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November 30, 2023

Klamath Basin News, Thursday, Nov. 9 – Modoc County 3-Year Old Dies of Gunshot Wound; Klamath County Museum Levy To Close To Call

The latest and most comprehensive coverage of local News, Sports, Business, and Community News stories in the Klamath Basin, Southern Oregon and around the state of Oregon from Wynne Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM / 102.5FM, The Herald and News, and BasinLife.com, and powered by Mick Insurance, your Local Health and Medicare agents. Call 541-882-6476.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Increasing clouds, with a high near 51. Lights to 7 mph. Overnight a slight chance of rain mixed with snow and dense fog.  Snow level 4700 feet rising to 5400 feet after midnight, with a low around 32.  Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Patchy dense fog before 10am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 52. Calm wind becoming southwest 5 to 7 mph in the morning. Overnight, cloudy with a low of 30.
Saturday, Veterans Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 55. Overnight low of 29 degrees.
Partly sunny, with a high near 57.
Partly sunny, with a high near 57.
A slight chance of rain, cloudy, high near 55. 

Today’s Headlines

TRAFFIC BULLETIN FOR Highway 140 Near Lake of the Woods, ODOT:

9:00am Pacific, ODOT: OR-140, MP 15: UPDATE: Crews are flagging traffic in one lane of Lake of the Woods Highway (OR-140) 15 miles east of the intersection with Crater Lake Highway (OR-62). The road was closed earlier due to a vehicle fire. Expect delays; watch for workers along the roadway. Follow TripCheck.com for updates. More Info Here


Three year old boy dies of apparent gunshot wound in Modoc County

Details are coming in from the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office that a 3-year old boy in Cederville, Ca died on Friday, November 3rd, 2023 of an apparent gunshot wound.

At approximately 6:18 p.m. Friday night, deputies from the sheriff’s office were dispatched to 418 Washington St. in Cedarville, Calif., because of a dropped 9-1-1 call. As deputies were responding, information was provided through the sheriff office’s dispatch center that Surprise Valley Hospital had a 3-year-old male brought into their facility with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Deputies responded to the hospital and discovered the boy was deceased. The boy’s father transported the victim the hospital from the residence where the 9-1-1 call originated.

The case is under investigation, with the sheriff’s office trying to determine how the firearm got discharged.


Election Results coming in slowly. BasinLife.com will add them as we receive them. 
Unofficial Election Results will be posted on the Oregon Secretary of State Website & the Klamath County Website:
https://results.oregonvotes.gov/Election Results | Klamath County, OR

Measure 18-131, which would increase contributions to a five-year levy to support the Klamath County Museums, was too close to call in initial results supplied by the Klamath County elections office on Tuesday night.

It’s important to point out that these results are not final. The state will certify them in a couple of weeks.

In results released at 8 p.m., there were 5,089 yes votes in support of the levy (50.88%) and 4,912 no votes (49.12%) among 10,001 votes cast.

The ballot measure presents a five-year tax levy of 10 cents per $1,000 assessed property value to fund the three local museums: the Klamath County Museum, the Baldwin Hotel Museum and the Fort Klamath Museum.

The levy comes in response to the growing needs of the buildings as well as the ever-changing community needs and expectations of local museums.

In terms of repairs, the Klamath County Museum is in need of an updated geothermal heating system as well as a new roof. The Baldwin Hotel is also in need of some repairs and updates for the sake of artifact preservation.  (Herald and News/KC Clerk’s office)


The 173rd Fighter Wing out of Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon will conduct Saturday Veterans Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout Oregon.

F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.

11:00 a.m. Veterans Park, Klamath Falls, Ore., 11:20 a.m. Jubilee Park, Cave Junction, Ore. 11:30 a.m. Canyonville City Hall, Canyonville, Ore.

11:35 a.m. Downtown Roseburg, Roseburg, Ore. 11.55 a.m. Veterans Day Parade, Redmond, Ore.

12:20 p.m. Southern Ore. University Raider Stadium, Ashland, Ore.

All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be cancelled, or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies. The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation’s air defense since 1941. The 173rd FW is home to the sole F-15C pilot training facility for the United States Air Force. (173rd FW)


Annual Heroes Breakfast honors vets, military, first responders

In honor of those among us who serve and have served their country and its citizens, local sponsors are hosting the 9th annual Heroes Breakfast this Friday.

