Lake County, Or

Lake County, established in 1874, is in the high desert region known as the Oregon Outback, on the northwestern edge of the Great Basin. The varied natural environment includes mountains with forests and meadows, sagebrush-covered deserts, natural wetlands, lakes, and rivers, hot springs, pre-Clovis caves, a caldera, and many interesting geologic formations. The wetlands of the county also support major migratory bird routes.

The main communities are Lakeview, Adel, Plush, Paisley and Summer Lake to the south and Christmas Valley, Fort Rock, and Silver Lake to the north. The economy consists largely of agriculture and natural resource management with a growing renewable energy industry. It is home to many large cattle ranches, alfalfa farms, timber holdings (both public and private), and high desert lands. The residents’ close relationship to nature revolves around both their work and the many ways they go out to hunt, fish, and recreate.

Rural Voices on a Changing Land

“Rural Voices” is a project that invites you and the whole community to closely explore the land that you live in. The project uses an interactive map that is set up to easily collect the words and photographs of the community. By progressively adding to the map, the whole community can turn it into a mosaic of thoughts, stories, observations, and concerns about the way the land and environment has been and can be in the future.

We invite you to share with each other the important thoughts, stories, and observations about what the land means to each of you, which places are most important to you, what you see changing in the environment, and where you find the places you love.

The project’s goal is to arrive at a unique community description of the land and what you see changing using words that are specific to the people of Lake County. Your distinctive and strong “rural voice” can then be shared beyond the boundary of Lake County as people in other places consider what is important to protect about the land they live on.

Want to be involved in this project as it progresses?

Carolyn Law, Artist
Amy Hutchinson, Lake County Librarian

Rural Voices Partners
Lake County Resources Initiative
Playa Art and Science Residency Program
Lake County Library

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Lake County Libraries


Friends of Lake County Library