We asked, you answered

We asked, you answered: Keep delivering conservation wins

The results of our most recent member survey

In early November, we surveyed our members to check in on the work that matters most to you.  Nearly 300 of you responded.  Thank you!

Whether it was in multiple choice questions or the open-ended answers, the prevailing theme was: “keep it up!” Here’s what we learned about you and your interests.

You’re passionate about the high desert landscape

Whether you live in Oregon’s high desert or only visit it occasionally, the love for these lands was clear in your responses. While this was not surprising, it was fun to see all the different expressions of this love and appreciation.

 “I love Oregon’s sagebrush steppe. It’s arguably the wildest landscape left in the lower 48 states.”

 “I am crazy about eastern Oregon and want its harsh beauty preserved as much as possible”

 “As a child of the Great Basin, I find the Oregon desert beautiful and inspiring.”

 “Experiencing horizon to horizon vistas… is very spiritual”

Photo: Devin Dahlgren


You think ONDA is an effective organization, and you’d recommend us to your friends

Love of place was one uniting factor among ONDA members, and standing with ONDA’s focused mission was another.

You ranked ONDA’s most important programs as:

  • advocating for new wilderness designations on public lands, and
  • defending those places that have protected status.

ONDA remains committed to those goals as 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.

You see ONDA as an effective advocate for public lands, a belief cemented in the fact that a vast majority of you feel that your donations have a significant impact toward achieving conservation success.

As one supporter wrote, “It feels great to support a local organization that is a powerful leader in protecting the natural environment of the state where I have lived my whole life.”


Over half of you have recommended supporting ONDA to your friends and family, and another 30 percent of you intend to do so. This was great to see, as your word-of-mouth support helps us to have a stronger impact as we work together to conserve the places you love across Oregon’s high desert.



You have thoughtful questions, differing opinions, and great ideas

While there was much agreement and alignment relating to loving the landscape, people expressed a number of different ideas and opinions on how best to protect and conserve the region.

Photo: Tim Oligmueller

One theme that emerged was the need to strike the right balance between conservation and recreation on our public lands. Many people value recreational opportunities in the high desert, both personally and a key step to conservation, while others noted how important it is to protect places for their wildlife values, cited a desire for solitude, and expressed a fear of seeing favorites places being “loved to death.” We hope to continue to inspire you to get out and visit your public lands, while at the same time communicating the importance of Leave No Trace principles and proper trip planning before venturing into familiar or unknown landscapes.

Another aspect of ONDA’s work we hope to clarify is the importance of our legal program to defend protected public lands. You can look for more information on the thought process behind this core aspect of our mission in 2018.

We’ve taken your feedback seriously, and we’re hoping to address your feedback by improving our programs, and our communications about our work, wherever possible.

As ONDA strives to be even more focused and effective in the coming year, we appreciate your continued commitment to speak up for public lands. Thank you for all that you do!

Do you have other feedback that we missed? Email me with your thoughts today, and thank you for speaking up on behalf of Oregon’s treasured high desert lands.

PS: Congratulations to the winner of our survey drawing, Brad Garber. We appreciate your feedback!