Malheur’s Gifts


Malheur’s Gifts

Gratitude by Bailey deIongh, FOMR Volunteer

One of the many gifts the Malheur gave me is a month of being in a state of constant awe: from its many diverse glorious sunrises to its unbelievable sunsets and moonscapes; from the morning cranes to the evening great horned owls; from its coyotes and badgers to antelope; from the butterflies to the dragonflies;  from its dusty volcanic desert to the waters of its streams and hot springs; and from its first people, the Indigenous stewards, to recent arrivals and visitors who treasure the area. Maybe most importantly, I returned home committed to experiencing awe in my own backyard!

Two young owls playing

Play-Pals by Dan Streiffert, FOMR Volunteer 

One of the best parts of being a FOMR volunteer is living at Headquarters. This provides the opportunity to roam around after hours and enjoy chance encounters with critters that you would not have otherwise. Last June I encountered the three Owletts exploring the grounds. I just sat down on the ground and started taking photos. Check these out!


Malheur is a beautiful place and gives me great Joy to be a part of it! Every year is a good year here, with many different things to be grateful for. Let’s start with my office window, the view is beautiful, whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall.  The sounds of birds in the spring is spectacular and the people I work with are awesome stewards of the land.  It gives me happiness, so I try to give it 100% of my dedication.
Suzanne McConnell, Administrative Officer
Every year, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge gives me peace. Nature and wildlife are the center of many people’s most important values and I am fortunate to be able to work at a place where wildlife and habitat are protected. I couldn’t imagine not waking up daily to have the opportunity to view a diversity of wildlife and experience scenic landscapes. For this, I am very grateful to share my love of this outstanding place with others through education and outreach with the help of volunteers. 
Carey Jay Goss, Wildlife Refuge Specialist

A Little Haiku
by Alice Elshoff, FOMR Board Member
Great spacial silence
Dark night full of starry sky
Malheur has it all 

Bearing Witness
by Lynn Faucher, FOMR Volunteer
owlet golden eyes
await an outside world fledge
open wide to life
The Refuge fills my heart with joy. It has given me a vision of peace and beauty that I carry with me every day whether I’m there or back home in the city. I have been welcomed into a community of people that I love – friends from many places I’ve met through volunteering who add richness to my life. I am so lucky to be a member of that loving community. 

Everyday I’m very grateful for what Malheur NWR gives me. But one extra special moment this year the Refuge gave me was reuniting me with two fantastic USGS biologists’ that I have worked with during my career here! During my first couple of years here I got to work with Desmond (Des) Mackell at Summer Lake Wildlife Area banding and putting backpack transmitters on cinnamon teal! Fast forward to 2022, I had the privilege of working with Andrea Mott to do the same thing but with white faced ibis! Now for 2023 both of these biologist came out to Malheur NWR together where we trapped for American avocets and were able to band and place a transmitter on each. It was really special reunion to work with these two incredible people again and for them to be present on another first for me. Thank you Malheur for all the opportunities and memories. 
Alexa Martinez, Malheur Wildlife Biologist

Wild Grace
by Sharon Vail, FOMR Volunteer
When counting blessings
   at my journey’s end,
Make room for one more –
   for the time I spend 
Among the bird song,
  with wings taking flight
At the gift and joy
   of day’s first light. 
For the wild places – 
   the balm to my soul –
How they brought me peace,
   how they made me whole.

Give back to Malheur NWR for all of the gifts it offers you.
Make a Donation Today!


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