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Malheur National Refuge Fence Repair

September 3, 2019

$65 – $75

Malheur National Refuge Fence Repair

When Oct 16, 2014 04:00 PM to
Oct 19, 2014 12:00 PM
Where Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Contact Name Michael O’Casey
Contact Phone (541) 330-2638
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Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a truly amazing place of incredible value to wildlife, and it needs our help.  Located about 30 miles south of Burns, with wetlands fed by the Steens’ Donner und Blitzen River the area is a critical wildlife oasis for waterfowl.  During seasonal migrations the Refuge plays host to 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 and a bird’s paradise.  With 187,000 acres of wetlands, riparian areas, meadows and uplands there is plenty of room and habitat diversity to attract hundreds of thousands of birds every year.  But this habitat needs care-taking, and significant restoration.  Fences which keep neighboring cows out of breeding grounds need regular and significant repair.  And the aquatic vegetation has been completely decimated by invasive carp (stay tuned for ways to help with this in future years!).  After nearly two decades ONDA volunteers are returning to work in the Refuge and help address some of these major issues for the second year in a row.  Look for annual trips and an expanding role for ONDA volunteers at the Refuge in the years to come.  These trips are sure to become a new volunteer favorite as we re-establish our partnership with the refuge.

HERE is a Google Map showing the Refuge’s general location.


A Pelican lifts off from the refuge in 1908 before the carp ate all the vegetation
(Painted slide courtesy of USFWS)


  • October 16th, Thursday.  Folks can arrive in the evening with enough time to set up camp.  Might be good to get dinner at the Narrows Restaurant (make sure to tell them you are here to help out the wildlife at the refuge!)
  • October 17th, Friday. First of two days of building and repairing fence. Exact location will depend on accessibility related to lake water levels.
  • October 18th, Saturday. Second of two days of building and repairing fence. Exact location will depend on accessibility related to lake water levels.
  • October 19th, Sunday.  We will have a chance to see some “behind the scenes” territory on the refuge thanks to refuge staff and “Friends of the Refuge”.  After lunch we can all head home.

No experience is necessary, just a desire to work all day and learn some new skills.  We will provide tools, materials and leadership.  Work will involve the opportunity to master many different tasks with varying degrees of physical demands throughout the day as part of a team.  Many tasks will involve hauling materials (posts, wire, rocks, bags of small metal pieces), pounding in fence posts, twisting wires in place, holding fence while tensioning, and dismantling the old damaged fence.  In general, work in eastern Oregon is hot and sunny during the day, and participants should expect to get a bit scratched up and maybe a tear here and there in their clothes.  We will be away from camp all day, but everyone is encouraged to work at their own pace and take breaks as needed, as well as to relax and explore in the afternoons after work.

Malheur Refuge Fence Repair
Last year’s fence repair volunteers making an H-brace

Our exact camping location will be determined by the lake’s water level this fall.  Since the area is a wetland, water levels will determine which fence-lines we will work on (some may be under water) and therefore which locations will be the most practical for access and camping.  We will be car-camping, so you will be able to have all the amenities you can fit in your car.  Details describing the exact campsite will be provided to participants in the information e-mail three weeks before the trip.

 2 out of 5:
The terrain while uneven, will be flat, we will not be at high altitude, and we will be car-camping.  There will be plenty of opportunities for pacing oneself during the day, however, there are also are some tasks that will require some participants to do heavy lifting as well.


Participants are responsible for their own food and food preparation, backpacking/camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are recommended for this trip.


ONDA will provide tools for the work, leadership and a number of group camp items to make things more comfortable such as a few chairs, a cook table, and a sun/rain tarp.


This trip is led by ONDA’s Wilderness Stewardship Assistant, Michael O’Casey, Michael@onda.org
Group Size is limited to 15
This trip is offered free of charge to members


A registration application and medical form is required for this trip.  Click HERE for the online form.  This form only needs to be filled out only once per year: you can join additional trips in the future by contacting trip leaders directly.  You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 working days of submitting the form.  The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full and so your name has been placed on the “wait list”.  Five weeks before the trip starts the trip leader will send out an RSVP e-mail to make sure everyone is still available to participate.  Three weeks before the trip begins, the trip leader will send out an e-mail with additional information, maps, driving instructions, car-pooling options etc.  However, if you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.


Deschutes Brewery
(541) 382-9242
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Deschutes Brewery Public House
1044 NW Bond St
Bend, OR 97701 United States
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