From 8 to 10 a.m. at Klamath County Fairgrounds’ Linman Hall, the Heroes Breakfast will be serving up hot meals for all military, veterans and first responders in the county.

The meal is free, and spouses are welcome. The annual event is sponsored by Country Financial, and Klamath County Fairgrounds. For more information, call 541-884-1700, or send an email to gary.cheyne@countryfinancial.com.


With snow forecast to happen as early as next week, Klamath County Commissioners started preparing for winter during their weekly business meeting on Tuesday.

Budget cuts at the Oregon Department of Transportation have made for a reduction in staffing statewide, resulting in uncertainty about ODOT being able to assist Klamath County in snow removal this winter. Since 2001, ODOT and Klamath County have honored an agreement for snow removal along Crescent Cutoff Road.

The road is situated in the northern part of Klamath County outside Gilchrist. It connects highways 97 and 58, and sees more use when either highway is closed due to accidents, maintenance or other road conditions.

With the possibility of losing ODOT’s help, Klamath County Public Works sought permission from commissioners to enter into an agreement with Deschutes County for emergency snow removal on Crescent Cutoff Road. The agreement with Central Oregon Public Works Partnership would make for mutually agreeable on-call services and allow the sharing of resources between member counties, municipalities and entities saving taxpayers and county budgets upwards of a million dollars.

As explained by Public Works Director Jeremey Morris, before the 2001 agreement with ODOT, Klamath County did perform the snow removal on Crescent Cutoff Road. Morris said the work was done using two trucks and one grader.

Announced during the meeting by the board was the cancellation of all next week’s meetings as the Association of Oregon Counties is holding its annual conference which all of Oregon’s county commissioners attend. DeGroot has served as president of the AOC for the last year.  (Herald and News)


Among the benefits to Klamath Basin fish following the largest dam removal project in the world will be fewer mass die-offs from parasites and bacteria, scientists say.

A team of researchers, led by Oregon State University fish parasitologist Sascha Hallett and Michael Belchik, a fisheries biologist with the Yurok Tribe in California, found that removing dams and restoring natural flows to other Northwest and Eastern U.S. rivers eliminated hot spots of infection for fish, leading to fewer large-scale die-offs.

Hallet, Belchick and their team, including scientists from state and federal wildlife and climate agencies, and from the Hoopa, Klamath and Karuk tribes, published their findings and predictions Oct. 27 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Although bacteria, parasites and their hosts in the Klamath Basin are native to the basin, the dams have disrupted their natural dispersion and the natural migration of native fish, causing spots where infection can spread in crowded fish habitats and spawning grounds.

The Klamath Basin is expected to return to pre-dam conditions following the reconnection of hundreds of miles of river for the first time in a century. (Herald and News)


Traffic note: Through Monday evening, November 13, 2023, North Alameda Avenue will be closed north of the North Alameda Avenue/Monclaire Street intersection.

This closure is to accommodate street improvements within North Alameda Avenue. Any questions can be directed to Keith at Bogatay Construction, (541) 882-5370.  (City of Klamath Falls)


Everfree homes of Klamath Falls has been awarded 3.5 million dollars to build 15 units as part of a program by the Oregon housing authority, which approved $56.7 million in Small Projects and Veterans funding to 11 affordable housing developments across the state.

These investments from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) will provide 261 homes in smaller developments for veterans, seniors, agricultural workers, people experiencing homelessness, and wildfire survivors.

OHCS defines smaller developments as those having 40 homes or fewer in one complex. Five developments selected for funding awards are in rural areas (42% of total homes) and six are in urban areas (58% of total homes).

Brookings CORE Response, a non-profit that serves veterans experiencing homelessness, was awarded funding for the creation of the Veterans Housing Project which will provide 18 much needed homes in Gold Beach.

Also in Southern Oregon, 26 apartment units for seniors will be constructed, with 5/2 million dollars granted to the Talent 2 senior apartments.

This was a competitive application process. OHCS received a total of 17 applications, amounting to over $94 million in funding requests. OHCS is grateful to the internal and external scoring committees for their diligent evaluation of the applications.  (OHA)


Diversified Contractors will be installing a sewer connection for the new PetSmart business next to Sportsman’s Warehouse. Beginning this morning, and lasting until Monday evening, November 13th.

Pershing Way will be closed to through traffic between Avalon Street and Austin Street. No Pershing Way entry will be permitted from Avalon Street or Austin Street. The affected businesses will still have full ingress/egress from South 6th Street.

