2019 Conservationist of the Year

Aaron Tani

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.”

listen

Wind and Birds in Quaking Aspen

Wind and Birds in Quaking Aspen

watch

Julie Weikel on Wilderness

Julie Weikel on Wilderness

Denny Jones Ranch Restoration Crew

Gary Evans, second from left, took part in ten stewardship trips in 2019.

Cottonwood Canyon Restoration Crew

Over the course of 2019, Gary Evans, third from left, contributed hundreds of hours to the desert.

In addition to regularly volunteering in the wilderness with both ONDA and U.S. Forest Service, Gary also embarks on ambitious climbing and backpacking trips, which shows in his physical stamina. “I had the pleasure of hiking into the South Fork Crooked project with Gary, and, by that, I mean I tried to keep up with the ambitious pace he was setting,” said ONDA’s Communications Manager Lace Thornberg.

Since every place he volunteered was brand new to him, Gary would try to come out six hours early to hike and explore before the stewardship work began. He said, “The areas that made the biggest impressions on me were Denny Jones Ranch, South Fork Crooked River and Steens Mountain.”

In the coming year, Gary is interested in diving deeper into the history associated with the desert places he visits and volunteers in. If you join an ONDA trip in 2020, there’s a good chance you’ll meet him.

*This award was previously known as Volunteer of the Year. We’ve changed the title to better recognize the holistic nature of the commitment our volunteers make to the high desert. 

2019 Conservationist of the Year

“I knew the forests of Central Oregon really well, but the desert was all new to me. The colors of the landscape and the views … just wow.”  –ONDA member Gary Evans Meet Gary Evans, ONDA’s 2019 Conservationist of the Year Like many of us, Gary Evans found out about ONDA through a friend....

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