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Board Member

Chad Karges
Executive Team and High Desert Partnership Founder

Voting board member since 2007

Chad Karges retired in August, 2019 after a career spanning over 30 year serving entirely in the National Wildlife Refuge System (Malheur NWR) within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition to Malheur NWR, Chad worked on five other Refuges: Buffalo Lake and Matagorda Island in Texas, Kirwin in Kansas, Charles M Russell in Montana, and Salton Sea in California. His 20-year tenure at Malheur NWR began in 1999 as the Deputy Project Leader and in 2014 he was promoted to Project Leader. Among his many significant accomplishments in his role was his vision and dedication to form ecological, economic and social partnerships. Chad departed Malheur NWR leaving a solid foundation for working with partners to deliver conservation not only on Malheur NWR but throughout the Harney Basin. 

When it came time to prepare the Malheur NWR’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) – the management plan that guides management of the refuge – Chad along with interested partners recognized that a new model of planning would be needed if the process to develop the CCP was to achieve success. It was also during this time that Chad along with Gary Marshall and others had been building the model of High Desert Partnership. In 2013, the CCP was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and stands as a testament to the shared dedication, persistence, and lasting relationships of the CCP collaborative partners as well as the vision Chad had for collaboration and High Desert Partnership. The CCP and five additional collaborative efforts now make up the slate of collaborative efforts supported by HDP.