Good day Friends of Malheur,
My name is Zack McCoy and I’d like to introduce myself as the new P-Ranch Substation Manager at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I started here in late August after making a short move from Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge just to the west in Plush, Oregon. I worked on Hart as the equipment operator/maintenance mechanic since January of 2017. Hart was my first job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Prior to that I worked for EndeavorAir as a regional airline mechanic and maintenance inspector. I served in the US Marine Corps as an aviation ground support equipment mechanic before that, with a few other jobs in between.
While Hart Mountain was my introduction to working for the FWS, I lived on a few refuges growing up with my family. My father worked for the service for 48 years and finally retired a few years ago. We lived at Erie NWR in PA, Prime Hook in DE, Wichita Mountains in OK, and Patoka River in IN. My mother, father, and older brother also lived at Crab Orchard in IL and Sherburne in MN. It was a great experience being raised on refuges, being involved in happenings at the refuges, and as much as an adolescent’s point of view allows, seeing the importance of the FWS. After working in the corporate world of commercial aviation I was ready to do something that felt more personally rewarding and that’s why I started applying for FWS jobs. It took over two years of applying but I was finally hired at Hart Mountain, and I don’t regret it at all.
And now I am very excited to be working at Malheur! While the surrounding area isn’t too different than Hart, the job is very different. A few of the draws to come here are the waterfowl, the riparian habitat, and being more involved with the public stakeholders of the refuge. I’ll be operating a more diverse range of equipment than what I’m used to and learning about water control structures and different irrigation methods. It’s going to be a little challenging, but I’m looking forward to learning all I can and to being a successful part of the Malheur team.
My girlfriend Joelle Fournier and I are living down here at the South Place near the P-Ranch. Joelle still works for the Sheldon-Hart Refuge Complex as an Invasive Species Biologist. We have a few cats, two dogs, and plan on getting chickens again. We also got the bird feeders unpacked and set up and have been enjoying the birds that they attract, as well as the front row seats to this fall’s mule deer rut. We like to garden but will have to see how far we get in setting up new beds this year. We are excited about getting to explore this new area and seeing what the changing seasons bring.
Well, that’s a little bit about me. I’m really excited to be working at Malheur and if you see me out and about, please don’t hesitate to stop and say hello.