We have lead the way in collaboration in our community for over 10 years now. High Desert Partnership has laid groundwork and brought together diverse partners in four initiatives to address challenging issues in Harney County.
Our founding board members wanted something different when it was time to rewrite the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan. They began having conversations with various community members and groups. Their discussions led to the of formation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge working group, and they created the first collaboratively produced Comprehensive Conservation Plan in the country. Today, we continue to support partners in that pioneering effort as the refuge’s plan is being implemented.
We took a leading role in working with Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative partners in writing and submitting Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s Focused Investment Partnership grant, which has led to $6 million in funding for implementing projects to improve aquatic health in Malheur Lake and enhance flood irrigated wet meadows habitat in the basin. As part of this funding we have hired a project coordinator to ensure partners have the resources needed to implement projects that result in positive impacts. Our roles in this effort include conveying information between partners, making sure the initiative and subcommittee meetings are efficient and productive, and working with partners to develop effective outreach activities to inform the community and general public of this landscape scale effort.
In 2008, we worked with Harney County Judge Steve Grasty and the Nature Conservancy to convene the Harney County Restoration Collaborative. This collaborative supports and implements forest restoration work on the southern Malheur National Forest. In the last 5 years, the partners’ work has led to the approval of forest restoration projects on over 200,000 acres without litigation. Since this collaborative’s inception, we have secured funding for the group, provided facilitation, arranged meeting spaces, and ensured effective communications within the group and with our community and interested public.
A new initiative that has generated great interest and hope for community building is the Positive Youth Initiative. We have met with a wide array of community members in Harney County, including youth. Our discussions allowed us to assess the strengths of our community and identify where improvements can be made. By working together at a community level, we can improve opportunities for youth and the community. Thinking outside the box, we are encouraging the participation of youth to provide leadership and input on the best ways to enhance their experiences while growing up in Harney County.
In addition to convening these initiatives, we have and are supporting other groups in Harney County. We provide collaborative support to the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative. We will be providing facilitation for the group along with other collaborative services.
The Results of Our Initiatives
Interested in learning more?
This section is just a brief overview of our accomplishments. Go to our
What We Do section to find out more about the successes of each of our initiatives.