Customers will also be able to egress to Pershing Way but will only have an east or west turning option on Pershing Way depending on which side of the work zone they are on. Traffic control will be in place to help direct motorists.

The city says to please direct questions to Clint at Diversified Contractors, (541) 884-1770.  (city of KF)


The Oregon Department of Human Services is holding a community diaper drive in Klamath County.

A news release from ODHS said, “Donate new diapers to help those in need … Let’s make a difference in the community.”

The drive runs  through Nov. 30.  Families in need of diapers for infant children will receive all donations through ODHS.

New packages of diapers can be dropped off at the Klamath County branch of ODHS, located at 355 Timbermill Drive.   Monetary donations are also accepted via Venmo payments to @Wendy-Brown-171.

For more information, contact Wendy Strohkirch at (541) 850-3603. (Herald and News)


Klamath County libraries to close for Veterans Day

All Klamath County libraries will be closed on Saturday, November 11th for Veterans Day. No materials will be due on a day that the libraries are closed.

Libraries with Friday hours will be open as usual on Friday, November 10th, but full-time staff will have the day off and some regular programming may be cancelled. For more information, call us at 541-882-8894, or see our events calendar at klamathlibrary.org/library-events-calendar


Andy Gross is one of the hottest stand up comic, magician and ventriloquist working today as evidenced by his sold out shows and devoted following! See him at Ross Ragland Theater Friday, Dec. 8th, at 7:30PM.

His videos have over 100 Million views and counting on the internet!  You may recognize him from his numerous TV appearances, including most recently The Ellen show and an NBC television special featuring his talents.Andy is multi-talented entertainer that currently combines stand up comedy, magic and ventriloquism successfully together making him one of the most sought after corporate entertainers in the world. Audiences are absolutely unanimous in their praise of this amazing performer. 

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!  Tickets: $32 GA, $29 Seniors/Students/Military, $10 for 12 and under


PJ drive for Klamath County Foster Kids

The Klamath Quota club are collecting new PJ’s for foster kids.  You can drop off new pajamas at Oregon Department of Human Services, Caldwell Banker real estate office on So 6th, the Elks club and the following churches .

First Presbyterian church

Shasta Way Christian Church

Hope Lutheran Church

New Horizons Church

Foothills Christian Fellowship

55 and Alive group at Klamath Christian Center

Thank you very much from The Klamath Quota Club and BasinLife.com


This week’s pet ready for adoption at Klamath Animal Shelter is a kitty named ” Squirrel “
Meet Squirrel!  She is a nice female Short-haired Siamese mix and 9 years old.  Squirrel is a lilac point which means her body is cream colored, her face, ears, legs and tail are grey, she has blue eyes.
Squirrel’s family decided they had too many animals, they said that she is litter box trained, has been around children as young as 9 years old, lived with other cats and there were large dogs in the home.
Squirrel is a very sweet and talkative kitty who loves attention and gets so excited that she drools from happiness. 
If you are interested in adopting Squirrel you can reach the Klamath Animal Shelter at 541-884-PETS (541-884-7387) located at 4240 Washburn Way, Monday through Friday from 12:00 – 4:00, walk throughs are available, pet meet and greets are by appointment.
View all adoptable pets anytime online at www.klamathanimalshelter.org

Around the state of Oregon

Southern Oregon University is growing in enrollment numbers after a tumultuous few years brought on by budget cuts, the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.

According to a news release published to SOU News on Nov. 3, the university is hosting its largest freshman class since 2018 for the fall 2023 quarter. Enrollment of new freshmen is up 15.1% and enrollment of transfer students is up 10.6% compared to last year.

University President Rick Bailey said these numbers mark a new chapter for SOU, after facing dwindling enrollment caused by the pandemic and the Almeda Fire, as well as a $14 million budget cut last year.

Bailey credited the growth in enrollment to partnerships with K-12 school districts in Oregon and local community colleges, the work of the admissions department to reach potential students and overall higher retention rates for freshmen at SOU. (kdrv 12)


The strike against Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Southwest Washington by imaging technicians and pharmacy personnel continues.

They want a 42 percent pay increase over the four-year contract. Kaiser says the request is unreasonable. Kaiser says they have a strong offer on the table that includes significant wage increases and generous benefits. Some patient procedures are being rescheduled as a result of the strike. (Oregon news)


U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane said Tuesday he plans to delay for one week his order requiring the release of criminal defendants held in jail in Oregon without a lawyer to give the 9th Circuit time to consider the state’s motion to suspend the order pending an appeal.

