BLM Gives Thanks to Steens BCH of Oregon Volunteers

Each year in the Burns District in Oregon of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), volunteers give thousands of hours of service to your local public lands. Yes, thousands of hours dedicated to Harney County Oregon! Volunteers offer their time and skills to restore habitats, build and maintain trails, preserve historic structures, provide services to visitors, and much more. Check out these highlights from 2016 volunteer work in our recreation program:

Campground hosts donated hundreds of hours at Chickahominy Reservoir, Page Springs, and Riddle Brothers Ranch by assisting visitors with their travel experiences and monitoring sites for compliance and user safety.

Two 6-person Oregon Youth Conservation Corps crews stayed busy with sign installation, recreation site clean-up and maintenance, trail work and snow pole removal on Steens Mountain, among other things.

A 12-person Northwest Youth Corps spent five weeks in the Burns District completing trail maintenance in Little Blitzen and Big Indian Gorges.

The Steens Mountain chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of Oregon (BCHO) packed in food supplies to the Northwest Youth Corp during their stay in Little Blitzen gorge, and helped move the crews  their tools, equipment and gear from one site to another; supported the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 12-person Native Fish Investigations Program staff by transporting gear to various sites as they worked throughout Big Indian Gorge over the summer months; and assisted with the construction of a sixty foot equine exercise round pen at South Steens Campground (photo).

We appreciate and value the effort of all our volunteers in the Burns District. There are many ways you, too, can help care for your public lands, from one-time volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups of all ages to longer-term positions and annual events. Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards, saves resources and brings people together.

Community engagement is needed now more than ever! If you are interested in volunteering for the Burns District, contact Tara Thissell at or (541) 573-4519.

Top, from left: John Eresman (BCH), Gary Cox and John Britt (BLM), Jim Bishop (BCH), Mandy DeCroo (BLM), John O’Connor (BCH), and Katy Bartzokis (BLM). Not pictured, Julie Weikel (BCH).

Weed mat laid, first load of gravel delivered and spread, posts cemented in, panels mounted, butterfly clamps installed and welded.

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