High Desert Partnership's monthly newsletter with news updates and upcoming events. 
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In This Issue

  • A Different Kind of March Madness
  • HCRC March Meeting Recap
  • National Forest Foundation Funding
  • OWEB FIP Funding Update 
  • Migratory Bird Festival is Fast Approaching!

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Keep Up With Us
High Desert Partnership board members met at the Diamond Hotel with Dan Ashe and other USFWS officials to discuss the work we are doing.
April 2016
A Different Kind of March Madness
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind for us! The Partnership met with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and her staff on March 21st to discuss the collaborative work that we support in Harney County. The Partnership had a private lunch with Secretary Jewell at Rhojos, in which were able to describe what makes our style of collaboration unique and therefor successful in rural eastern Oregon. 

Next we met with US Fish and Wildlife officials including Director Dan Ashe to discuss our work and the processes we use to address the ecological, social and economic issues that will help bring sustainability to Harney County. Director Ashe presented each of the High Desert Partnership board members with a special coin to thank the organization for our role in solving challenging issues in Harney County in a positive and productive manner.

In addition we also met with members of the press to provide the positive story of partnerships and good work being accomplished in Harney County. Looking north from Wright's Point, where the meeting was held, you could see the water now coming into the private flood irrigated wet meadows that provide habitat for migratory birds and are used for livestock production. It proved to be a great vantage point for sharing our story and for showing the press the kind of work we are supporting here in our community.

Upcoming Events
April 7th
Wine and Wings Event

April 8th - 10th
John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival

April 9th
Restoration Birding Tour 

April 12th
HDP Board Meeting 

April 14th
Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative Meeting

April 19th
Harney County Restoration Collaborative Meeting

For more imformation about these events please visit our website
Photo Of The Month
HDP Executive Director Brenda Smith, board members Gary Marshall and Chad Karges, and HBWI partners Bob Sallinger (Portland Audubon) and Dan Nichols (Harney County Commissioner) spoke with the press about the positive stories taking place thanks to partnerships and the good work being accomplished in Harney County. The view from Wright's Point was amazing that day, and a spotting scope was even set up to view a large flock of Ross and greater white-fronted geese.
Other News
HCRC March Meeting Overview
We had another strong showing at our Harney County Restoration Collaborative (HCRC) meeting on March 22nd. Thirty people were in attendance. Phil Jenkins and Zach Williams of Iron Triangle, both members of HCRC, gave a presentation discussing what they have liked and disliked about the harvesting portion of the restoration program so far. Conversations stemming from the presentation were productive and gave insight into ways to improve moving forward. HCRC is still working on developing a consensus statement concerning the harvesting of 21 inch trees that are not old growth. The next meeting will be held on April 19th and will focus on reviewing the Dove Project Environmental Assessment. 
National Forest Foundation Funding
In 2015, we applied for a $20,000 dollar grant through the National Forest Foundation to support and build the Harney County Restoration Collaborative's (HCRC) capacity. We were awarded the grant, which began this on March 15th. We will be using the grant to continue to fund our facilitator Jack Southwoth, train an additional facilitator, pay for administrative costs, and expand our communications capacity by partially funding our communications coordinator Melissa Speeg and by covering printing costs. 
OWEB FIP Funding Update
Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative Partners met with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) on March 30 in Sisters, OR to discuss the details of our Focused Investment Partnership that was approved for funding in January this year.  Our partnership will appoint a technical review team and we will submit proposals based on the plan of work. The High Desert Partnership will be the fiscal sponsor for the grant and will submit a capacity grant proposal to support this extensive effort.  A number of projects need to be implemented this summer to stay on our timeline, which means we will be working quickly to develop, review and approve proposals according to OWEB guidelines and get underway with this exciting effort.   
Migratory Bird Festival is Fast Approaching!
In addition to the Restoration Birding tour we will be giving in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited, we are participating in the Wine and Wings event and are having a booth at the Art Show and Sale. The Wine and Wings event is taking place on Thursday at 6:00 PM at Bella Java. Tickets are $35 and the event is being hosted by Ducks Unlimited. You can go here to register. Otherwise, you can visit us at the Art Show and Sale being held at the Burns High School on Friday April 8th as part of the bird festival. We will be located in the hallway outside of the gymnasium.  We hope to see you there!
Like the work we are doing? Please consider donating to us today. Even the smallest contribution can make a huge difference! 
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