success

Oregon’s first desert wilderness

Oregon’s first desert wilderness

Steens Mountain: Oregon’s first desert wilderness

On October 30, 2000, Congress passed the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act, finishing the work that had taken ONDA and the other members of the Steens-Alvord Coalition decades  

Steens Mountain is a land of startling contrasts: dramatic u-shaped

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fact

Young Horny Toad Lizard

Young Horny Toad Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos

voices

Tim Neville, journalist

Tim Neville, journalist

“Oregon’s Owyhee reminds me a lot of Southern Utah’s red rock country… only dipped in fudge.”

A National Monument in Progress

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Mark Darnell

Enter the Envisioning Wild Exhibit

Tour the Gallery

Chase Jablonski

New Story Map: Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands

Travel the Owyhee

Bryan Andresen

Welcome to Oregon's High Desert

With natural beauty, deep cultural significance and a wide array of plants and wildlife, Oregon’s high desert is an impressive stretch of the Pacific Northwest, on the northern edge of the Great Basin.

Much of Oregon’s desert is public land, available to all Americans equally. If you like to hike  bike, raft, fish, hunt, stargaze, go birding, watch wildlife, or enjoy any number of other recreational pursuits, you can find an amazing spot to do that here, and enjoy abundant solitude, too.

Check out this remarkable place alongside Oregon Natural Desert Association and see for yourself how unique and wild the dry side is.

Discover Oregon’s Desert

Central Oregon Backcountry

Visit Central Oregon

Greg Burke   Website

Greater Hart-Sheldon Region

Explore Hart-Sheldon

Greg Burke   Website

John Day River Basin

Discover John Day

Steve Roelof   Website

Owyhee Canyonlands

Explore the Owyhee

Mark Darnell

Steens Mountain Region

Visit Steens

Jim Davis   Website

Oregon Desert Trail

Trek the Oregon Desert Trail

Sage Brown   Website

Caring for the Desert We Love

Oregon Natural Desert Association encourages people to get to know the desert and to take steps to conserve these public lands. Our community defends public lands from threats, partners with public and private land managers to preserve natural values, encourages the exploration of wild places, and restores lands and waters to give desert creatures places in which to thrive.    

Our Approach

Land Acknowledgment

ONDA’s conservation work takes place on the traditional lands of the Northern Paiute, Wasco and Warm Springs people and on lands currently managed by the Burns Paiute Tribe and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Many Indigenous peoples live in Oregon’s high desert region today, including members of the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute), the Klamath Tribes (Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin) and the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe.

The Voice of the Desert

ONDA is the only conservation organization dedicated exclusively to preserving Oregon’s high desert. Our members and supporters live in Portland, Bend, all throughout Oregon state, across the country, and abroad.

Our dream? We envision a high desert in Oregon where eight million acres of public lands are conserved to ensure that fish and wildlife thrive and wild places exist for all people to treasure and explore, now and always.

About Us

Jim Davis   Website

Katy McFadden

Gena Goodman-Campbell

Sage Brown   Website

Heidi Hagermeier

Get Involved

Looking to get to know this desert and this community better?

The best way to hear about upcoming events ONDA is hosting and stewardship work we are leading is to sign up for our email updates.  

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"Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from." - Terry Tempest Williams