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April 3, 2020 - April 6, 2020

Cancelled: Benson Pond Stewardship Weekend at Malheur NWR

Join us for a stewardship weekend at Benson Pond, helping to restore this important habitat for wildlife within Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.


This stewardship party involves two stages of work. Stage one involves riparian restoration along the East Canal which will include removing Russian Olives and planting willow stakes. This restoration effort will happen from Benson Pond, north toward Krumbo Lane. Newly planted willows will be caged to prevent browsing by wildlife. The second stage of this stewardship weekend includes experimental plantings of water birch along the dike that separates East Canal from Benson Pond, specifically where the willows are dying. Water birch are a Comprehensive Conservation Plan target species for restoration at MNWR. Some plantings of native fruiting trees and shrubs will also be likely. All of these plantings will also be caged to avoid depredation by wildlife. 

Volunteers will be tasked with digging holes with posthole diggers, then planting willow or water birch stakes, and potted trees/shrubs. It will also be necessary for volunteers to transport buckets of water from the canal to plantings. Please note, navigation along the banks of East Canal may be difficult and spring weather can be variable. 

Reserve your spot on this stewardship weekend at Benson Pond.

Come to one of the most magnificent birding sites in Oregon during migration to help increase climate resiliency and habitat.

Register now

About Benson Pond

Benson Pond is an important brood rearing pond at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR). Named for the Refuge’s first game warden, whose original home was at Benson Pond, this area has willows, cottonwoods, and other trees planted by George Benson and his family. Benson Pond is a favorite birding area for many birders because the trees provide shelter for wayward migrants. Benson Pond is also the preferred nesting location for MNWR’s Trumpeter Swans (theta-64 and her mate), a popular pair of Great-Horned Owls, long-tailed weasels, mink, and occasionally a visiting herd of elk from Steens Mountains. 

Trip highlights

  • Restoration of riparian areas along east canal will help increase climate resiliency at Malheur NWR
  • A sense of satisfaction from conservation efforts associated with riparian areas, conservation priority tree species (water birch), and providing increased native fruiting trees and shrubs for wildlife


  • Housing will be provided on refuge at the historic P-Ranch. 
  • The house is a 4-bedroom house with well-stocked kitchen, bathroom, and living room. 
  • Participants are welcome to bring tents or campers to camp at P-Ranch.
  • Bedrooms are first-come, first-served. 

Questions? Contact Teresa Wicks, Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator at twicks@birdallianceoregon.org.

Trumpeter Swans with two babies swimming on Benson Pond.
Trumpeter Swans at Benson Pond, photo by Dan Streiffert


April 3, 2020
April 6, 2020
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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