12 Ways to Connect with the Desert

Author: Claire Cekander  | Published: November 4, 2022  |  Category: Look Back

Yes, there are plenty of ways to enjoy winter in the desert, but many of us spend the winter months waiting patiently to get back out to the sagebrush steppe. If that’s you, here’s a curated collection that should tide you over until your next trip to the desert.

ENJOY: One gorgeous desert photography exhibit
  • A High Desert Year, a virtual gallery exhibit that closes on January 6, 2023, is sure to inspire you with sweeping images of Oregon’s high desert landscapes, evocative prose and intimate wildlife portraits. And, if you haven’t already nabbed one, you might still be able to score a 2023 Wild Desert Calendar from ONDA or one our valued retail partners across Oregon. While supplies last. 
LEARN: Five guides to the natural wonders of Oregon’s high desert and how ONDA protects our public lands.

  • Submerse yourself in the watersheds feeding the Oregon desert through Essential, a short film highlighting how we’re preserving the desert’s most precious resource.
  • Hoping to find the best time to see migrating birds, wildflowers, or starry nights out in the desert? Start thinking about next year’s trips to the desert with help from our month-by-month guide to appreciating Oregon’s high desert.
  • Keep abreast of our advocacy work with these updates on legislation we support: Owyhee CanyonlandsSutton Mountain, and desert waterways.
  • Get a sense of ONDA’s history by skimming  through a few past issues of our newsletter, Desert Ramblings. We have posted the whole collection dating back to 1990.
  • We’ve created a map to highlight how fences and the lack of lasting protections on public lands threaten pronghorn, a key desert species, in the Greater-Hart Sheldon. You can also check out the many ways ONDA works with hundreds of miles of fences running through the desert.
WATCH: Three compelling presentations from expert guest speakers

While you wait for the next events in ONDA’s High Desert Speakers Series, which kicks off on February 1, 2023, you can watch the events that ONDA hosted virtually in 2022:

  • In Reclaiming Conservation, hear from Faith E. Briggs, a documentary filmmaker and podcast host, about her personal story from exploring public lands and lessons learned working at the intersection of environment, race, history and culture.
  • Ellen Bishop shares her perspective on immersing yourself in Oregon’s desert through her eyes as an author, photographer, naturalist and geologist in Small Splendors, Vast Landscapes.
  • Wildlife Migrations in the West covers the basic ecology of ungulate migrations in the western United States from UC Berkeley professor Arthur Middleton.
EXPLORE: Two interactive maps about our desert conservation efforts
  • Immerse yourself into the sagebrush sea with Greater Hart-Sheldon: Sagebrush Stronghold, which highlights wildlife habitat and migration corridors, the threats to this landscape and the value in preserving it.
  • The Wild and Unprotected map reveals the rivers, creeks, streams and lakes critical to a thriving high desert. Learn more about specific and sweeping conservation opportunities for these waterways.