Harney County

Contact

reflection of trees and sunset on lake
Sunset at Delintment Lake along Forest Service road NF 41 in the Blue Mountains. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
County Seat: Courthouse, 450 N Buena Vista Ave., Burns 97720
Phone: 541-573-6641 (General); 541-573-5207 (Court Administrator)
Fax: 541-573-8370

About 

Population (2018): 7,380
Established: Feb. 25, 1889
Elev. at Burns: 4,118'
Area: 10,228 sq. mi.
Average Temp.: January 27.5°  July 69.4°
Assessed Value: $585,000,000
Real Market Value: $841,000,000 (includes the value of non-taxed properties)
Annual Precipitation: 10.13"
Economy: Forest products, manufacturing, livestock and agriculture

Related Resources

Oregon county map with Harney County shaded
"County QuickFacts" (population and economic data from U.S. Census Bureau-enter county name)
County Seat Map (from Google Maps)
County Map (from ODOT) 

Incorporated Cities

Points of Interest

Steens Mountain, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Alvord Desert, Alvord Hot Springs, Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, “P” Ranch Round Barn, Frenchglen, Wild Horse Corrals, Delintment Lake, Yellowjacket Lake

History and General Information 

In 1826, Peter Skene Ogden became the first white man to explore this area when he led a fur brigade for the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1889, Harney, the largest county in Oregon, was carved out of Grant County and named for Major General William S. Harney, commander of the Department of Oregon, U.S. Army, from 1858–1859. Harney was instrumental in opening areas of Eastern Oregon for settlement.

A fierce political battle, with armed night riders who spirited county records from Harney to Burns, ended with Burns as the county seat in 1890. The courthouse was constructed five years later. Burns’ first newspaper was established in 1884, and its first church was established in 1887.

Harney County shares the largest ponderosa pine forest in the nation with Grant County and has more than 100,000 beef cattle on its vast ranges. Its abundance of game, campsites, excellent fishing and bird watching have stimulated fast-growing recreational activities. 

County Officials

County Court—Judge Peter Runnels 2023, Commissioners Paty Dorroh 2023, Mark Owens 2021; Dist. Atty. Joseph W. Lucas 2021; Assess. Ted Tiller 2023; Clerk Derrin “Dag” Robinson 2021; Justice of the Peace Vicky Clemens 2025; Sheriff David Ward 2021; Surv. Kenny Delano; Treas. Bobbi Jo Heany 2023