High Desert Speaker Series 2018

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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.”

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Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

“ONDA stewardship trips inspire me. I get to learn new things and see new places, and in the process perform important work that improves the wildlife habitat.”

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Taylor Goforth, Sage Society member

Taylor Goforth, Sage Society member

“I support ONDA on a monthly basis as a way I can keep in touch with the root of my conservation ethic and allow for their strong advocacy work to keep going. I count on them!”

The Dynamic Geologic Wonders of Eastern Oregon

Our series started out deep in the past when Scott Burns, Professor of Geology at Portland State University, described the fascinating geologic events and forces that gave shape to the landscapes we see today.

FUN FACT: Steens Mountain basalt is actually one of the oldest layers of Columbia River basalt eruptions and has shared geology with the Columbia Basin.

Notes from the Field: Campfire Edition

Gathered in front of an improvised on-screen "campfire," ONDA's stewardship staff shared tales and recent highlights from ONDA's restoration program.

TAKEAWAY: ONDA volunteers are making a difference in the high desert, and having fun while they're at it.

The Birds and the Bees: Sex Lives of High Desert Plants and Animals

LeeAnn Kriegh, author of The Nature of Bend, shared secrets and intriguing facts about the plants and animals of Central Oregon. For this talk on the eve of Valentine’s Day, she focused on the mating rituals and reproductive strategies of local flora and fauna.

FUN FACT: Male barnacles have the largest penises relative to their body size.

A Conversation with Warm Springs Tribal Elder Bruce Jim

In both Portland and Bend, Warm Springs Tribal Elder Bruce Jim delighted attendees with dozens of family stories that together offered a deeply personal history of the Warm Springs tribe. A discussion ceded lands and treaty rights rounded out his talk and gave everyone much to reflect upon.

TAKEAWAY: Warm Springs tribal members are strong stewards of the land, fish, and wildlife across Oregon’s high desert and ONDA is proud to collaborate with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs on restoration work.

Celebrating 50 Years of Wild & Scenic Rivers

Rafter Zach Collier shared his unique approach to traveling all of the Wild & Scenic Rivers in Oregon. For him, just boating a river didn't "count" for this project. Before boating each river, Zach researched and read management plans, then advocated for their continued protection.

TAKEAWAY: Outdoor enthusiasts have a special connection to wild waters and lands, and a responsibility to care for those places in whatever way they can.


Conservation Advocacy from the Beltway to Business

Erin Gaines of Keen Footwear shared stories from her days working as an environmental advisor to Senator Ron Wyden and from her current efforts to amplify the business case for conservation. She discussed today’s ever-changing political reality and why she was inspired to bring her Washington D.C. experience back to advocate for stronger landscape protection in Oregon.

FUN FACT: When advocating for public lands conservation, phone calls are more effective than emails because you reach elected officials' offices right away, and they tally calls each day.

Notes from the Field

For our final Portland event, ONDA stewardship staff Ben Gordon and Michael O’Casey and photographer Sage Brown took the audience on visual road trip through this vast landscape. Sage's images capture not only beauty of the landscape, but also the community that is built through these trips to Oregon’s most stunning wild lands.

TAKEAWAY: Working together with shovels and shears in hand is a great way to get to know the high desert and forge lifelong friendships.


Upcoming Presentations

High Desert Speaker Series 2018

Eastern Oregon is an incredible place to live, work and explore, with thousands of stories just waiting to be revealed. ONDA’s popular High Desert Speaker Series features knowledgeable and inspiring storytellers who bring the intriguing aspects of this vast region to light. So far in 2018, we’ve dived into the region’s geologic history, the...

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Birding at Malheur

A guide to watching migrating birds at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for first-time visitors. Few events will put you in touch with the rhythms of the natural world quite like watching a migration. Oregonians are lucky to have one of North America’s great animal migrations right in our backyard. Each spring and fall...

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Learn to Strut

ONDA to teach sage-grouse mating dance to all members April 1, 2018 (BEND, Ore.)—What started as a rousing way to open up staff meetings soon spread to board meetings and stewardship trips, and now, in response to high demand from our members, Oregon Natural Desert Association is excited to announce that you, too, can learn the...

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How to Take Better Images of Oregon’s High Desert

Conservation photographers share their advice: knowledge, persistence, patience The arid landscape that covers 27.6 million acres of Oregon is packed with opportunities to make interesting photographs. You can fill your frame with impressive canyons, alkali flats that tend toward abstraction or gnarled ancient juniper trees rich with character. Each year, Oregon Natural Desert Association’s...

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Soundscapes

ONDA Volunteer John Hartog Tells High Desert Stories Through Sounds, Not Words. By John Dulzo Oregon Natural Desert Association volunteers are as diverse as the land they work so hard to protect. Here is a story about one of our most active volunteers who brings his audio artistry to his high desert devotion. Read...

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Ursula Le Guin, author and desert lover

Ursula Le Guin, author and desert lover, dies at 88 On Monday, January 22, 2018, author Ursula LeGuin died at her home in Portland, Oregon. Le Guin is best known for her widely read and critically acclaimed science fiction novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea chronicles. In addition to her...

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High Desert Speaker Series

Curious about the High Desert? ONDA’s High Desert Speaker Series Presenters Have Stories and Knowledge To Share Do you know how many officially designated Wild and Scenic Rivers there are in eastern Oregon? Do you know the Ichiskhkiin word for salmon? Attending Oregon Natural Desert Association’s High Desert Speaker Series is a great way to build your high...

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The New ONDA.org

Welcome to the new ONDA website. Well, hello there reader! If this is your first time visiting ONDA’s website, you can skip right past this post and carry on in your exploration of this site. Those of you who have been following ONDA for a few years will have noticed that our website looks...

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365 Days of Beauty

ONDA’s Wild Desert Calendar highlights the beauty of Oregon’s high desert In 2004, a crew of motivated, scrappy and talented Oregon Natural Desert Association supporters dreamed up the idea of creating a photographic collection dedicated solely to the beauty of Oregon’s high desert. Thus, ONDA’s Wild Desert Calendar was born!

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How to Talk to Your Friends about Public Lands

For most outdoor recreationists, talking about being out in nature comes, well, naturally. We share photos from our trips. We rave about the views we enjoyed and the wildlife we encountered. We invite our friends to join us on our next adventure. But, when it comes to talking about the policies that govern the public...

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