Written by Brianna Goehring/Photos by Brianna Goehring

High Desert Partnership’s 2020 monitoring crew spent quality time on the Refuge this summer collecting vegetation trend monitoring data across many study sites. This work is a partnership between the Refuge, local ranchers, Oregon State University-Eastern Oregon Research Center, the Wetlands Conservancy, and others.

The crew of five recent Burns High-school graduates learned quickly that each day out could be an adventure. No one ever knew if the access to the day’s plot would be a casual stroll through knee-high sedges, or an expedition navigating through 10-ft tall cattails. Among other monitoring-related activities, the crew clipped meadow vegetation from hundreds of sample plots. These samples are are now being weighed and sorted to get estimates of the amount of vegetation that grew this year. 

Stay tuned for a longer article about these efforts in the October issues of our Malheur Musings eNewsletter.