Stories and News from ONDA

Sean Bagshaw   Website

See the World from
a Butterfly’s Point of View

I wonder if butterflies might get annoyed by all the poetic language they attract. They’re “tiny rainbows,” “flying flowers,” or “ephemeral angels.” We use them as metaphors for transformation and as symbols of beauty, joy, and immortality. But what are they really? My fear is that all the chatter about beautiful butterflies reflecting the...

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Southeastern Oregon Draft Resource Management Plan Released

A Disturbing Trend Hits Oregon’s Desert Public Lands Bureau of Land Management releases Draft Resource Management Plan for Southeastern Oregon, and conservation goals are ignored On May 31, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Draft Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan Amendment covering 4.6 million acres in the Owyhee Canyonlands. The public...

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Senator Merkley Steps Up
for Sutton Mountain

Today, Sen. Jeff Merkley, announced that he will introduce the Sutton Mountain and Painted Hills Area Preservation and Economic Enhancement Act that would establish the Sutton Mountain Wilderness to protect an area in the John Day River Basin renowned for spectacular scenery and prime wildlife habitat. “With this legislation, we’ll make sure that future...

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How To: Raft the Lower Owyhee

Rafting the lower Owyhee River is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that introduces you to some of the most spectacular and untouched high desert landscapes found in eastern Oregon. Deep canyon walls, riverside camps, and hikes climbing to sweeping vistas are all highlights of this trip. Just be sure to gather some information ahead of time...

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Where To: Hart Mountain

Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge lies at the center of the Greater Hart-Sheldon Region in southeastern Oregon. Few established trails cross this vast region. Instead, desert enthusiasts have endless opportunities to build their own adventure and experience the solitude of Oregon’s high desert. Here are six tips that will help you make the most...

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Three Amazing High Desert Inhabitants

Oregon’s high desert is a land of many superlatives. You’ll find North America’s fastest land mammal here, as well as its largest fault block mountain. Perhaps most intriguing are the ways that the plants, animals and insects that call the high desert home have evolved over millennia in ways that allow them to survive...

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Hart Mountain Revealed Recap

During our 2019 High Desert Speaker Series, ONDA’s Hart-Sheldon Coordinator Jeremy Austin presented in both Bend and Portland. Here’s the “CliffsNotes” version of his for Hart Mountain Revealed talk. Where is Hart Mountain? Roughly 230 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon, Hart Mountain sits at the northern extent of the largest desert in the United...

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Desert Wilderness Retrospective

A Tale of Two Wilderness Areas: Badlands and Spring Basin On March 30, 2009, President Obama signed a massive public lands package into law, with the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and Spring Basin Wilderness among the many places protected. Besides sharing the same birthday and being located in Oregon’s high desert, the Badlands and Spring...

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Dark Desert Skies

For those of us who have spent time in Oregon’s high desert, there is no need to explain how truly dark skies showcase the wonders of the stars viewable by the naked eye. Night skies relatively free from light pollution — that is, human-created artificial lighting and atmospheric disturbances such as smog — will...

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Happy Birthday!
Oregon Desert Trail Turns Five

In the spring of 2014, ONDA released a basic map-set for an ambitious route we’d started to call the “Oregon Desert Trail.” It wasn’t long before a few hikers set their sights on completing the route. Over the past five years, we’ve developed and refined many new resources to make our challenging eastern Oregon...

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