What Wild & Scenic
Looks Like

Sean Bagshaw   Website

listen

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

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.”

voices

Sarah Graham, Sage Society Member

Sarah Graham, Sage Society Member

“I contribute to ONDA monthly because it adds up to a larger annual gift than what I’d be able to comfortably afford if I were to do a simple one-time donation annually. I’m able to give more to ONDA this way and have greater impact which is important to me, and my dog Polly.”

Desert Lakes

Quintessential of the Basin and Range landscape, Lake Abert and other desert lakes provide vital habitat for an astounding diversity and abundance of wildlife, including tens of thousands of migratory birds. Lake Abert and its sources, like the Chewaucan River and Poison Creek, which pours off the dramatic Abert Rim, are threatened by climate change and upstream water diversions for agriculture.

Jim Davis

Mountain Streams

High up on desert peaks like Steens Mountain, streams like Cottonwood Creek arise as a trickle that can transform with spring snowmelt into a raging torrent. As ONDA member Julie Weikel fantastically described, “for brief weeks or even just days each spring, the jubilant celebrating streams move boulders, rip out tree roots, and raise a little canyon hell.” These small but mighty creeks sustain populations of rare Lahontan cutthroat trout and wildflower-filled meadows that provide critical habitat for sage-grouse and other desert species.

Mark Darnell   Website

Canyon-carving Creeks

Boasting stunning scenery and exposing millenia of stunning geology and rocky spires, powerful waterways, like Succor Creek, are a refuge for sensitive wildlife such as California bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and redband trout. Many desert canyons are also sacred and traditional sites for the Northern Paiute people and other indigenous communities who continue to live and gather food and medicine in Oregon’s high desert.

Sean Bagshaw   Website

Salmon-bearing Rivers

Salmon and steelhead journey hundreds of miles deep into northeastern Oregon to spawn in the North Fork John Day and its tributaries. Stretching nearly 40 miles through spectacular scenery, the last unprotected stretch of the North Fork John Day also provides wild water and rare solitude for boaters willing to make the trek to enjoy its remote canyonlands.

Greg Burke   Website

Oases in the Sagebrush Sea

From nesting songbirds to sensitive native trout, desert creeks are vital to life in an otherwise arid landscape. Rock Creek, on the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, is one example of these ribbons of green bursting with life.

Jim Oleachea

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 last fall, 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 tribes....

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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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Getting inspired, getting involved

Bend resident Sarah Graham has long cherished the outdoors. But this past year inspired her to become active to help protect public lands, aiming to ensure they continue to belong to all Americans. Here, she shares her story. The story of how my husband and I came to be Bendites is a common tale....

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