The Great Basin Society, Inc. DBA Malheur Field Station
We appreciate your support!
***** CRISIS *****
Greetings, Supporters! Malheur Field Station faces an unprecedented crisis. Because I respect your concern for MFS, I will not sugar-coat it.
This crisis began on Sunday February 18 when Harney Electric Cooperative (HEC) was replacing a downed power pole at MFS and hit a water main. This shock resulted in many leaks, some large, some small, in the approximately 50 year-old water system. HEC has been very responsive in repairing all the leaks that have been found. However, the water storage tanks are still not filling adequately to provide quantity and pressure to all buildings, so there are leaks in the system that no one can locate. This has only become obvious in the last few days. Given the age of the system, we are told there are most likely many small leaks, and perhaps undetectable large leaks, and that the entire system is probably “failing”. At this time there is enough water to support on-site staff but hosting guests is problematic. Rose (Station Manager) and Doug (Station Maintenance) have worked diligently with HEC and the Oregon Association of Water Utilities to find ways to restore the system, but without total success so far.
The first challenge is to find a way to survive financially, for an indeterminate length of time, while seeking to restore/replace the water system. User fees are a huge part of the MFS budget and the “high season” (therefore high revenue) is rapidly approaching. There are ongoing operating expenses even if we do not have paying guests.
The second challenge is to find ways to finance a fix. We would use the “band-aid” approach in the short term if anyone could propose a workable solution, but it is more likely it will take replacement to bring the system back to what we require. We are looking into grants but these usually require a few months (at best) to get through application and approval processes. Grants often require matching funds, so we would need to fundraise for our portion if required. We have a preliminary estimate of about $207,000 to replace the water system.
What Can You Do?
1. Bear with us. This has been very time consuming and stressful for our staff, and they have endured primitive working conditions for a number of days. We obviously don’t know how this is going to play out.
2. Our “Harrier” property (mobile home and acreage on OO Road off Highway 205) is for sale. Selling that would give us a boost toward a new water system. If you or anyone you know might be interested, go to http://randywilsonrealty.com/listings/549400/50676-oo-ranch-rd-burns#.Wq1A_5ch2M8 to see the listing.
3. Expect to hear from us about fund-raising. MFS has wonderful, generous supporters and we need all of your good will to succeed.
4. Spread the word.
5. Be aware that this truly is a “do or die” time for MFS. We meet the challenges or the endeavor fails.
Writing for the Board:
The Great Basin Society
dba Malheur Field Station
Members Meeting / September 22, 2018
Check back with us, more information to follow.