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Malheur Benson Pond Work Party

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When: May 04, 2018 12:00 AM to May 06, 2018 12:00 AM

Join the Audubon Society of Portland at our first volunteer day of 2018 at Benson Pond on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Where: Meet at Benson Pond on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge at 8 a.m, Saturday May 5.
Please complete the RSVP form

Pump House
Historic Pump House at Benson Pond

Join the Audubon Society of Portland at our first volunteer day of 2018 at Benson Pond on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge conducted a prescribed burn on at Benson Pond this winter to renew the marsh and wet meadow habitat conditions at the site. 

Controlled burns are a management tool to allow healthy growth and increased plant diversity that provides food, shelter and nesting material vital for birds to thrive. The fire has also provided an opportunity to refresh the shrub layer surrounding Benson Pond.  We will work together to install native plants along the berms and walking paths.

While you're at the Refuge, take time to enjoy the abundance of wildlife. Enjoy the 187,757 acres of wetlands, lakes, dry lakes, native grass meadows and arid upland habitats. The diversity of these habitats makes the Refuge incredibly vital for wildlife living and migrating through the northern Great Basin desert. The Refuge hosts 20% of the world's population of White-faced Ibis, as well as significant populations of pelicans and Sandhill Cranes. The area is truly a birder's paradise. Late July is the perfect time to look for shorebirds on the southbound migration and young ducks, geese and swans are also abundant.

What to bring: Please bring your own lunch and water, sturdy ankle-high work boots and work gloves, sunscreen, and dress for the weather. This time of year, conditions can fluctuate between cool/wet and hot/dry, so be sure to check the weather before your trip.

The refuge sits (deceivingly) at ~4,000ft in elevation; slightly noticeable for some, but not an issue for most. Benson Pond can be uneven in spots, but in general is quite flat. There may be some tasks that require willing participants to do some heavy lifting. However, there will be plenty of opportunities for pacing oneself during the day, and plenty of extra water to stay hydrated. Our number one priority is that everyone stays safe!  

You are responsible for arranging your own food, lodging and transportation. We can facilitate participants organizing a car pool by sharing participant contact info if participants desire. It is a long drive to Malheur from the Willamette Valley, so take that into consideration before committing to this trip.

Trip Timeline

Friday, May 4: We recommend out-of- town folks arrive in the evening and get settled into your hotel or camping area.

Saturday, May 5: Drive to Benson Pond (see directions below). Please arrive on time at 8 a.m. We will install new trees and shrubs along the berms surrounding Benson Pond and also work on trail maintenance as time allows. Bring a lunch to enjoy in the field.

Sunday, May 6: Reward day! Join Portland Audubon biologists for a morning of birding and wildlife watching in some of our favorite hot spots on the Refuge. More details to come!

Please complete the RSVP form. Group size is limited to 20 people. You will receive a follow-up email by April 27. The confirmation email will provide any new updated information regarding the event and we will confirm that everyone is still able to participate.

This trip is led by Portland Audubon’s East Side Field Coordinator, Teresa Wicks (twicks@audubonportland.org) and Portland Audubon’s Field Biologist, Candace Larson (clarson@audubonportland.org).

Lodging options

City of Hines and City of Burns, 32 miles north of Refuge Headquarters, provides lodging accommodations. Please contact Harney County Chamber of Commerce at 541-573- 2636 or visit their website. For more rustic conditions, consider the Malheur Field Station or camp along the Blitzen River at Page Springs Campground, just three miles from the town of Frenchglen. 

Make sure to make reservations at the field station in advance (Page Springs Campground does not take reservations, camping is at a first come first serve basis).

Directions 

From Burns: Head south on Hwy 205 approximately 47 miles to the turnoff for Krumbo Reservoir. Turn left and cross bridge, take immediate right onto the Center Patrol Road at the auto tour route site (do not go forward to Krumbo). In about one mile, Benson Pond will be on your left.

From Frenchglen: Head north on Hwy 205 approximately 11 miles to the turnoff for Krumbo Reservoir. Turn right and cross bridge, take immediate right onto the Center Patrol Road at the auto tour route site (do not go forward to Krumbo). In about one mile, Benson Pond will be on your left.

Thanks for working with us to care for your public lands!

Benson

 

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