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*Oregon Natural Desert Association

Working to protect, defend, and restore Oregon's high desert for 30 years
50 SW Bond St. Suite 4 Bend, OR 97702
Phone: (541) 330-2638 | Fax: (541) 389-5056 |
Why does this donor support this organization?
"There is not one landscape I care more about seeing protected than the Oregon high desert, so it is only natural I would become a member and volunteer! I have always admired what ONDA does in their restoration, outreach and advocacy efforts to restore and defend the high desert." - Ally Steinmetz, Portland-based ONDA member and volunteer
How do volunteers make a difference for this organization?
Volunteers are vital to helping ONDA restore and protect our wild deserts! In 2015, ONDA volunteers removed and retrofitted 11.5 miles of fence to improve wildlife habitat connectivity, planted over 14,000 trees, and constructed 15 artificial beaver dams for riparian restoration. These efforts create measurable improvement in the quality of wildlife habitat in eastern Oregon. Volunteers in our Bend and Portland offices help to engage with ONDA members and supporters and keep things in good working order! We couldn't do what we do without volunteers.

Oregon’s Wild Desert: 8 million acres to explore

Not far from Oregon’s signature moss-dripped forests lies a high desert wildland that stretches across half the state. Out here, gnarled juniper trees, sheer canyons, craggy peaks and quiet expanses provide a vast haven for wildlife, as well as a wonderland for outdoor adventures.

This is the awe-inspiring place that the Oregon Natural Desert Association has worked for 30 years to protect, defend, and restore for future generations. While roughly 8 million acres of potential wilderness exists in Oregon’s high desert, only 1 percent of this land is permanently protected.

When our favorite places are protected as wilderness, we take comfort in knowing that we can return year after year, season after season, to landscapes changed only by the elements. By partnering with landowners, government agencies, elected officials and individuals like you, ONDA provides a strong voice for Oregon’s high desert public lands.

The special places where we work

Owyhee Canyonlands
At over 2 million acres, Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands region is the largest expanse of undeveloped, unprotected wildlands in the lower 48 states. Its canyons, pinnacles and rivers prompt wonderment that such a landscape exists in Oregon. Protection of the Owyhee is one of ONDA’s top priorities for the coming year.

Central Oregon Backcountry
With its rolling sagebrush plains, dramatic river canyons and dense forests of old-growth juniper, the “gateway” to Oregon’s dry side is a desert wonderland unto itself. In addition to providing world-class recreation right outside city limits – including rafting, hiking, mountain biking and climbing – many of its waterways are also critical spawning grounds for salmon and steelhead. Current initiatives include collaborative efforts to protect the Whychus-Deschutes and Hidden Springs areas.

John Day River
The John Day River flows freely, absent of dams. It hosts prime habitat for summer steelhead and is one of the few remaining wild spring Chinook salmon runs in the Columbia River Basin. ONDA has partnered with local landowners and ranchers on wilderness for the Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven areas of the river, and is working closely with county officials, community leaders and landowners to protect other sensitive public land in the John Day basin, including Sutton Mountain and the Lower John Day River.

Greater Hart-Sheldon Landscape
Spanning over more than 4 million acres of Oregon and Nevada, the Greater Hart-Sheldon Landscape is a diverse expanse of mountains, wetlands, sagebrush steppe and canyons. It’s also a haven for wildlife: More than 300 species thrive here, including migrating waterfowl, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and Greater sage-grouse. ONDA has worked to protect, restore and connect this region for decades.

Steens Mountain
ONDA played a critical role in securing a wilderness designation for this iconic mountain and continues to advocate on its behalf today. In pushing for “smart from the start” energy development, ONDA has stood against placing wind turbines at the mountain’s crest. ONDA has also worked to prevent carving unnecessary roads into Steens.

To know Oregon's deserts is to love them

ONDA’s strength stems from its community: thousands of hard-working volunteers, dedicated donors and passionate advocates. Whether to pull abandoned fence or push for wilderness legislation, they have continually come together throughout ONDA’s 30-year history over their shared devotion to the state’s high desert.

That’s because to know Oregon’s desert is to love it. We hope you visit these special places and experience them firsthand. Then join us in helping conserve Oregon’s stunning rivers and landscapes.

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