Attorney James Aaron said the state will file a motion with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday to put McShane’s order on hold while it considers the state’s appeal. The state this week filed a notice of its intent to appeal.

McShane agreed only to push back the effective date of his order to Nov. 23 from his original Nov. 16 date.

McShane’s order calls for county sheriffs across the state to release people held in jail on criminal allegations if they don’t get a lawyer appointed to defend them within seven days of their first court appearance. (Oregon news)


In Eugene, emergency personnel responded to a shooting in downtown Eugene that police say claimed the life of one person on Tuesday.

Emergency paramedics were called to assist police on west 11th Avenue near Grant Alley.  According to Eugene police, just before 11 a.m. officers attempted to perform a traffic stop on a high-risk suspect wanted from another jurisdiction, but the suspect sped off when officers moved in. Police said the suspect led officers on a chase for about two blocks, before shooting himself and crashing into a stopped, unoccupied vehicle in a parking lot. Officers said the suspect was declared dead at the scene from the gunshot.

The suspect crashed into a truck owned by Rachel Smith who works at a convenience store at that intersection.

Police said the identity of the suspect is being withheld until his family is notified.


An Albany woman who allegedly drowned her three-year-old daughter in a kiddie pool back in October has had her charge upgraded to aggravated murder, but may be able to be conditionally released from jail later in November, according to court documents.

On October 22, Albany police responded to a 911 call that said a three-year-old girl had been found face-down in a pool at a home in Albany. Officers and paramedics arrived to try to save the girl’s life, and she was taken to a Portland-area hospital, where she later died. The girl’s mother, Kristen Rae Brooks, 30, told officers she had intentionally pushed her daughter under the water “as God had told her to do so,” according to a court affidavit.

In Coos County, a17-year-old reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel while driving on Friday, before crashing into an oncoming vehicle, killing the driver, said Oregon State Police in a press release.

OSP says at 1:23 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023, officers responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy. 101, near milepost 257, in Coos County.

Preliminary investigations indicated that a 17-year-old was headed northbound and reportedly was fell asleep while behind the wheel when she drifted into the southbound lanes. Officials say the 17-year-old’s vehicle subsequently struck a southbound vehicle, operated by 77-year-old Bandon woman, Carole Ann Voliva, head-on.

Police say Voliva was pronounced dead at the scene.


The new, $75 million Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts on the Oregon State University campus is a few months away from opening its doors to the public.

Crews are hard at work trying to make the center, also referred to as “PRAx,” a reality. Peter Betjemann is the executive director of the project and could not be more excited about it.

OSU has never had a purpose built, professional venue for the performing arts and the visual arts.

At 49,000 square feet, the new arts center will have a host of new features and facilities for students to enjoy and learn about. Including a new concert hall, theater, art gallery, plaza, and garden. The project will open in April of 2024.

With so much money invested, officials believe the benefits it will bring are worth every penny. PRAx will allow students to have a truly “professional” arts venue in which to perform, officials said.



A Friday night football game has turned into a major news story in the state of Oregon, after a game between Jefferson of Portland and South Medford was halted in the third quarter due to fighting.

The Oregon School Activities Association and the Medford School District have shared statements   about the ongoing investigations. These investigations come as the Jefferson (Portland) and South Medford game was cancelled on Friday night after a fight broke out in the third quarter. At the time, South Medford had a 34-0 lead.

Peter Weber, executive director of the OSAA says they have been communicating with both schools and the officials association since Friday night. We are still gathering information and working through this situation with all involved.

The Medford School district added, the incident that took place at Friday night’s football game between Jefferson and South Medford is currently being investigated by OSAA per OSAA protocol. The Medford School District doesn’t condone any behavior that’s unsportsmanlike and not representative of our district’s shared values. South Medford, with the support of the district, is also conducting its own investigation to see if any further disciplinary action will be taken. No further information is being released at this time.

It was the first time in OSAA history that a playoff football game had been halted due to unsportsmanlike behavior on the field.  More information is expected to be released early this week. (OSAA)


Portland International Airport is launching its accessibility app called Good Maps today.

The indoor navigation app is aimed at making the airport more accessible for people with disabilities and those who are neurodivergent. The app covers all four concourses as well as the ticket lobby and baggage claim. (Oregon news)


Chief Donald “Doc” Slyter, known for his warm friendship, flute playing and fierce advocacy, including as head of his tribe on the southern Oregon coast, is dead at 72.

