Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

Rick Samco

fact

Swallowtail

Swallowtail

The Oregon Swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon and a true native of the Pacific Northwest. The Swallowtail can be seen in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage area.  Source: State Symbols USA

Latin name: Papilio oregonius

voices

Cregg Large, member since 2009

Cregg Large, member since 2009

“I came to Oregon 12 years ago from Texas. Texas, for all its size, has very little public land. Coming to Oregon has made me realize the special gift we as Americans have in our public lands. Volunteering with an organization like ONDA is my way of reciprocating for this gift. Through restoration efforts, I feel we are helping leave a better place than we found it. Through advocating for protection for public lands, we safeguard migration routes for animals and keep the land where it belongs: with the public.”

listen

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

California bighorn sheep

Wildlife Monitoring Opportunity

For this effort, independent stewards will collect important data about 72 different strategically chosen species throughout the northern Basin and Range ecosystem, to fill a gap in observations in this important region east of the Cascade Mountains.

Fremont National Recreation Trail

ONDA launched an “adopt-a-mile” effort covering 38 miles where the Oregon Desert Trail and Fremont National Recreation Trail overlap. A few volunteers were able to start their work in the short window between snow melt and the start of the heartbreaking Bootleg Fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest in early July. Now that the forest has reopened to the public, ONDA is eager to get volunteers back out to this section of trail to perform much needed maintenance work.

Steens Mountain Wilderness Trails

Fall is a spectacular time to visit Steens Mountain, where ONDA is also inviting volunteers to “adopt-a-mile” of trail to monitor and maintain. In addition to performing light trail-work, volunteers are using a new Recreation Impact Monitoring System application developed in partnership with Bureau of Land Management staff to catalog and inventory habitat or recreation management needs Recreation planners can access the data that volunteers collect in real-time and adjust maintenance plans accordingly.

Alvord Desert

This iconic Wilderness Study Area in the rain-shadow of Steens Mountain saw unprecedented use in 2020, largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the trash accumulation and impacts on the surrounding landscape reached critical levels. ONDA’s independent stewards are documenting impacts using the Recreation Impact Monitoring System application and dispersing fire rings, picking up trash, monitoring for negative wildlife interactions, and handing out wag bags and responsible recreation information.

We welcome you to join us on any of the above projects. If you have already filled out our volunteer interest form this year, please email monitoring@onda.org with the project you are interested in. If you have not yet filled out our volunteer interest form, apply now and, in the project preference field, type in “Alvord, “Steens” “Fremont” or “wildlife monitoring.”

Volunteer today!

Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

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What Wild & Scenic
Looks Like

Did you know that, in addition to rivers, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act can also protect creeks, streams and lakes?  Wild and Scenic desert waters take many forms and every drop of desert water plays an important role in the desert ecosystem. From mighty salmon-bearing rivers, like the North Fork John Day, to...

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“My favorite spot on earth …”

When Sen. Ron Wyden invited Oregonians to nominate rivers and creeks for protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in fall 2019, hundreds of people spoke up to nominate Lower Whychus Creek in Central Oregon. The name Whychus means “place where we cross the water” in Sahaptin, the language of the Columbia River...

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Drawn to Nests

One day in spring of 2014, I started drawing bird nests. I didn’t stop for almost a year. These drawings began as a way for me to explore my curiosity about birds’ nests without causing any harm to the birds themselves. My work on this series made me more aware of the impacts we...

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Why We’re Nominating
Whychus Creek

The following Wild and Scenic River nomination was written by the Bend Senior High School Environmental Club. Whychus Creek: a Nomination as a Wild and Scenic River We rely on our watershed. It provides unique habitat, gorgeous scenery, historical connections, and gives life to the towns and cities of Oregon. In order for Oregon...

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Mary Gautreaux –
2019 Alice Elshoff Desert Conservation Award winner

“The deeper truth is that anybody who knows Mary knows she is an original and unforgettable force of nature — fierce on behalf of Oregonians, bold in her problem-solving, always willing to help, and just as ready with a smile to lighten any situation. She has a gigantic heart matched only by her passion...

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Opt Outside,
Act for Desert Rivers

Escape the Black Friday crowds and #OptOutside to a wild river near you! Sen. Ron Wyden is asking Oregonians to help him develop legislation to protect Oregon’s most special rivers, and he wants to hear from YOU. The day after Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to take your family and friends on a hike...

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How to nominate a river
for Wild and Scenic protection

Oregon can already claim to be the state with the most Wild and Scenic Rivers, and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has a not-so-secret goal to make Oregon the state with the Most Designated Miles, too. (Right now, that honor goes to Alaska.) Earlier this fall, Sen. Wyden announced a new effort to protect more...

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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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Our Take on Sec. Zinke’s Secret Monuments Report

The public finally has access to the Trump administration’s report on the review of 27 national monuments, but only because it was leaked to the press. Astonishingly, Zinke’s memo to the president still fails to provide key details on changes he’s recommending to these jewels of our public lands. Zinke’s report lacks clarity on...

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