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Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

19 EpisodesProduced by Friends of Mlaheur NWRWebsite

Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge promotes conservation and appreciation of natural and cultural resources at Malheur Refuge through education, outreach, advocacy and on-the-ground stewardship. Support this podcast:

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Stop #1: Malheur Lake Overlook

May 19th, 2019


We begin the tour here at the northwestern corner of the Great Basin, overlooking Malheur Lake with Mud Lake to the west. Harney Lake is just beyond the sand dunes visible on the western horizon. Lake levels can vary …

Stop #2: Sod House Ranch and Malheur Field Station

May 18th, 2019


Looking to the west, you can see the buildings and cottonwood trees of the historic Sod House Ranch. Established and managed by Peter French for Dr. Hugh Glenn in the 1880s, Sod House Ranch was the northern headquarters …

Stop #3: Wright’s Pond

May 17th, 2019


General George Wright led some of the earliest troops in settling the West. It is not certain whether Wright actually visited the Blitzen Valley, but in 1865 he died in a shipwreck off the California coast. His name is …

Stop #4: Basin-and-Range Geology

May 16th, 2019


At this point, you are within the geological province known as the Brothers Fault Zone, a narrow and highly fractured area between the …

Stop #5: McLaughlin Slough

May 15th, 2019


Many homesteaders settled across the Blitzen Valley, but most of their stories have faded with history. One, however, has persevered—that of pioneer mother Nettie McLaughlin. Born in 1852, she was first married to a Mr. …

Stop #6: First Residents

May 14th, 2019


Rattlesnake Butte, which appears to your left, has been important to people since prehistoric times. Nearby, a rocky ledge extends across the river providing the only natural crossing for miles. This point of access, …

Stop #7: Meadow Lands

May 13th, 2019


Along the tour route, you may have noticed rows of old juniper fence posts. Volunteer groups have contributed hundreds of hours removing the old wire …

Stop #8: Buena Vista Ponds

May 12th, 2019


The Buena Vista ponds are managed for nesting and migrating waterfowl. In some years, they also serve as nesting habitat for Trumpeter Swan. In the fall, Sandhill Cranes loaf here at night as they stage for their …

Stop #9: Buena Vista Trail and Overlook

May 11th, 2019


From here you may either drive 3/4 of a mile on the gravel road or walk the 1/4-mile trail to the Buena Vista overlook, which offers a stunning panorama of the Blitzen Valley. Combine the two on foot for an excellent …

Stop #10: Diamond Lane

May 10th, 2019


In the field across the paved road, post-breeding Sandhill Cranes begin congregating in August to prepare for their southerly flight. Up to 250 pairs of cranes nest on the Refuge, but as many as 3,000 may pass through …

Stop #11: Crane Pond

May 9th, 2019


If you wish to take a break from your vehicle, park on the right side of the road and hike the primitive half-mile trail to Crane Pond overlook. Crane Pond represents the delta of Krumbo Creek. In breeding season, watch …

Stop #12: Blitzen River Willows

May 8th, 2019


The willow thickets are particularly dense along this section of the Center Patrol Road. Although they block the view of the river and certain …

Stop #13: Benson Pond

May 7th, 2019


George M. Benson served as the Refuge game warden, and later agent, beginning in 1918. Preferring the title of “refuge protector,” Benson not only enforced hunting and trapping laws at Malheur, but he also banded many …

Stop #14: Dredger Pond

May 6th, 2019


Dredger Pond is named for the steam-driven dredge that was eventually abandoned here after once being used to channelize the Blitzen River.
The …

Stop #15: Knox Ponds

May 5th, 2019


The two large ponds here are good examples of wetlands that are managed to improve the survival of young waterbirds. Periodically, both West and East Knox Ponds are drained and planted with grain for forage. Once dry, …

Stop #16: Cottonwood Pond

May 4th, 2019


The lone cottonwood tree that gives this pond its name is one of many roost sites for Bald Eagles that overwinter on the Refuge. Other large raptors may also roost in this sentinal tree, including resident Red-tailed …

Stop #17: Bridge Creek

May 3rd, 2019


This is another good place to get out and stretch your legs. You are standing at the confluence of Bridge Creek and the Blitzen River. The dam you see on Bridge Creek (on the east side of the road) had for years …

Stop #18: Bobolink Alley

May 2nd, 2019


From here to P Ranch, the Center Patrol Road could be called “Bobolink Alley,” at least from late May through July, when breeding pairs are present. …

Stop #19: P Ranch

May 1st, 2019


In 1872, backed by California industrialist Dr. Hugh Glenn, Peter French headed north from California with a few vaqueros and 1,200 head of Glenn’s shorthorn cattle. They sought land for grazing and livestock …

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