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Wilderness Stewardship and Restoration

ONDA hosts restoration trips in the Eastern Oregon in which volunteers pull obsolete barbed wire fences, plant trees and inventory potential wilderness areas in places such as Steens Mountain, the John Day River and Hart Mountain.

Getting our Hands Dirty in the Desert

Volunteers pulling Fence
A volunteer pulls fence at ONDA's Annual General Meeting.
Photo: Marilyn Miller
An active network of supporters has led to the restoration of fish and wildlife havens such as Hart Mountain, the John Day River and other important desert landscapes across central and eastern Oregon. Hard-working volunteers have planted thousands of trees, restored dozens of miles of streams, decommissioned old roads and removed enough barbed wire to stretch from one end of Oregon to the other.

ONDA’s Wilderness Stewardship Program annually engages over 600 volunteers in hands-on field projects that restore desert ecosystems across Central and Eastern Oregon. This work aims to reverse years of misuse, and the benefits are many. Of these, the most tangible benefit is the direct and measurable ecological improvements found in field project work areas. Of equal importance is the cadre of dedicated conservation advocates that this volunteer work creates.

The results of this restoration work are vast and far-reaching. For example, the removal of barbed wire fence that no longer serves a purpose is critical to restoring habitat for important species like the sage grouse and pronghorn.

Fence free landscape
Admiring a landscape newly freed of fences.
Photo: Cregg Large

Would you like to have a meaningful, educational and fun volunteer experience in Oregon’s desert? Take a look at the 2015 season volunteer work trip offerings HERE. Each year we publish our volunteer work trip list in mid-February. Sign up for SageNet email alerts and you will be notified as soon as it is available.

Wilderness Stewardship: an award-winning program

Accomplishing these tasks is hard work, and it takes an intrepid volunteer to be successful. ONDA volunteers are a dedicated group and an effective work force who readily take on challenges, bolstered by the knowledge that the work they are doing has so many benefits. The outstanding attributes of ONDA’s Wilderness Stewardship Program and its volunteers was recognized in 2011 with the Oregon Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Program in our region.

Current Projects

ONDA carefully selects restoration projects to ensure projects provide significant, long-lasting benefit to public natural resources while providing and inspirational and education experience to participants. Read more about current focus areas.

THANK YOU REI, Clif Bar Family Foundation and all ONDA members and supporters for supporting vital conservation and restoration work in Oregon's high desert.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638

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