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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.

Mary “Fireweed” Kwart Preps for the Oregon Desert Trail

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Apr 29, 2016 11:51 AM |

With 45 years of long-distance hiking experience, Mary "Fireweed" Kwart is preparing to venture out on the Oregon Desert Trail this spring.

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Public Reacts to Malheur Occupation

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Mar 17, 2016 09:55 AM |

During the height of those 41 days of the illegal takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, citizens who care about our public lands had plenty to say. Below are dozens of their voices, reminding us that we must not take for granted one of our nation's greatest assets.

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Helen Harbin honored with ONDA's 2015 Alice Elshoff Conservation Award

Helen Harbin honored with ONDA's 2015 Alice Elshoff Conservation Award

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Feb 02, 2016 01:35 PM |

In a recent interview, 2015 Alice Elshoff Conservation Award winner, Helen Harbin, describes her long involvement with ONDA, including seven years as board president, and what drives her passion for Oregon's high desert.

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Tracing the Pronghorn Path

Tracing the Pronghorn Path

Three intrepid hikers last summer set out on a journey to explore and understand the wildlife corridor between the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada and the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in southern Oregon.

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A New Year and a New Logo for the Oregon Desert Trail

Posted by Renee Patrick at Jan 04, 2016 12:00 PM |

The Oregon Natural Desert Association is welcoming in the New Year with a new logo for the Oregon Desert Trail.

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A year in review: Six highlights of 2015

Posted by Lindsay Jones at Dec 21, 2015 01:45 PM |

It has been an amazing year of conservation success in Oregon's high desert. Catch the highlights of the Oregon Natural Desert Association's work in 2015.

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Exploring the Owyhee Canyonlands: A Wild Adventure

Exploring the Owyhee Canyonlands: A Wild Adventure

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Dec 07, 2015 03:45 PM |

Over the past year, Portland resident Corinne Handelman has been working on visiting all 47 of Oregon's wilderness areas. But there was one area that, while still unprotected, she had always heard is truly wild. Here, she shares about her first visit to this place -- the Owyhee Canyonlands -- and why she's certain she'll be back.

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Giving Tuesday: A day for the desert

Giving Tuesday: A day for the desert

Posted by onda@onda.org at Nov 24, 2015 09:13 AM |

#GivingTuesday is December 1. Join us in giving back to Oregon's high desert on this global day on giving.

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Fence removal is a big part of restoration work

Fence removal is a big part of restoration work

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Oct 29, 2015 03:35 PM |

Oregon Natural Desert Association volunteer Monica Welch explains the intrinsic rewards of removing obsolete fence, and describes ONDA's many other volunteer opportunities through its Wilderness Stewardship Program.

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Steens Mountain: A Family Touchstone

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Sep 25, 2015 02:25 PM |

Owyhee Weikel-Magden reminisces about her wedding on the East Rim of Steens Mountain, explaining her family’s longtime connection to the mountain and her desire to instill similar love of place in her two sons.

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Three Days in the Steens

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Sep 16, 2015 02:35 PM |

Four Bend friends headed out to Steens Mountain for an early season trip in April to explore Pike Creek Canyon, the Alvord Desert and the Little Blitzen Trail. The experience was both grounding and emotionally fulfilling, writes Meaghan Bull.

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Steens Mountain through the eyes of first-time backpacker

Steens Mountain through the eyes of first-time backpacker

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Sep 01, 2015 09:35 AM |

ONDA intern Cody Hess explored the Steens Mountain Wilderness for his first ever backpacking experience. After tackling how much food to bring, what to pack and where to go, Cody had an epic four-day experience.

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The Island: an undisturbed landscape in the sagebrush steppe sea

The Island: an undisturbed landscape in the sagebrush steppe sea

Posted by Barksdale Brown at Jul 31, 2015 10:05 AM |

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.

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Dreaming of North Fork solitude

Dreaming of North Fork solitude

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jul 13, 2015 12:45 PM |

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.

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ONDA and EarthShare: A lasting partnership

ONDA and EarthShare: A lasting partnership

Posted by onda@onda.org at Jun 29, 2015 10:50 AM |

The Oregon Natural Desert Association has been a member of EarthShare of Oregon for over 10 years! Learn more about this lasting partnership.

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On the pronghorn path: the conclusion of the Sheldon-to-Hart hike

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jun 16, 2015 03:40 PM |

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.

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On the pronghorn path: Day 2 of the Sheldon-to-Hart hike

On the pronghorn path: Day 2 of the Sheldon-to-Hart hike

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at Jun 10, 2015 01:25 PM |

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.

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On the pronghorn path:  Day 1 of the Sheldon-to-Hart hike

On the pronghorn path: Day 1 of the Sheldon-to-Hart hike

Posted by Allison Crotty at Jun 09, 2015 01:05 PM |

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.

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Through the Owyhee on the Oregon Desert Trail

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at May 26, 2015 12:50 PM |

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.

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2015 Volunteers of the Year

Posted by Heidi Hagemeier at May 13, 2015 02:10 PM |

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.

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Bend, OR 97702
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