The Great Basin Society, Inc. DBA Malheur Field Station


We appreciate your support!

UPDATE:  4-23/18

We are canceling all of our reservations for May and June.  🙁  I will be issuing deposit refund checks.  If you want to donate any or all of your deposit refund to the water crisis please send me an email to with your directions.  I will also be emailing everyone of this cancellation notice.

Please check  back for a letter from the Board of Directors regarding cancellation and our future plans!

Thank you to all that have donated to save the MFS, we appreciate your support!  Please continue to share the word with friends and the world.

Donating can be done by a check to MFS at 34848 Sodhouse Lane, Princeton, OR 97721.  Or here on our website DONATE button.  Or through our FB page SHOP NOW button, which will take you to this site. Or call in to 541-493-2626 with a credit card.

We will update as soon as we have information.

***** CRISIS *****

Greetings, Supporters! Malheur Field Station faces an unprecedented crisis. Because I respect your concern for MFS, I will not sugar-coat it.

The Situation

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 Challenges

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 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:

Vern Beeson

Board President

The Great Basin Society

dba Malheur Field Station

Members Meeting / September 22, 2018

Check back with us, more information to follow.