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ONDA's Wild Desert Blog

The Oregon Natural Desert Association celebrates the diversity of people involved in our work and highlights what we have in common - a shared love of Oregon's deserts.

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.

Rock art in the Owyhee

Rock art in the Owyhee

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Sep 22, 2014 02:28 PM |

Native Americans traversed the Owyhee Canyonlands regularly, leaving reminders in stone. Petroglyphs, which are images carved into rocks, abound in the Owyhee country. Here, Eugene, Oregon-based rock art enthusiast Douglas Beauchamp shares some of his thoughts on and images of area petroglyphs with ONDA.

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27th Desert Conference will enlighten, inspire

27th Desert Conference will enlighten, inspire

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Aug 25, 2014 03:50 PM |

The Oregon Natural Desert Association's 27th Desert Conference, Sept. 19-20, will bring together artists, scientists and others who care about Oregon's high desert. Keynote speakers are Roderick Nash, John Leshy, Jarold Ramsey and Ellen Waterston.

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Photographing the Owyhee

Photographing the Owyhee

Photographer Tyson Fisher says that until a few years ago, he had only heard of Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands. Intimidated by its remoteness and immensity, he nonetheless made a number of visits. Now, he calls it his "unlimited source of inspiration."

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ONDA teams up with Beers Made By Walking

ONDA teams up with Beers Made By Walking

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jul 22, 2014 11:25 AM |

The Oregon Natural Desert Association this spring teamed up with three local breweries -- Deschutes Brewery, Worthy Brewing and Crux Fermentation Project -- as part of Beers Made By Walking. The effort showcases wild areas where brewers ID native plants to use in brewing. The brewers will debut beers inspired by the hikes this fall!

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Sutton Mountain discovery

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jul 08, 2014 10:55 AM |

Monica and Bill Welch enjoyed wildflowers, big vistas and an enjoyable overnight in Mitchell as part of a trip to visit Sutton Mountain in the John Day River country. They now understand why the Oregon Natural Desert Association wants this public land designated as wilderness.

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Signatures for Senator Wyden

Signatures for Senator Wyden

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jun 24, 2014 02:55 PM |

Volunteers delivered thousands of petition signatures to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden's Portland office over the last week. ONDA member Richard Brandt visited with Wyden's staff and shares here how empowering it feels to support efforts that would protect a place he loves.

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An Oregon Desert Trail adventure

An Oregon Desert Trail adventure

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jun 13, 2014 11:08 AM |

Shane Von Schlemp is one of a number of long-distance hikers tackling the entire Oregon Desert Trail this year. The trail, created by the Oregon Natural Desert Association, stretches roughly 800 miles from the center of the state to the nearly the Idaho border.

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Volunteer of the Year devoted to Central Oregon wildlands

Volunteer of the Year devoted to Central Oregon wildlands

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jun 12, 2014 04:39 PM |

Central Oregon native Rob Windlinx is passionate about his wild backyard, the Deschutes River Canyon. His passion, can-do attitude and tireless efforts -- including helping found the Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon, or FANs -- made us at the Oregon Natural Desert Association proud to call him the Volunteer of the Year.

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A visit to Spring Basin, on its 5th birthday as a protected wilderness area

A visit to Spring Basin, on its 5th birthday as a protected wilderness area

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at May 13, 2014 12:05 PM |

An Oregon Natural Desert Association volunteer takes a hike in Spring Basin, a protected wilderness area, with sweeping vistas of the John Day River valley.

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A profound experience on a John Day River float

A profound experience on a John Day River float

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Apr 24, 2014 09:40 AM |

In this blog post, ONDA's John Day coordinator shares an extraordinary experience on a four-day float trip from Clarno to Cottonwood Canyon State Park.

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A remote Owyhee adventure

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at May 06, 2014 01:00 PM |

In this guest blog post, Matt Skroch of the Pew's Western Lands Initiative describes a rugged three-day, off-trail adventure in the Owyhee Canyonlands. Led by ONDA's Owyhee coordinator, Chris Hansen, Matt's account reminds us how magnificent this area of Oregon is and how essential it is to protect it.

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Bats of the high desert

Bats of the high desert

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Apr 07, 2014 12:55 PM |

At least 14 species of bats live east of the Cascades, and they are an important part of the ecosystem of the high desert. Dr. Tom Rodhouse of the National Park Service shares about the pressures bats face.

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Packrafting the Owyhee

Packrafting the Owyhee

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Mar 28, 2014 11:39 AM |

Ever heard of packrafting? It combines backpacking and rafting, and it's perfect for exploring some sections of Oregon's Owhyee Canyonlands. Here, one Oregonian shares his packrafting adventure in the Owyhee Middle Fork with the Oregon Natural Desert Association.

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Oregon Badlands: Beauty comes in many forms

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Mar 19, 2014 01:55 PM |

On the eve of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness's fifth birthday, one ONDA member shares how the beauty of this place speaks to her.

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Drama in the Owyhee

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Mar 02, 2014 07:15 AM |

Monday at 8 p.m. PST, cable channel NatGeo Wild will showcase Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands in a show called Going Wild. Heidi Hagemeier, who works on the Campaign for the Owyhee Canyonlands, intends to watch, even though the reality TV take on one of her favorite places might be taking things to the extremes.

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My blessed backyard

My blessed backyard

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Feb 26, 2014 12:17 PM |

Charyn McDonnell lived at the foot of Sutton Mountain for nearly five years. She continually felt inspired by the variety of flora and fauna found in just one place.

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Of music, poetry and imagery

Of music, poetry and imagery

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Feb 20, 2014 12:22 PM |

Eugene artist Paul Safar was inspired to write poetry, compose music and ultimately put it all together into a video with high desert imagery after a visit to the Summer Lake area.

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Running the Wild Owyhee

Running the Wild Owyhee

Oregon Natural Desert Association volunteer Bridget Welch interviews Brian Sykes of Ouzel Outfitters, a veteran of Owyhee River rafting trips, on why the Owyhee Canyonlands is so special.

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WILDERNESS=JOBS

WILDERNESS=JOBS

Posted by Gena Goodman-Campbell at Feb 05, 2014 02:55 PM |

A growing number of business owners across the west recognize the huge economic value of protected public lands. Here in Central Oregon, 20 local businesses came together recently to thank Senator Ron Wyden for his work to protect wilderness areas in the high desert and keep public lands in public hands.

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From Switzerland to the high desert

Posted by Corie Harlan at Jan 23, 2014 04:10 PM |

Christof and Ursina Teuscher originally hail from Switzerland. Since moving to the US in 2004, they have fallen in love with the wild West, favoring the freedom and the open space of the high desert.

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