PNW Section SRM Annual Meeting and Tour 2023, Burns OR

Harney County: Burns to Steens Mountain

General Information
Registration is now open for PNW Section Annual Meeting and Tour, September 12-14, 2023 in Burns, Oregon.

The SRM fall meeting will feature a multitude of topics pertinent to natural resource management in the Oregon High Desert:   1)  geology  2) ice age impacts on local landscapes,  3)  range sheep and cattle management,  4)  wildlife management on basin wetlands and uplands   5)  BLM management of public rangeland on Steens Mountain and collaboration to resolve major land use and environmental conflicts,  6) Wild Horse management dilemmas and reality in this region, and  7) the historical setting: Pete French cattle empire, native American occupation, and European settlement.

Headquarters: Historic Central Hotel, 171 North Broadway Street (also Hwy 395 and 20 and WWI Veterans’ Memorial Hwy)

Planning Committee:
  • We suggest our members consider bringing a donation for the Silent Auction at Wednesday’s Banquet.  Funds received help our PNW Section provide financial aid to students for attending SRM meetings.
  • Don’t forget your mosquito repellent!
  • This meeting provides the opportunity for some SRM members to earn Education Credits for SRM CPRM Certification renewal.
  • Steens Mtn. ALERT!  There will be no long hikes or difficult terrain.  Sack lunches & drinks are provided.  There have been untimely rain events in the Oregon High Desert and at this mountain, so have a light jacket/hat for the trip.  To learn more about this famous mountain, the historic Frenchglen community,  or the Pete French cattle empire, Google  Steens Mountain,  etc. for awesome scenic views and the early ranching/settlement history.

Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, September 12Historic Central Hotel
2-3 p.m.Advisory and other Committee meetings
3-5 p.m.Board meeting
5-6 p.m.Social and sandwiches
6-6:20 p.m.Welcome, announcements, schedule
6:30-7:30 p.m.Geology of High Desert and Steens Mountain, Carrie Gordon, Geologist USFS (ret.)
7:30-8:15 p.m.Questions, tour details, announcements, Cleanup
Wednesday, September 13On the Road
7 a.m. Orientation, handouts, meet the bus. Location TBA
7:20 a.m.Load bus and depart for Steens Mountain
Stop 1Frenchglen and vacinity: Glacial lake history & geologic influences on Harney Basin: Speaker: Katie Rhodes, BLM Geologist.
History of P Ranch, company town, Pete French home “site,” with fire tower turkey vulture perch (US FWS).
Management of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Travis Miller, US FWS)
Stop 2Overview of Sagebrush Zone & Upper Juniper Zone management; range livestock grazing issues, wildlife concerns & vegetative treatment history; natural resource/public use challenges, Jamie McCormack, & other BLM staff
Stop 3Aspen/Sagebrush Zone & Range Sheep operation (Pate Lake & vicinity): High elevation climatic-vegetative zone changes, range sheep grazing program, Gene Hickman and Rancher Larry Wentz
LunchWith rancher Larry Wentz at grazing allotment view point
Stop 4Kiger Gorge glacial Cirque Viewpoint: Steens Mountain Geology and Glacial History, Elevation 8900 ft, Katie Rhodes
Stop 5East Rim Viewpoint on Watershed Divide (9650 ft ) and view east to Alvord Desert in Great Basin > 5000 ft below. Geology and Glacial History, BLM Management here and below in Great Basin, Alpine zone ecology, Katie R., Jamie M., Gene Hickman
Return to BurnsRestroom stop at Frenchglen
6 p.m.Arrive in Burns, freshen up, set up Silent Auction
6:30 p.m.Historic Central Hotel: Silent Auction, Banquet, after dinner presentation
Presentation: High Desert settlement and Native American history, Scott Thomas, BLM archeologist (ret.)
Thursday, September 14Historic Central Hotel
8:15 a.m.PNW Section SRM Annual Meeting
9:30 a.m. PresentationsWinter Cattle Grazing Study east of Burns at Drewsey, Bill Dragt, BLM ARS
10:15 a.m.Virtual Fencing, Rory O’Connor, OSU Ag. Exp. Station
11 a.m.Wild Horses: BLM horse management, range issues, natural resource conflicts, political future, BLM Wild Horse Corrals in Hines, OR., BLM staff
11:45 a.m.Adjourn. Happy Trails!


Motels and Hotel

  • Best Western Rory & Ryan Inn (Hines).  Full super breakfast, standard rooms with King or Queen.  SRM special rates: $130 + tax (one person). Government employee rate $98 + tax.  534 North Hwy 20,  541-573-5050
  • Rory & Ryan Inn (independent motel, also in Hines).  Full Breakfast, standard rooms with King or Queen, SRM special rates: $110 + taxes (one person). Government employee rate, $98,  504 North Hwy 20, 541-573-3370.
  • Horseshoe Inn, 30836 Hwy 20 East (1 mile east of Burns), older, newly remodeled & refurbished, very good ratings, quiet country setting, coffee, no breakfast. 541-578-2034.
  • OYO Silver Spur Motel, 789 N. Broadway Ave., Burns, 541-573-2077.
  • American Best Value Inn, 999 Oregon Ave., Burns, 541-573-1700.
  • Historic Central Hotel, 171 N. Broadway Ave., Burns. (SRM meeting site), fully restored to historical period, unique & very attractive upstairs rooms but no elevator. 541-573-0046.

RV Parks

  • Bosch’s Big Bear Lodge & RV Park (Hines, west end just north of Hwy. 20), reservations recommended, 10% discount for SRM,  nice, new, on hill with view of Malheur Basin.   360-849-9000.
  • Burns RV Park (East end of City near Hwy 20), 1273 Seneca Dr. with large number of short term sites. Very nice older park, much shade, reservations recommended. 541-573-7640.
General Location

Registration, US$

    • Individual by September 5th, $165
    • Accompanying spouse, $150
    • Student, $100
    • Wednesday tour and banquet only, $100
    • Late registration (after September 5th) add $10
    • Cancellation: 90% refund if cancellation occurs by September 5th.  Thereafter, cancellation and refund requests will be considered on a case by case basis upon request made to the planning committee.  Please understand that we will have incurred expenses on your behalf.

    Online Registration

    Zoom information for Committee, Board, and Annual Meetings:
    • Advisory Committee.  September 12, 2-3 p.m. Join here.
      • Or by phone (253) 215-8782, Meeting ID: 961 0279 1713
    • Concurrent Committee Meetings.  September 12, 2-3 p.m. Join here.
      • Or by phone (253) 215-8782, Meeting ID: 979 4547 153
      • Committee chairs: if you plan to use this meeting, please contact Tom Platt so that we don’t overbook with multiple committee meetings
    • Board Meeting, September 12, 3-5 p.m.  Join here.
      • Or by phone (253) 215-8782, Meeting ID: 979 0203 7650
    • Annual Meeting, September 14, 8:15-9:30 a.m.  Join here.  (Tom goofed on the email he sent to some about this meeting. He said “Friday,” but the Annual meeting is Thursday morning, September 14)
      • Or by phone (253) 215-8782, Meeting ID: 972 5806 9443

    NOTE:  You will be required to login to your Zoom account in order to join these meetings.  Please have your Zoom login credentials handy.  

    Field tour September 12:

    7 a.m.  Meet at the High Desert Partnership, N 235 Hwt 20 to arrange carpools. 38 seats available now.  If you plan to drive, gas up!