Autumn Muir, Project Manager, Uplands Coordinator for the Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council
With a fisheries and wildlife degree from Michigan State University Autumn made her way to Oregon in 2002 to work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). She started in Roseburg in the Wildlife Research Division studying elk, black-tailed deer, black bears and cougars. After Roseburg Autumn came north to Bend where she was the lead Wildlife Technician with a research team that captured and collared more than 800 mule deer to study migration corridors and seasonal distribution.
From Bend, in 2009 Autumn shifted from research to district management and began a new position in Hines as the Assistant District Wildlife Biologist. Autumn held this position for 10 years before changing careers and moving to Lake County. She is currently working as the Project Manager, Uplands Coordinator for the Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council (LCUWC). She is responsible for providing leadership of the coordination and facilitation of all upland related projects, community engagement and outreach, assisting private landowners with developing project plans, writing grants to acquire funding, and implementing restoration treatments on private lands including unit layout and contract oversight. Prior to working with the LCUWC, Autumn was a wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for over 18 years specializing in big game ungulates (hoofed mammals) and working extensively with similar landowners and habitat types as those found within Lake County. She is well versed in the Oregon Conservation Strategy and applying restoration on the ground to restore habitat for Oregon Conservation Strategy priority species.
Despite her move to Lakeview Autumn maintains her connection with Harney County and her work with the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative (HCWC). The HCWC is reducing the potential for and the impact of megafires in Harney County and Autumn has been involved since it’s inception in 2014. “I think the HCWC has already accomplished a variety of things, first it has helped to rebuild and enhance relationships between all parties (Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, state, federal and county entities, Burns Paiute Tribe, conservation and scientific organizations and the ranching community.) "With those strengthened relationships we were able to focus on our fire prevention pilot project in the Pueblo Mountains and now working toward another pilot project in the Stinkingwaters. We are also establishing a really effective communication and education effort through regular articles in the Burns Times Herald, presentations to various groups and informative brochures.”
"Harney County will always hold a special place in my heart. After so many years of working, living and recreating in that community I couldn’t just walk away. I want to see the years of effort and hard work that the HCWC has invested continue to produce viable projects and great working relationships with all those involved. That is why I was so excited when I was asked to come back and facilitate the Stinkingwaters Subcommittee. There have been so many fabulous new partners that have breathed new life into the HCWC but there is also strength in the institutional knowledge that may not get captured within the meeting notes. My goal by staying involved with the HCWC and more specifically the Stinkingwaters Subcommittee is to keep the forward momentum while helping to preserve our original mission. High Desert Partnership and the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative are both groups that I am super proud to be a part of."
Autumn does work many hours but she loves what she does in both Lake County and Harney County to help promote cooperative, holistic restoration across jurisdictional boundaries to better the watersheds and support the people who live and work in the area.