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Greater Hart-Sheldon Region

The Greater Hart-Sheldon Landscape, a high desert oasis with natural lakes, sagebrush flats, and rugged ridgelines, spans over 3 million acres in southeastern Oregon and northern Nevada. This area is home to native species such as pronghorn antelope and sage-grouse.

Pronghorn Family, Greg Burke
Pronghorn antelope
Photo: Greg Burke

The Hart-Sheldon region is an American natural treasure filled with pronghorn antelope, open space, wildflowers, mountains and canyons, wild horses, and Native American rock art. Located in remote southeast Oregon and northern Nevada, the region encompasses Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, and other large expanses of public land including Beatys Butte.

Oregon's Wildlife Mecca: The Hart-Sheldon region is one of the best large intact sagebrush-steppe ecosystems left in the West and as a result wildlife thrives here.  Sagebrush ecosystems are critically important to more than 350 species of wildlife, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, waterfowl and shorebirds, pikas, pygmy rabbits and one of the highest densities of Greater sage-grouse in the U.S.

Because this area is vital to the natural history of Oregon’s desert lands, ONDA has worked for decades to restore, protect, and connect the landscape.

Last Fence Pull - Jesse Laney
Last Hart Mt. Fence Pull
Photo: Jesse Laney

Stewardship: For over twenty years ONDA volunteers visited the Hart Mountain Refuge to help remove unneeded barbed-wire fence, which creates barriers for pronghorn and other wildlife. This effort, in coordination with other groups, resulted in nearly 300 miles of fence being removed from Hart Mountain Refuge.

Partners: ONDA had partnered with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) to dedicate an unprecedented amount of manpower to removing fences from the Sheldon Refuge. In 2011, 140 volunteers from Nevada and Oregon came to the refuge to help pull fence, resulting in over 70 miles of fence being removed. The last of the fence on Sheldon was removed in 2014.

Hart Mountain and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuges were originally designated in the 1930's to protect the summer and winter ranges of the pronghorn. However, they do not protect migratory paths and winter range between the Refuges.

Thinking about the future: The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region is recognized as a potential place for wildlife resiliency in Great Basin due to the elevation shifts, wildlife diversity, and habitat integrity. NatureServe, a leader in climate change modeling, tested management and climate scenarios so that we can identify high priority connectivity corridors to ensure resiliency for native wildlife.

Click here to take action to support the Greater Hart-Sheldon Region.

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Hart-Sheldon Landscape
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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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