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NEWS RELEASE: Klamath Bird Observatory Receives Bureau of Land Management Conservation Partner Award

CONTACT: Jaime Stephens, Science Director, Klamath Bird Observatory, 541‐944-2890,

Partnerships and collaboration are essential to KBO’s work. Here, partners meet in oak habitat in Southwest Oregon. (c) Jaime Stephens

Medford, ORE. – The Bureau of Land Management is excited to announce that the Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) has been selected to receive the BLM’s national Conservation Partner Award. KBO has partnered with the BLM Medford District for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in applying avian science to inform public lands management and conservation.

Each year the BLM Division of Wildlife Conservation, Aquatics, and Environmental Protection recognizes outstanding natural resource professionals, projects, and partnerships for achievements in fish and wildlife conservation on our public lands. The Conservation Partner Award is presented annually to an external organization or individual representing a conservation organization for their outstanding partnership in the development and implementation of conservation programs and activities that have directly benefited fish, wildlife, and/or native plants on public lands or their use, enjoyment, and appreciation.

“Public lands management requires collaboration and science-based strategies to address pressing natural resource issues,” said Elizabeth Burghard, District Manager for the BLM Medford District. “I’m honored to celebrate the work of the Klamath Bird Observatory in advancing bird conservation on public lands.”

KBO has been banding birds and training banding interns for more than 20 years across the BLM Medford District. (c) Julia Rodrigues

The Klamath Bird Observatory has been banding birds for more than 20 years across the Medford District, analyzing monitoring data to describe the role of birds as indicators to inform and improve natural resource management actions. In 2020, KBO worked with ecologists at Cascade Siskiyou National Monument to develop bird banding stations that will provide valuable information on bird population trends. With support from the BLM National Conservation Lands Management Studies Support Program, KBO monitors at-risk Oregon Vesper Sparrows across their range to assess the factors limiting their population size and inform conservation action. In addition, KBO has played a key role in coordinating efforts to develop science-based strategies to improve oak habitat in Southwest Oregon, including the development of a Strategic Conservation Action Plan that serves as a roadmap that identifies unique threats and conservation strategies.

“The model of working with partners to develop and implement KBO’s science priorities, and then have results applied to decision making and on the ground management, is critical to achieving our mission of advancing bird and habitat conservation,” said Jamie Stephens, Science Director at KBO. “To that regard, we appreciate our long-standing partnership with the BLM.”

The Conservation Partner Award was presented to KBO at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, held virtually on March 10.


The Bureau of Land Management manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 11 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2020—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.

The Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) is a non-profit organization that advances bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. Working in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the ranges of migratory birds KBO emphasizes high-caliber science and the role of birds as indicators to inform and improve natural resource management. KBO also nurtures an environmental ethic through community outreach and education.

This article was written by Kyle Sullivan, Public Affairs Specialist, Bureau of Land Management Medford District Office and Klamath Bird Observatory.