Slyter spent years in Coos Bay serving in various leadership roles for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. After two separate stints serving as chairman of the tribal council, he was elected chief in 2020, a position he held until his death, which the tribe announced Monday.

Slyter, who had been undergoing treatment for cancer, died at home surrounded by family, including his wife, Debbie, and his two sons, Tyler and Scott, the family said. (Oregon news)


The tens of thousands of Oregonians who buy their own health insurance can now start shopping for the best plan for next year.

Open enrollment on the federal online marketplace, which Oregon will continue to use for the next few years, runs this year from Nov. 1 through Jan. 16. Those who enroll by Dec. 15 will be covered starting Jan. 1, and those who sign up after that will be covered starting Feb. 1.

Premiums will increase 6% next year on average but individuals can obtain subsidies through the marketplace to reduce costs. The subsidies come in the form of tax credits that can be used throughout the year or at tax time. In the past, around 70% of those who applied obtained financial help. That jumped to 80% last year, according to Amy Coven at the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees health insurance enrollment.

The average tax credit last year was around $500 per person a month, Coven said. That translated to an out-of-pocket premium cost per person of about $225.

Subsidies are based on the marketplace’s silver, or mid-range plans, and there’s no upper income limit to qualify for financial help. Individuals can also sign up for a bronze plan, which has the least expensive premium but costs more out-of-pocket for services, or gold plans, which have the highest premiums but lowest out-of-pocket costs.  (Herald and News)


The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division is investigating the taking of a cow elk, left to waste, near the Benton and Lincoln County border last week.

Last week, troopers responded to the report of a cow elk that was found shot and partially left to waste on private property adjacent to Lobster Valley Road. Approximately half of the meat was left to waste. Troopers determined the elk had been shot earlier the same day. It is likely a vehicle (no description available) would have been stopped at the location on Lobster Valley Road. 

The Oregon State Police is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for shooting and wasting the cow elk. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email TIP@osp.oregon.gov..


The Oregon State Marine Board will be mailing motorboat registration renewal notices to boaters whose motorboat registration expires on December 31, 2023, and electronically to boat owners with emails on file.

Each renewal notice is unique to the owner and their boat. Boat owners are encouraged to take advantage of the online renewal option.

Renewing online using the Marine Board’s Boat Oregon Store is the fastest method, offering a printable temporary permit to go boating right away. Owners can renew multiple boats or purchase Waterway Access Permits in one transaction with a $1.50 portal provider fee. The registration decals are mailed within 2-5 days from online sales and within 7-10 business days from the date of receipt by US mail with payment and the remittance coupon. Owners can then expect an additional 2-4 weeks for their decals to arrive by US Mail. The timelines may vary since printing and mailing are handled outside the agency.

Any watercraft with a motor or sailboats 12 feet or longer are required to title and register with the Marine Board. Motorboat registration fees are $5 plus $5.95 per foot and are issued on a 2-year calendar basis.

Renewing in the fall and winter is recommended to avoid long delays during the peak summer season. The renewal cycle begins on November 1st of the expiration year. (Ore. Marine board)


Oregon residents can begin cutting down their own Christmas trees beginning this week.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Roseburg District Office will start handing out Christmas tree permits on November 10th. The permits allow residents to cut down their own tree of up to 12 feet tall at either the Swiftwater or South River Resource Areas for a fee of five dollars. Each household is limited to three trees per permit.  (Oregon news)


Helping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to the Oregon Energy Fund with $2 more.

Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find they include an Oregon Energy Fund contribution envelope in November. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program. To enroll in the fixed donation program, customers can call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-888-221-7070 or Donate to Energy Assistance (pacificpower.net).

This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power.

Donations may be tax-deductible and are forwarded directly to the Oregon Energy Fund, which verifies eligibility and allocates funds to those in need. All funds donated are used to assist families in need within the same county in which the donor resides.

Last year, donations from Pacific Power’s customers, employees and the company helped 1,591 individuals in need throughout Oregon, including 793 adults, 196 seniors, 174 people with disabilities and 602 children. This year, Pacific Power will match up to $144,000 in donations.

Customers who need bill assistance themselves can speak with Pacific Power representatives at 1-888-221-7070 who can help with payment plans that work for their individual needs, while directing them to agencies that may be able to help.

