Malheur Restoration Project Video

Increasingly recognized as one of the most important places on the continent for migratory birds, the Harney Basin is the northern anchor of a string of wetlands that extends across the Southern Oregon/Northeast California (SONEC) region. During spring migration, more than five million ducks, a million geese, and 100,000 swans pass through here, stopping to feed and gather strength for the long journey to their northern breeding grounds.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, one of the great refuges of the West and located within Harney Basin, is in serious trouble. Malheur Lake, the biological heart of the refuge, and the largest freshwater marsh in the West, is edging toward collapse, the victim of an exploding population of non-native common carp. Introduced decades ago, these destructive invaders have decimated the lake's natural marshes, uprooting vegetation and creating a vast murky expanse of open water where hundreds of thousands of breeding waterbirds previously found abundant food and cover. A lake that annually produced more than 100,000 ducks and geese and sustained peaks of more than half a million migrating waterfowl now supports less than 10 percent of those historic numbers.

Watch the video about the restoration efforts taking place here.