ONDA's Wild Desert Blog
Oregon Natural Desert Association knows that our wild desert lands will only be protected through the support of those who love them. This collection of stories from a variety of contributors reflects the diversity of people involved in our work and highlights what we have in common - a shared love of Oregon's deserts.
Monica Welch joined Marilynne Keyser, board member of Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs), on an 'island' retreat to explore a rare undisturbed sagebrush steppe landscape isolated by ancient basalt lava flows. This unique area has experienced minimal human disturbance and serves as an amazingly accurate reference site for identifying historical native plant communities.
Longtime river runners Peter Jones and his wife rafted for three days down the North Fork John Day River in late April. While the water is low now, Peter offers insight and images here for those dreaming of what he calls "a secret river" for next year.
The Oregon Natural Desert Association has been a member of EarthShare of Oregon for over 10 years! Learn more about this lasting partnership.
Three amazing Oregon women journeyed along the pronghorn migration route between Sheldon and Hart Mountain wildlife refuges. Their goal was to catalog the fences, horse herds and whatever else they run into between the two refuges to assess obstacles and help bolster conservation efforts. ONDA provided them support during the hike, from June 8-14, meeting them at rugged dirt-road outposts along the way at the end of the day.
Continue to follow three amazing Oregon women as they journey along the pronghorn migration route between Sheldon and Hart Mountain wildlife refuges. Their goal is to catalog the fences, horse herds and whatever else they run into between the two refuges to assess obstacles and help bolster conservation efforts. ONDA will provide them support during the hike, from June 8-14, meeting them at rugged dirt-road outposts along the way at the end of the day.
Follow three amazing Oregon women on the Pronghorn Path Trek as they journey along the pronghorn migration route between Sheldon and Hart Mountain wildlife refuges.
Joseph resident Nikki Beachy and her friend, Talia Galvin of Bend, hiked 27 miles of ONDA's Oregon Desert Trail in the Owyhee Canyonlands, starting in Leslie Gulch and weaving north through stunning formations. Along the way, they appreciated the power and wonder of the high desert.
Every year, ONDA recognizes a volunteer who consistently shines in dedicated service to the organization with its Volunteer of the Year award. This year, the award rightly belongs to two inseparable women.
More than three decades ago, ONDA member Joe Walicki made an eye-opening journey up the West Little Owyhee River Canyon. Here, with words and images, he shares the memory of discovery in the Owyhee Canyonlands.
William Sullivan is touring Central Oregon to promote his latest update to his Eastern Oregon hiking guide, and ONDA will be there as a special guest to share why our work to protect the region matters.
Mary Powell participated in ONDA's 2015 Greater sage-grouse lek monitoring trip at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. The trip, which involves rising before dawn to witness and count sage-grouse gathered to attract mates, proved fascinating and fulfilling.
The fascinating geology of the Owyhee Canyonlands ranges from millions of years ago, when the land was part of the supervolcano that’s now Yellowstone, to just thousands of years ago when Jordan Craters became coated in lava. Here, Oregon State University-Cascades student Chloe Hallock interviews one of her instructors, Daniele McKay, about this diverse landscape. Professor McKay holds a doctorate in geology from University of Oregon and studies volcanoes.
Marlene Moore Alexander is a survivor, a teacher, a scholar, a student, and perhaps is best known as an artist. This is her story of the healing, inspiration, and serenity that she finds in the high desert. The desert is an important place for many reasons, and Marlene hopes that her art can help people cherish and protect it for future generations so they can find the same peace she has found.
The Oregon Badlands Wilderness will always have a piece of Kirsten Blackburn's heart ... as it's the place where she and her future husband decided to wed.
The inaugural Oregon Natural Desert Association High Desert Lecture Series event, “Monarchs & Milkweed: An Evening with Tom Landis,” drew huge interest. Here is more information on how to grow milkweed and pollinating plants in the high desert.
The unseasonably warm weather means it's an ideal time to visit Sutton Mountain, a jewel in the John Day River Basin. Two ONDA members visited Sutton Mountain's Black Canyon late last fall, discovering an amazing venue for a shoulder-season outing.
ONDA lost a number of heroes in 2014, advocates who continuously made a difference -- on behalf of the high desert and in the many lives they touched.
Dr. Tom Connolly, archaeological research director for the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History & State Museum of Anthropology, shares with the Oregon Natural Desert Association some of the history of human habitation in Oregon's high desert.
At the Oregon Natural Desert Association’s 2014 Bend year-end party, we recognized a man who has long been a champion for the high desert. Stu Garrett of Bend received the 2014 Alice Elshoff Desert Conservation Award, which recognizes individuals who -- in the tradition of longtime ONDA board member Alice Elshoff -- make significant contributions to conservation in Oregon’s desert.
In June, a group of Tibetan monks toured the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and saw Sutton Mountain. Oregon Natural Desert Association John Day Coordinator Ben Gordon joined the group on the visit.