(pp and l press)


From Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Eve, visitors near and far will travel to Shore Acres State Park in Coos Bay for the annual Holiday Lights.

With the help of more than 1,500 volunteers, hundreds of thousands of lights will be strung throughout the botanical gardens at the park to mark the winter tradition, which brings thousands of guests and dollars to the south coast each year.

Janice Langlinais, executive director of the Coos Bay-North Bend-Charleston Visitor and Convention Bureau, says there are a few steps to keep in mind when coming to see the holiday lights, including the timed entry system.

“It is not a timed entry per person. It is per parking space. So when people are booking their space, they are booking a time-specific parking spot no matter how many people are in the car,” said Langlinais. “If people have a state park pass, a coastal passport or another special pass from the state parks, the five dollars is waived. They still need to book the spot and the time that they’re going to go.”

There’s also a shuttle from the Charleston Marina to Shore Acres that will run every Thursday – Saturday evening as well as on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Langlinais says Holiday Lights started in 1987 with 6,000 lights. It was the first time visitors could enter the garden house where holiday treats are served.

“Now, all these years later, there are 325,000 lights, animated sculptures. It is a total winter wonderland. From an economic impact standpoint, it is extremely important for our communities to have visitors here in the winter. This is the slower time for tourism. It brings people here to help our restaurants stay open during the holidays, our attractions,” said Langlinais.

The $5 parking passes are available for hour long time slots between 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily.


High Desert Museum’s new Endangered In the High Desert Exhibition Opens Nov 11th
BEND, OR — What do a 100-pound chinook salmon, ten-inch-tall pygmy rabbit and vibrant San Rafael cactus all have in common?

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — a half-century-old law that aims to protect vulnerable species from extinction — all three of these species are currently classified as endangered in some regions of the High Desert. Defined by the ESA, an endangered species is one that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”

Opening on November 11, the High Desert Museum’s Endangered in the High Desert exhibition will call attention to species in the region that are either facing or recovering from the threat of extinction. This intriguing and informative exhibition is a component of the Museum’s yearlong exploration of the Endangered Species Act, 50 years after it passed unanimously in the Senate and by a vote of 355-4 in the House of Representatives. President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

“Fifty years later, the Endangered Species Act continues to be an influential law that has generated a significant amount of dialogue in its time,” says Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “We look forward to exploring this significant legislation and its many complexities in the High Desert region.”

Visitors will first encounter a floor-to-ceiling map introducing many of the exhibition’s ambassador species — 24 of the 29 featured species that represent the many listed, de-listed and at-risk but not yet listed species in the High Desert — and their locations in the region. A playful mural of the High Desert landscape details each of the ambassador species. This massive mural splits into four distinct sections, first differentiating between endangered, threatened and delisted species at the state and federal levels. The fourth section asks guests to consider the future of several species in the area, including the monarch butterfly, western bumble bee and Pacific lamprey.

With vibrant colors and engaging photography, this exhibition is meant to ignite conversations about these plants and animals – including lesser-known species like the whitebark pine and the Oregon spotted frog – while also calling attention to the ecological connectivity within the greater ecosystem.

“Species depend on access to healthy habitat to survive” says Donald M. Kerr Curator of Natural History Hayley Brazier, Ph.D. “In designing the exhibit, we wanted to depict plants and animals in the context of landscapes and waterscapes. The exhibit’s images and murals convey that endangered species conversation does not happen in a vacuum; the broader ecosystems matter.”

After Museum visitors experience the brand-new Endangered in the High Desert exhibition, they can encounter a handful of the ambassador species in-person. Just a short walk from the exhibition, a bald eagle — a delisted species — lives in the Museum’s care. Six threatened and delisted species currently live in the Museum’s care: the bull trout, Foskett speckled dace, steelhead trout, peregrine falcon, bald eagle and desert tortoise. Small signs placed throughout the Museum will distinguish between these species and others living on Museum grounds.

Endangered in the High Desert is part of a yearlong series of exhibitions and public programs at the Museum to explore and reflect on the ESA’s impact in the High Desert and beyond. This includes the current exhibition Wolves: Photography by Ronan Donovan, open through February 11, 2024, as well as Andy Warhol’s Endangered Species: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundationwhich opens Saturday, December 9.

Endangered in the High Desert will be on display through July 7, 2024. This exhibition is made possible by the Visit Central Oregon Future Fund and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, with support from DoubleTree Hilton and Waypoint Hotel. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/endangered-high-desert.


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