Portland Audubon has been working to protect birds and bird habitat in Central and Eastern Oregon since our founding in 1902. Concerned about the rapid conversion of critically important wetland complexes to agriculture and the wanton killing of water birds such as herons and egrets to supply feathers for the hat industry, Portland Audubon founder, William Finley successfully lobbied President Theodore Roosevelt to establish Klamath National Wildlife Refuge and Malheur National Refuge, both in 1908. Concerned about the potential extinction of pronghorn, we would later work with other groups to successfully advocate for the establishment of the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge in 1936 to protect what was then one of the last remnant herds and more recently helped create the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area.
Current Conservation Efforts
Today, Portland Audubon remains deeply invested in bird and wildlife conservation in Central and Eastern Oregon. Our work ranges from cutting edge collaborative conservation efforts to restore wetlands at and around Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to complex litigation to address chronic water deficiencies at Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. We have have tracked windpower development to ensure that it is done in an ecologically responsible manner and successfully partnered with ONDA to fight industrial wind development on Steens Mountain. We are deeply involved in efforts to protect iconic and imperiled Greater Sage-grouse and the sagebrush ecosystems on which they depend.
In 2018, Portland Audubon hired a full-time, year round Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator located in Harney County near Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to amplify our conservation efforts in this part of the state.
We have lots of ways to for you to participate in conservation efforts in Central and Eastern Oregon including advocacy, field trips, volunteer work projects, community science projects and outreach programs.