Thank you those those who participated in the 5th Annual SageCon Partnership Summit! 

We would appreciate your feedback on this event and ongoing opportunities to connect and move forward on our partnership commitments.
Please fill out the survey below to share your thoughts (responses requested by December 21, 2020):  

The 2020 Summit featured partner-led sessions, panels and discussions on the latest science, community-based approaches and policy measures to leverage capacity and mitigate threats on the ground. After five years of implementation; partners old and new  reflected on what approaches are working and where we need to invest next to address threats and see benefits for sagebrush communities. 

Tuesday December 8th 
8:00 am Welcome
8:15 am Status, Trends, Actions and Opportunities: A 2020 Review of Sagebrush and Sage-Grouse in Oregon Rangelands and Beyond
  • The SageCon Dashboard- Megan Creutzburg, INR
  • Rangeland condition - Megan Creutzburg, INR
  • Sage-grouse population trends - Skyler Vold, ODFW
  • BLM 2019 adaptive management triggers - Glenn Frederick, BLM
  • Conservation actions across public and private lands- Megan Creutzburg, INR
  • Regional perspectives on sagebrush and sage-grouse - Jeff Everett, USFWS

9:30 am What’s Fueling Rangeland Wildfire Response: A Moderated Panel on Federal and Field Level Resources
Reflection on what we’ve learned in the last five years of wildfire seasons through investments in planning and response capacity and thanks to the coordinated efforts of Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, BLM, USFWS and USFS. Link to video featuring the High Desert RFPA response to the Brattain Fire:
  • Kevin Lehmann - High Desert RFPA in Lake County
  • Rod Hoagland - Fields/Andrews RFPA in Harney County 
  • Brent Meisenger - Fire, Fuels & Aviation Management BLM OR & WA State Office
  • Marvin Vetter - ODF RFPA coordinator
10:00 am Break

10:20 am Invasives Initiative Overview - Nicole Maness, Willamette Partnership 

10:25 am KEYNOTE: Journey into Sagebrush - Ashley Ahearn
Ashley Ahearn left her job at the leading NPR station in Seattle and moved to rural Washington sagebrush country after the 2016 election.  There, she fell in love with sage grouse. She'll talk about what these strange, troubled birds can teach us about ourselves, our relationship with nature, and the divisions we face in our country today. Ashley will play excerpts from her 8-part podcast series, Grouse, which aired on NPR member stations across ID, MT, UT, WY, and NV. 

11:00 am Partner Perspectives and Reflections: Accounting for Adaptive Management - Moderated by Jamie Damon
12:00pm Departure

Wednesday December 9th  

8:00 am Panel: Rangeland Return on Investment: Oregon's Local Economies, Workforce and Jobs
Investment in the context of Oregon’s sagebrush country from the federal, state, and private sector has been significant over time (approaching $100 million dollars since 2015). The impacts of this funding are directly tied to rangeland health, sagebrush ecosystem habitat restoration, or threat reduction (e.g., wildfire risk, invasives, juniper) as well as workforce and  economic impacts at the local level. This panel will explore the status and impacts of investments, potential development projects, and sustainability of the framework for advancing these efforts. As economic development prospects and projects (energy transmission, mining, renewable energy production, etc.) emerge in Eastern Oregon, counties are working to ensure the diversification of opportunities on the horizon align with sagebrush landscape priorities.
  • Mark Bennett - Baker County Commissioner
  • Dallas Defrees - Baker Local Implementation Team Coordinator
  • Meta Loftsgaarden- Executive Director of Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB)
  • Jon Jinings - DLCD Community Services Specialist
  • Nicole Hughes - Director of Renewable NW

9:30 am Panel: Collaborative Conservation- Achieving Meaningful Outcomes
Achieving conservation outcomes is challenging, especially when the collection of threats is so complex, as in the case with sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystems. Collaborative partnerships are one approach amongst a variety of strategies or approaches people take to try and get their interests met. Can a collaborative partnership actually work? 
  • Jeremy Austin - Policy Manger, Oregon Natural Desert Association                                                                                                                   
  • Amy Sturgill - Bi-State Sage-Grouse Data and Communications Coordinator                                                                                                           
  • Dr. Jessica WesternSenior Research Scientist - Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, University of Wyoming
  • Moderated by Ashley Ahearn

11:00 am The Future of the SageCon Partnership: Takeaways and Looking Ahead
12:00 pm Departure
Following the SageCon Summit, join us for an Invasive Annual Grass Workshop hosted by High Desert Partnership and the SageCon Partnership

Invasive annual grasses threaten millions of acres of sagebrush rangelands across the west. This two day workshop hosted by the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative and Oregon SageCon Partnership will explore the barriers and opportunities for addressing invasive annual grasses in Oregon and beyond the state.
Details and registration can be found on the High Desert Partnership website: