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May 4, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Benson Pond 2019 Work Party

Benson Pond is one of several visitor and birder “favorite” places on the Refuge. Currently, Benson Pond provides wildlife viewing along a dike top and along the CPR road. The stand of homestead-era mature deciduous trees provide owl and arborial bird viewing, shade, and harbor a CCC era pump/well house. Improving visitor access and experience at Benson Pond has been discussed a number of times over the past two decades. As part of our work in the Harney Basin, specifically at Malheur NWR, Bird Alliance of Oregon is working with Malheur NWR to develop a long-term plan for Benson Pond.

Great Horned Owl, Photo by Teresa Wicks

What’s Our Goal?

As part of the long-term plan, we will be working on weed removal, native plant restoration, building an ADA accessible loop trail, installing interpretive signs, and assisting with implementation of an experimental treatment for removing reed canary grass from the edges of Benson Pond. This work party will be the first step in making the long-term plan a reality.

Join The Flock! RSVP For This Event Today & Join Us At Benson Pond!

Thank you for taking part in our mission to help Benson pond! Please fill out the RSVP form here. Once we have seen your completed form, we will confirm that we've gotten your application via email, along with a reminder of the event itself.

Join the Flock!

What To Bring: 

On behalf of Bird Alliance of Oregon, welcome to our flock! We ask that you please bring these essentials to enjoy a safe and fun trip:

  • Please bring a pack lunch
  • a water bottle
  • sturdy ankle-high work boots
  • work gloves
  • sunscreen, and weather appropriate clothing.

This time of year, conditions can be pretty cool, so be sure to check the weather before your trip!

The refuge sits (deceivingly) at ~4,000ft. in elevation; slightly noticeable for some, but not an issue for most. Benson Pond can be uneven in spots, but in general is quite flat. There may be some tasks that require willing participants to do some heavy lifting. However, there will be plenty of opportunities for pacing oneself during the day, and plenty of extra water to stay hydrated. Our number one priority is that everyone stays safe!


Lodging on Refuge will be provided, however you are responsible for arranging your own bedding, food, and transportation. We can facilitate participants organizing a carpool by sharing participant contact info if participants desire. Please note: It is a long drive to Malheur from the Willamette Valley, so take that into consideration before committing to this trip.

Housing on the refuge will be at P-Ranch. The house at P-Ranch has four bedrooms and can house 4-8 people. Double occupancy in rooms is reserved for couples. There is also space for camping at P-Ranch, with access to the kitchen, laundry, shower, and bathrooms. You will need to bring and prepare your own food for meals, though spontaneous potluck meals are welcome and encouraged.

Alternative Lodging:

If you are not interested in the lodging provided on the Refuge, the City of Hines and the City of Burns, 32 miles north of Refuge Headquarters, provide lodging accommodations.

Please contact: Harney County Chamber of Commerce at 541-573- 2636 or visit their website. For more rustic conditions, consider the Malheur Field Station or camp along the Blitzen River at Page Springs Campground, just three miles from the town of Frenchglen.

Make sure to make reservations at the Malheur field station in advance (Page Springs Campground does not take reservations, camping is at a first come first serve basis).

To get to Benson Pond (for those who are not staying on Refuge):

  • From Burns: Head south on Hwy 205 approximately 47 miles to the turnoff for Krumbo Reservoir. Turn left and cross bridge, take immediate right onto the Center Patrol Road at the auto tour route site (do not go forward to Krumbo). In about one mile, Benson Pond will be on your left.
  • From Frenchglen: Head north on Hwy 205 approximately 11 miles to the turnoff for Krumbo Reservoir. Turn right and cross bridge, take immediate right onto the Center Patrol Road at the auto tour route site (do not go forward to Krumbo). In about one mile, Benson Pond will be on your left.

Please complete the RSVP form and we will get in touch with more details.

Contact Teresa Wicks at twicks@birdallianceoregon.org if you have questions.

Thanks for working with us to care for your public lands!


May 4, 2019
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
36391 Sodhouse Ln, Princeton, OR 97721
Princeton, Oregon 97721 United States
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(541) 493-2612
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Teresa Wicks