Streamside Story: John Hartog

voices

Sarah Graham, Sage Sustainers Member

Sarah Graham, Sage Sustainers 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.”

fact

Bobcat

Bobcat

Found only in North America, where it is the most common wildcat, the bobcat takes its common name from its stubby, or “bobbed,” tail. The cats range in length from two to four feet and weigh 14 to 29 pounds. Bobcats mainly hunt rabbits and hares, but they will also eat rodents, birds, bats, and even adult deer.

Latin name: Lynx rufus fasciatus

 

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

Portrait of John Hartog standing in his backyard

John Hartog is a nature sound recordist based in Portland, who makes quadraphonic soundscape recordings. He finds getting into quiet nature a crucial part of his well-being and can’t get enough of breaking away from the city to do so.

Restoration volunteer work has long been important to John as a way to help our planet, and he was involved with local riparian work in Portland when he was first introduced to ONDA.

At that time, he’d recently taken several trips to the high desert to search for quiet places to record nature sounds. However, even where John could find natural spaces away from noisy highway traffic and the like, he was often left annoyed by the pervasive sound of cattle across otherwise vast and quiet expanses of public lands. After his travels, he saw an Oregon Field Guide episode about Hart Mountain and ONDA’s involvement with fence and cattle removal there. He joined ONDA that day and took part in his first restoration trip shortly after.

On his way to that first volunteer trip with ONDA, he stopped along Highway 26 to dip his hand in the Deschutes River to say hello to the desert; he’s since made that a tradition every time he crosses over Mount Hood. Another memorable moment from volunteering with ONDA came during a fence pull on the remote back side of Pine Creek Conservation Area, when they  watched a lightning storm approach at night over distant hills across the John Day River.

“I also hold an amazing feeling of accomplishment through cumulative riparian planting trips, taking bundle after bundle of tree and shrub cuttings, and planting them into the stream banks. More often than not this requires a sledgehammer and long metal spike to pound passages for cuttings through the rocky streambed and into moist ground below. One of my favorite sound recordings of mine is of volunteers pinging sledgehammers on spikes. Sometimes human noise is good.”

Along with riparian restoration work, John has also advocated for desert rivers, by writing to elected officials many times and nominating a stream for Wild and Scenic protection in Sens. Wyden and Merkley’s River Democracy Act. 

“This planet is all we really have, and we should treat it as if it were our own body. It is my dream that remaining natural areas like the Owyhee will gain protection from further damage, and then I dream a paradigm shift will ensue towards returning already developed land back to nature — roads can be removed, ecosystems can be reconnected.”

Streamside Story: John Hartog

Author: Joanna Zhang  |  Published: September 28, 2021  |  Category: Profiles “I guess I would describe myself as an urban dwelling nature lover, an advocate for native ecosystem conservation, and a backyard habitat enthusiast.”

Read More

Oregon River Reads

Author: Joanna Zhang | Published: August 27, 2021 | Categories: Uncategorized Four Stories That Will Inspire You to Protect Oregon’s Rivers  Late summer is synonymous with days in and along the water: rafting, swimming, hiking or hanging out in a hammock with a good book.  Need a suggestion on what to read? These three...

Read More

Where-to:
Swim in the John Day Basin

Author: Joanna Zhang  |  Published: July 19, 2021  |  Categories: Where-to  Five fantastic swimming holes on the John Day River You might not think of heading to the desert when you want to go swimming. That’s quite understandable. While Oregon’s high desert isn’t pulsing with waterfalls like the west side of Cascade crest, the...

Read More

Where-to: Have the Most Incredible Picnic in the Owyhee

Author: Joanna Zhang  |  Published: June 24, 2021  |  Category: Where-to Take your outdoor dining experience to the next level with one of these scenic picnic spots in the Owyhee Canyonlands. Here are six places to have the best meal with a view in the Owyhee, complete with local restaurant recommendations. Whether you’re looking...

Read More

Streamside Story: Cody Hess

Author: Joanna Zhang  |  Published: June 3, 2021  |  Category: Profiles “While I was out there, I didn’t see a single person, didn’t hear an airplane or truck. There was just pronghorn, and solitude really. It was the best wilderness experience I’ve had.” During summer 2015, Cody Hess took two months off from his...

Read More

Streamside Story: Victoria Fischella

Author: Joanna Zhang  |  Published: March 26, 2021  |  Category: Profiles An avid rafter and river restoration specialist, Victoria Fischella has always been fascinated by the importance of rivers.

Read More