From Washington, D.C., to the Canyons of the Owyhee

voices

Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

Durlin Hicock, Alice Elshoff Award winner

“Protecting public land is part of my spiritual being. It’s central to my identity to be in wilderness and to see it protected.” Durlin is proud to protect public lands for future generations, saying, “The highlight of my childhood was our family’s weekend outdoor trips. I look forward to my grandchildren having similar experiences outside in their lifetimes, and it wouldn’t be possible without ONDA.”

fact

What defines Oregon’s high desert?

What defines Oregon’s high desert?

Bounded by the Cascade Mountains to the west and the Blue Mountains to the north, Oregon’s high desert covers approximately 24,000 square miles. Annual rainfall in the high desert varies from 5 to 14 inches. The average elevation is 4,000 feet; at 9,733 feet, the summit of Steens Mountain is the highest point in Oregon’s high desert. The terrain of the high desert was mostly formed by a series of lava flows that occurred between 30 and 10 million years ago.

Sources: The Oregon Encyclopedia; Wikipedia  

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

 

The Protect the Owyhee campaign attracted national attention at the “Monumental Call for Action” event on the steps of the nation’s capitol

ONDA’s executive director, Ryan Houston, teamed up with Tim Davis, founder and executive director of Friends of the Owyhee and Eddie Melendrez, Ontario City Councilmember, on a trip to Washington, D.C. They joined forces with Bend’s beloved environmental activist and drag queen, Pattie Gonia, in advocating for designation of an Owyhee Canyonlands National Monument on the steps of the capitol. The group met all week with elected leaders and administration officials to share the immense public support for protecting the Owyhee.

Photo Credits: Image 1 – Ryan Houston with his daughter, Caitlin Houston, Eddie Melendrez, and Tim Davis, shared our massive “support book” documenting the broad, deep public support for protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands with congressional offices. Photo: Teal Lehto, Image 2 – Eddie Melendrez, Ontario City Councilmember, spoke at the Monumental Call for Action event. Photo: Chris Ferenzi, Image 3 – Pattie Gonia dazzled as they spoke on behalf of the Owyhee at the Monumental Call for Action. Photo: Chris Ferenzi, Image 4 – Ryan Houston with Pattie Gonia. Photo: Teal Lehto

Joining national and local news media to fly over the Owyhee

The week following the national monuments event in Washington, D.C., ONDA joined tribal representatives and sporting organizations to host news media in a flight over the Owyhee Canyonlands. They camped at Succor Creek and then took to the skies to see the immense grandeur of the landscape. The group explored special places nearby and even saw sage-grouse perform their zany annual mating ritual on the vast, intact sagebrush sea of the Owyhee.

Photo Credits: Image 1 – Owyhee advocates with local and national reporters hiking in Leslie Gulch. Photo: Skyler Vold, Image 2 – Views of the Owyhee from the plane. Photo: Sophia Kaelke, Image 3 – Ryan Houston joins journalists on the plane to fly over the Owyhee. Photo: Mary Jo Brooks, Image 4 – Ryan Houston reviews maps with news media in the Owyhee. Photo: Karly Foster, Image 5 – Skyler Vold, sage-grouse conservation coordinator with the Oregon Deptartment of Fish and Wildlife, takes a crew to view sage-grouse on a lek in the Owyhee. Photo: Mary Jo Brooks

Inspiring and humbling river views of the Owyhee Canyonlands

While two of our ONDA team were flying the skies above the Owyhee Canyonlands, Hana Sant, our Development Manager, was braving the surging spring runoff on the Owyhee River. Hana educated her fellow rafters on the immense conservation opportunity of the Owyhee that was also easily seen, felt and heard by her party on their six-day float. Rafters took action by signing letters to elected officials urging permanent protection for the waters, wildlife and wildlands of Oregon’s impeccable, irreplaceable Owyhee.

Photo Credits: Image 1 – Chalk Basin. Photo: Hana Sant, Image 2 – Rafters entering the Owyhee River. Photo: Tim Davis, Image 3 – Morning camp with views of Ship Rock. Photo: Hana Sant

Public engagement is essential to efforts to secure protection for public lands, waters and wildlife in Oregon’s high desert. Learn more about ONDA’s work to protect the Owyhee and take action to support conservation of Oregon’s most treasured desert landscapes. And, if you want to make your voice heard, add your personalized message to our Kudoboard requesting President Biden and Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley to make the Owyhee Canyonlands our nation’s next national monument.

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Author: Karly Foster |  Published: November 15, 2023 |  Category: Look Back Representatives of four tribal communities traveled to Washington, D.C., with ONDA to advocate for permanent protection for Oregon’s […]

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Author: Karly Foster  |  Published: April 6, 2023  |  Category: Look Back A week in the nation’s capitol spent advocating for public lands and conservation in Oregon’s high desert, told […]

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