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.
Over the years, Ursula Le Guin has proved herself a zealous advocate for Oregon’s high desert, her love for Steens Mountain unwavering. Here is a Steens-themed poem from Ursula, with a never-before-seen preface, which we hope inspires you to act on behalf of Oregon’s wildlands.
With 45 years of long-distance hiking experience, Mary "Fireweed" Kwart is preparing to venture out on the Oregon Desert Trail this spring.
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.
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.
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.
The Oregon Natural Desert Association is welcoming in the New Year with a new logo for the Oregon Desert Trail.
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.
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.
#GivingTuesday is December 1. Join us in giving back to Oregon's high desert on this global day on giving.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.