Harney County Cattle Grazing Study

Meeting Notes:

November 14, 2001

Burns High School


1.         Project Website Design

2.         Project Agreement

3.         Spring Field Trip Plans

4.         Next Meeting


Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc. (ORWW)

Albert T. Gruen

Wayne Giesy

Burns High School (Burns HS)

Jimmy Zamora (Agricultural Sciences Instructor)

Eric (Student)

Carol (Student)

Mandy (Student)

Kevin (Student)

Marlon (Student)

Holly (Student)

Crane High School (Crane HS)

Ted Netter (Agricultural Sciences Instructor)

Brian (Student)

Amy (Student)

Kala (Student)

1.      Project Website Design:

Project statements and questions developed by students at this workshop have been slightly edited and organized to coordinate with project themes discussed and listed during the September 26 organizational meeting. The addition of these new ideas and perspectives has resulted in the need for a second website page: “Student Projects and Reports.


(Jimmy Zamora will locate a picture or pictures related to this study and e-mail them to Albert Gruen to use on the initial Homepage DRAFT)

Title: Harney County Cattle Grazing Study

Participants and Sponsors: Burns High School Agriculture Department; Crane High School Agriculture Department; Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc.; Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC); Clemens Foundation; NW Maps Co. (This may link to contact information and/or participating student profiles).

Mission (This statement will likely include links to Project Purpose; Project Background; Methodology/Peer Review; Setting and Scale; and other related topics that are too detailed for the Homepage) : Crane HS and Harney HS Agriculture teachers and students are working with the assistance of EOARC and other members of the local community during the 2000-2001 school year to study the benefits and effects of cattle grazing in Harney County, Oregon. ORWW is cooperating with teachers, students, scientists, and other project participants to create and maintain a long-term Internet website to display the results of this study. Students will use the website to share the results of their findings for purposes of public education and local resources management.

Student Projects and Reports: This link will go to Page 2 of the website, outlined below.

Meeting Notes: This link will connect to the meeting notes for the September 28 meeting and to the revised notes and photographs for the November 14 meeting. Future meeting agendas and notes will be added as they are scheduled and completed.

Discussion Board: This link will connect to moderated announcements, messages, and discussions associated with the Study. Moderation will be used to edit inappropriate words and phrases and to organize relevant discussion lines. ORWW will moderate initial entries until such time as alternative methods are adopted.



Student questions and statements regarding cattle grazing in Harney County have been taken from the November 14 meeting and organized thematically in accordance with the September 28 meeting. Actual student projects and reports will be linked to this page. Student profiles may also be included with the links.

Student Project Research Topics and Themes: Key Benefits and Effects of Cattle Grazing on Harney County Environments

             Food Production

             Recreational Opportunities

             Fire Management/Public Safety

             Wildlife Habitat

             Economy and Infrastructure Development

             Environment (Air and Water Quality)

             Culture (Way of Life)

I.       Harney County Geology and Prehistoric Conditions

Are wild (native) animals doing well in Harney County?

Do native plants still exist? Where?

Other topics: Climate Change; Prairie Burning; Human History

II.     Harney County Cattle Grazing History

What are the boundaries of the original grazing allotments? What are they today?

Is land in better or worse shape today vs. 50 or 100 years ago?

How has the terrain changed as a result of cattle grazing?

What are today's land management practices? What are the effects?

How many cows are there in Harney County? Cows eat 3% of their body weight per day: how much grass is this (weight, area)?

III.    Current Cattle Grazing Issues

Who does more damage:wild animals or cattle?

How does cattle compete with wildlife (Steens Mt. Issue)?

How does cattle affect sage grouse?

Why is cattle grazing banned near streams containing Bull Trout?

Why do people think cattle ranchers would over-graze their lands and reduce production?Do they think were stupid? Why would we ruin the land when were still using it?

What projects are underway to prevent over-grazing?

Since logging has been banned in Harney County, are we more prone to fire?

Does grazing affect streams and waterways? Fish?Native Animals? Plants?

Soil Studies: how has the soil been affected by cattle grazing

IV.    Current Research Projects and Methods Related to Cattle Grazing

Do grass loops and other measures reflect bias?

How are life cycles of local species documented? What is known?

How can oral histories and photographs be used for research?

V.      Desired Future Cattle Grazing Conditions in Harney County

Next Year (2003)

             Five Years (2007)

             Twenty Years (2022)

             One Hundred Years (2102)

Should there be conditional grazing rules rather than simple yes/no?

How are pesticides affecting the environment?

What are the interactions between Harney County and other cattle producing States or Countries (economic interactions, environmental interactions, etc.)?

2.      Project Agreement:

A formal agreement among project participants will be formulated and linked to the project website.

Crane and Burns High School representatives will include letters from school administrators stating that they are empowered to enter into this relationship.

EOARC will work directly with teachers and students to provide scientific expertise and peer review and to help develop practical uses of the website for public education and local resources management purposes.

NW Maps Co. will act on behalf of ORWW to complete terms of the agreement related to website design and maintenance, student research assistance (including workshops and lectures), and a planned field trip. ORWW will host the project website and will also host Homepages for Crane HS and Burns HS and/or the HS Ag classes for at least two years. If another host is preferred, ORWW will provide a mirror site for backup copy and public education and/or use purposes.

3.      Spring Field Trip Plans. A three to five day field trip is being scheduled for the 2nd or 3rd week in April, depending on school and student schedules. Transportation and insurance will be provided by Crane and Burns High Schools. Other trip costs and plans will be handled by NW Maps Co., acting on behalf of ORWW and the Clemens Foundation. The trip will include visits to Portland, the Coast, and the Willamette Valley.Students will be given the opportunity to present their work to other students, local media, and others during the course of the trip. They may also attend related presentations by other student groups and perform some research in Portland and/or OSU during this time.

4.      Next Meeting. The next meeting should be planned for sometime in January or early February.

Should local ranchers, research scientists, Burns Paiute, local media, and/or interested citizens be invited?

If so, who should be responsible for invitations and announcements?

Harney County Cattle Grazing Study HomePage