, and federal rules and regulations. In addition, you have to understand the NEPA process, which can be complex. All of these complexities create questions and can lead to misconceptions about forest restoration.

In order to address this we created a new page on our site to answer some of the most common questions we are asked about the Harney County Restoration Collaborative (HCRC) and forest restoration work in general. We divided the questions into the categories of collaboration, restoration, road access, and the 21-inch tree rule. Check out our Common Questions page and see if you learn something new!
Upcoming Events
May 10th
HDP Board Meeting

May 24th
Harney County Restoration Collaboration Meeting

For more information on upcoming events visit our website.

Photo of The Month

HDP executive director Brenda Smith and Ducks Unlimited biologist Chris Colson speaking with participants on the Restoration Birding Tour. At this stop they were discussing efforts to enhance wetlands meadows, which provide important habitat to birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway. Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative partners are working with local ranchers to find economically viable solutions to enhance these meadows.

Other News

Virtual Reality Tour

Harney County Restoration Collaborative (HCRC) stakeholders convened on April 19th. The main focus of the meeting was a "fly over" of the Flat Creek Project, which is currently in the development stage. Travis Swaim, USFS silverculturist, used special map technology to give HCRC partners a virtual reality tour and discuss project specifics. The Flat Project has 4,000 acres of dedicated old growth forest, which can be treated and maintained to enhance old growth. In this project aspen trees are suffering and there is a deficit for stand initiation.

In addition, the group continued working with language that creates common ground on 21 inch trees. The HCRC Common Ground Statements are what the collaborative ultimately wants to see, not what is constrained by Forest Service policy. Stakeholders feel the two should be independent. The 21 inch rule was never intended to be permanent, and yet this policy has now been in place for 20 years. The concern is that eventually all trees will be 21 inches and there will be nothing left to cut causing further economic crisis in our community. A new committee consisting of King Williams, Jim Campbell, and Travis Swaim will continue to work on this portion of HCRC's common ground. The next meeting will be held on May 24th at 5:30 PM at the community center in Burns. The purpose will be to review the Dove Environmental Assessment.

How HBWI Will Implement FIP Funding

Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative (HBWI) partners met on April 14th at the Hotel Diamond in Diamond, OR. The group received guidance on developing specific proposals for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) Focused Investment Partnership (FIP) funding. Several proposals are being prepared so that work can commence during this summer's field season since there is time value in getting these projects out. The group also developed a panel for a technical review team that will review proposals being submitted to OWEB. Furthermore, a number of HBWI partners were interviewed for an upcoming segment on PBS Newshour. Several other journalists, that are covering the collaborative work of Harney County, interviewed partners in the last hour of the meeting. The next meeting for HBWI will be held in June.

Bird Festival Success!

What a great weekend! We started it off with our Wine and Wings event on Thursday at Bella Java. After eating delicious appetizers we talked with people interested in the Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative. We also set up a booth at the Burns High School where the art festival was being held all weekend long. We gave away plenty of pens and candy, and hopefully a little information as well. Finally we gave our Restoration Birding Tour on Saturday. Chris Colson, Ducks Unlimited biologist, and Brenda Smith, HDP executive director, did a fabulous job showing participants different areas around the basin to make restoration more tangible. We stopped at several project sites as well as some wetlands meadows. We had a wonderful time and we look forward to doing it again next year.
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