Steve Russell


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Steve Russell’s roots in Malheur County go back to 1895 when his family settled in the area, today the fourth generation rancher carries on the family tradition of raising cattle and horses. Steve enjoys living in the remote eastern Oregon community and being a steward of the land he values. 

Mark McKenzie

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Living in the Owyhee Canyonlands forces you to wear many hats. I’m a father, rancher, community volunteer and firefighter.

I remember the night the Soda Fire started. As a longtime volunteer with the Rural Fire Protective Agency, late night phone calls for help are a part of life out here. The fire was burning 15 miles away from our ranch and it was going to take many hours for state and federal resources to respond.

Armed with a bulldozer, water trucks and many of my neighbors, we set out to tackle the wildfire. We worked into the morning to set breaks and clear potential fuel to limit the fire’s spread. Over the next three days, the fire continued to burn and came within 300 yards of our house. We did not quit until the western edge of the fire was out.

Out here we work together and rely on one another. When a stranger has a flat tire, we stop to fix it. When a fire threatens a friend’s house or public land, we respond.

I want my children and grandchildren keep that spirit of community alive. Our family has lived in the Owyhee Canyonlands for more than 100 years. My grandmother’s family, came to the Rockville area in the 1860’s by way of Texas and my grandfather’s side came from Scotland in 1910 by way of Ellis Island. Our family has always worked hard to help those around us. The life we’ve built is only possible because the people out here understand we must band together to protect our families, our businesses and the land we love.

When it comes to protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands you won’t find a better group of people more committed to ensuring the beauty of the high desert remains intact. Our families wouldn’t be living here if we didn’t love the land. If you love something, you take care of it so it will last a long time. We’ve cared for the Owyhee Canyonlands for generations and intend to continue carrying on that legacy.

However, our work may come to a screeching halt if the President declares a monument in the Canyonlands. Instead of helping fight the fires, we’d be forced to watch them spread until outside resources could make it to this remote part of the state. We don’t want to see this happen. We hope lawmakers will listen to the people who know the land best and let us continue to help our neighbors and take care of the Canyonlands.


Andy Bentz


Andy Bentz is part of the third generation of a ranching business family in southeastern Oregon. He was educated in Oregon and worked in the timber industry before entering the Law Enforcement field in 1981. 

Andy spent the last 15 years of his career as the elected Sheriff of Malheur County. Since that time he has been the managing member of Bentz Solutions, LLC a business and governmental consulting group. Bentz Solutions, LLC serves clients in many of the natural resource industries throughout the west. Andy has a strong sense of Stewardship towards his communities and neighbors. In pursuit of that he chose to be part of leadership and membership in many local and State wide organization and positions over the years.

 Andy and his wife Joan raised their daughter and son in Ontario and both are now married with families of their own. His daughter and family live in Idaho for job positions while their son owns a business in Malheur County. Andy believes in rural Oregon and understands what it will take to make it viable again.  

Elias Eiguren

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Elias is a cattle rancher from Southern Malheur County.  He and his wife have worked with his parents for 10 years and are raising their two young children on his family ranch in Arock, Oregon. Elias graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Oregon State University. 

He was a member of the Livestock Judging Team at both OSU and Linn Benton Community College, and served as a State Officer for the Oregon FFA Association. 

Jaime Yturriondobeitia


Jaime grew up in the southeastern corner of Malheur County on a small family ranch. She went to a one room schoolhouse, having to travel one hundred miles to get to high school (each way).

Jaime left Oregon to pursue a degree in chemistry. Higher education took her to New England where she worked in biotechnology and ultimately became an artisanal cheesemaker.

After two decades, missing family and wide open spaces, she returned to work with her parents and run the family ranch.

Brian Wolfe

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Sheriff Brian Wolfe was appointed to the Office of Sheriff in Malheur County Oregon on June 1, 2011, then elected Sheriff in 2012 primary election and again in 2016.

Sheriff Wolfe’s history in law enforcement is extensive. He worked for the Nyssa Police Department as a School Resource Officer, Patrolman, Crime Prevention Officer and DARE Officer. He was also a Narcotics Detective for the Ontario Police Department.

Community involvement is important to Sheriff Wolfe. He serves on numerous boards and committees and is actively involved in the communities and outlying areas of Malheur County. 

Sheriff Wolfe has a great love for the outdoors and the customs and culture of Malheur County.

Sheriff Wolfe and his wife, Barbara, have been married 27 years and have four children who are active in school, sports and community activities.

Ken Poole

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Ken Poole was raised in the Ontario area, attending Ontario schools and Oregon State University.  He is a second generation family business owner, a fuel distribution business selling fuel and lubricants to customers in Southwestern Idaho and Southeastern Oregon. 

Ken and his family built a cabin on the Owyhee reservoir in 1972 that is used to enjoy water sports, hunting, fishing and just relaxing in the high desert region.  

Ken spent 10 years as a wild land firefighter for the United States Forest Service, seven of those as a smokejumper based in Redmond, Oregon.  Those years of firefighting have given Ken an understanding of fire management and issues relating to fire control.  

Lynn Findley

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Lynn Findley is a third-generation Malheur County native who enjoys the high desert landscape and recreational opportunities.  Lynn grew up on a family farm and started fighting fires as a summer job, which eventually turned it into a 32-year career with the Bureau of Land Management. 

Lynn retired as a senior manager with the BLM, and the experience has provided him with an in-depth understanding of public land management as well as the benefits of multiple use.  Lynn is currently the City Manager for the City of Vale and lives on a small farm outside of Vale.

Ken Davis


Ken Davis' family moved to Eastern Oregon in 1959.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping in the high desert.   Ken retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 and returned to the family farm in Adrian.  Time in the service enabled him to participate in hunting and fishing in many states and countries before coming back to Oregon. 

Ken worked for Micron before fulltime retirement to hunting, fishing, and enjoyment of the outdoor opportunities in Malheur County.  Rural education and life experiences have expanded his appreciation and respect for the people and the land of the high desert in Malheur County. 

Linda Bentz

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My name is Linda Bentz, I live and manage a ranch in Juntura, Oregon. I have 5 children whom most are involved in agriculture and or in helping run the cattle and horse operations. Our family has been  ranching since the late 1800's.

For decades, the knowledge, passion and care for land and livestock has been passed down from the previous generations.

Judy Wilcox


Judy Wilcox is a rancher in northern Malheur County. Judy and her husband enjoy living in rural eastern Oregon where they raise beef cattle and hay. Judy is a mother of two sons who have carried on the family tradition of ranching.

One of her sons works on the same ranch she and her husband operate, their other son lives on a hay farm just outside of Willowcreek, Oregon.